A friend of mine, Roland, hiked the entire 273 mile length of the Long Trail this summer, and was gracious to allow us to share his 18-day journey with you.
The Long Trail runs 273 miles through the entire length of the state of Vermont. It starts at the Massachusetts state line (near Williamstown, Massachusetts), and runs north to the Canada–US border (near North Troy, Vermont). It runs along the main ridge of the Green Mountains, coinciding with the Appalachian Trail for roughly 100 miles in the southern third of the state. Additionally, over 175 miles of side trails complete the Long Trail System.
This is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, constructed between 1910 and 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. The club remains the primary organization responsible for the trail, and is recognized by the state legislature as “the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector” of the Long Trail System.
The Long Trail was conceived in 1909 by James P. Taylor, who was, at the time, the Assistant Headmaster of Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vermont. Taylor shared his dream to “make the Vermont Mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail system and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains.”
Keep in mind that, as work began in 1910, this was America’s first long-distance hiking path.
This also means that the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, and, again, it was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail.
The Long Trail traverses almost all of the Green Mountains’ major summits, including (from south to north), Glastenbury Mountain, Stratton Mountain, Killington Peak, Mount Abraham, Mount Ellen, Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield, and Jay Peak. On its way to Canada, this “footpath in the wilderness” climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine sedge, hardwood forests, and swift streams.
The Long Trail is maintained primarily by the Green Mountain Club and its volunteers.
This is a beautiful presentation, and seems to grow even more beautiful as Roland progresses northward.
I am reminded of just how beautiful this part of the country is … and, as snow is once again in our forecast here in early November … how much I already miss summer.
Roland took 18 days to complete the entire 273 miles.