The Long Trail

Facts and Statistics

long trail 1Completed around the 1930, he Long Trail dates back to 1910. It remains one of the oldest in the US, among the long distance hiking trails. It covers 272 miles in its entirety. It passes through muddy, mountainous, and remote regions. Some hikers consider it more rugged and difficult than the Appalachian Trail in terms of hiking. It was constructed by the Green Mountain Club who remains the organization that manages the trail.

Route Description

As indicated earlier, the trail is 272 miles long. It runs through the entire length of Vermont. Starting on the Massachusetts border, the trail follows the same route with the Appalachian Trail for more than 100 miles. The two trails then go separate ways near Killington, VT, at the Maine Junction. This trail hits most of the peaks found in the Green Mountain Range. Some of them include Mount Mansfield, Killington peak, Vermont’s high point, and Camel’s Hump. The trail concludes at the Canadian border, at its northern terminus.

long trail 2If you are not into thru-hiking, then you can enjoy the amazing scenery and beauty offered by the trail. There are numerous short routes and day hikes that you can enjoy without end-to-end hiking. The section of the trail after Mansfield is very popular with most hikers, due to its elevation. Around four kilometers of the trail on this section is above the tree line, this offers you with a stretch of arctic tundra and majestic views of the elevations beneath.

Best Time To Hike

long trail 3During spring, this trail gets extremely muddy. The managers of this trail encourage people to stay away from sections of the trail that are on high elevation, especially after Memorial Day. The hikers and the snowmelt contribute to a lot of erosion, which is why hiking is discouraged after Memorial Day weekend. It is a popular route with thru-hikers, who cover the entire trip in one single trip. Depending on the mileage you can cover in a day, the thru-hike is going to take around three to four weeks to complete.

Sometimes in June, you might encounter black flies. However, it is still a good time to hike. It is advised to hike with long sleeve shirts and long pants to minimize bug bites. It is also a good idea to bring along a bug net. Towards the end of October, the weather in Vermont starts getting cold. In order to enjoy autumn on the Long Trail, the best time to would be September.

Trail Difficulty

long trail 4This is one difficult trail to hike, due to the muddy, rocky, and mountainous sections on the trail. You cannot make it without top notch hiking boots. The easiest part to hike on this trail is the 100 miles on the southern part. This is also the same section coinciding with the Appalachian Trail. After that section, the trail becomes more remote and mountainous.

The muddy conditions present a hiking difficulty and are very dangerous to hikers. They also make the alpine tundra sections of the trail a bit fragile, which adds to the risk. Regardless of the time of the year that you visit the trail, you will need to arrange for muddy and soggy hiking. This means that you have to choose your hiking gear carefully. Carry along some thick socks to keep your feet dry and warm and some waterproof hiking boots.

Transportation

long trail 5One of the tricky things to deal with when hiking the Long Trail is to sorting out the transportation. You need to determine how you will get home once you have finished your thru-hike, and how you will access the trailhead, when starting out.

Transportation and hiking are not always mentioned in the same sentence. However, end to end transportation is of utmost importance when planning your thru-hike. There is normally a guide provided by the Green Mountain Club to help you organize your travel.

The best way to arrive at the trailhead is to approach it through the major cities on both ends. If you will be hiking from north to south, the best solution will be to fly to Burlington. Take the 90-minute taxi ride, which will take you to North Troy. You can then approach the trailhead from there. When you arrive at the south end, you can travel with a Peter Pan Bus line that can take you to one of the airports in New York.

For the south to north transportation, you just need to go to Williamstown. A Peter Pan Bus line will take you there from Port Authority in New York. When you get to the Canadian border on the north end, you can take a short walk from North Troy. There, you can catch a shuttle or a cab back to Burlington.

Camping

long trail 6Two types of shelters can be found on the Long Trail. They include the lean-tos with one side open and the luxurious cabins with a door and four walls. Lean-tos can be found 100 miles on the southern section of the Long Trail, the section that coincides with the Appalachian Trail. However, that changes when the trails separate. As you go north, the shelters get more comfortable and nicer. Additionally, they are less crowded. There are certain times of the year when you even have a shelter all by yourself.

If you prefer using a tent, rather than sleeping inside the provided shelters, you will need to reconsider this decision. You might wake up in a puddle or even have the interior section of your tent soaked by pounding rain. The shelters are dry and comfortable. You can even hang your wet clothes to dry all night. On top of that, you will have company, as you take your dinner and share some hiking experiences.

Food Resupply

Food resupply when hiking the Long Trail can be very challenging. This is because you have to organize trips to town and back. If you attempt to hitchhike, it is advisable to do it on a road with high traffic. You can also mail the food to the inns around the trail, giving them instructions to keep it safe for you. Some sections of the trail have access to public means of transportation.

Conclusion

When doing this hike, it is advisable to carry the lightest gear as much as possible. The journey is long. Therefore, to cover more ground, you will need a lighter weight for hauling around. Carry enough food to last you for up to eight days, to minimize the amount spent on resupply.

YouTube User ‘Lawless’ Hikes The Long Trail

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