I climbed the mountain by way of the Bucklin Trail. This trail leaves from a relatively obscure side road a little way east of Rutland. The road is marked on a good map, and the trail is described in the Green Mountain Club's Guide Book of the Long Trail. The trail left the road right at a distinctive kink in the road. The trail head is marked, but you can't really see the sign from the road.
The trail followed mostly level ground for a short distance. It soon crossed a brook. I had to wade the brook today; there has been quite a bit of rain in New England this summer so far. The trail then climbed gradually through relatively open terrain. Eventually it crossed the brook again and then followed it through the woods on the other side. After a while, the trail diverged from the brook and began climbing more steeply. An old road continues along the brook, so be watchful for the turnoff. It's marked with paint blazes, but it could be missed if one was too distracted.
The trail then climbed steadily and moderately steeply through the forest. There were no real views, but I was able to see Pico Peak through the trees in a few places. The forest converted to a spruce/fir forest and eventually came to Cooper Lodge at an elevation of 3850 feet. Here the Bucklin Trail ended. However, I followed the Long Trail south a few feet to a side trail that ascended to the summit of Killington.
The side trail climbed rather steeply. The trees shrank rapidly and the view improved with each step. Finally I came to the open rock summit with excellent views in all directions but due east. Although the summit was rock, there were still a fair number of trees growing just below the summit itself. In fact, to the east the trees were taller than the summit and obscured the view in that direction. It was a little difficult to see the White Mountains of New Hampshire, for example.
However there were excellent views of the Green Mountains to the north and of the Champlain Valley. While I was at the summit, I met three Appalachian Trail hikers. They told me that they had walked from Georgia and had been on the trail for 116 days. We chatted for a while and I named some of the local mountains that we could see. They were quite interested in checking out the White Mountains.
There were a fair number of black flies at the summit, but otherwise the bugs were not a particular problem on this hike.
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