Long Trail In Vermont

Here is everything you need to know about the Long Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Vermont
  • Length: 54 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Green Mountain Club
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: https://www.islandlinetrail.org/

The Long Trail, located in the state of Vermont, is one of the oldest long-distance hiking trails in the United States. Its history dates back to the early 20th century when a group of visionaries sought to create a trail that would traverse the entire length of Vermont’s Green Mountains. The idea for the Long Trail was conceived in 1909 by James P. Taylor, who envisioned a trail that would provide access to the scenic beauty of the mountains and promote outdoor recreation.

In 1910, the Green Mountain Club (GMC) was founded with the primary goal of building and maintaining the Long Trail. Construction of the trail began in 1912, with volunteers working tirelessly to clear paths, build shelters, and mark the route. The trail was officially completed in 1930, spanning approximately 272 miles from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border.

Over the years, the Long Trail has played a significant role in the development of hiking and outdoor recreation in Vermont. It has served as a model for other long-distance trails across the country, inspiring the creation of the Appalachian Trail, which intersects with the Long Trail for over 100 miles. The Long Trail has also been a catalyst for conservation efforts, leading to the establishment of the Green Mountain National Forest and the protection of vast wilderness areas.

Today, the Long Trail remains a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, attracting thousands of visitors each year. It offers a challenging and rewarding experience, showcasing the natural beauty of Vermont’s mountains, forests, and streams. The trail’s rich history and enduring legacy continue to inspire a sense of adventure and appreciation for the wilderness among those who embark on its journey.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Southern Terminus: The Long Trail starts at the Massachusetts-Vermont border near Williamstown, MA.
2. North Adams Trailhead: Located in North Adams, MA, this trailhead provides access to the Long Trail.
3. Bennington Trailhead: Situated in Bennington, VT, this access point is popular among hikers.
4. Manchester Center Trailhead: Located in Manchester Center, VT, this trailhead is a common starting point for hikers.
5. Killington Peak Trailhead: Situated near Killington, VT, this access point provides access to the Long Trail.
6. Appalachian Gap Trailhead: Located near Waitsfield, VT, this trailhead is a popular access point for hikers.
7. Lincoln Gap Trailhead: Situated near Warren, VT, this access point is commonly used by hikers.
8. Appalachian Trail Junction: This access point is where the Appalachian Trail intersects with the Long Trail near Sherburne Pass, VT.
9. Camel’s Hump Trailhead: Located near Huntington, VT, this trailhead provides access to Camel’s Hump, a popular peak along the Long Trail.
10. Bolton Notch Trailhead: Situated near Bolton, VT, this access point is commonly used by hikers.
11. Smugglers’ Notch Trailhead: Located near Stowe, VT, this trailhead provides access to Smugglers’ Notch, another popular section of the Long Trail.
12. Journey’s End Trailhead: This is the northern terminus of the Long Trail, located near North Troy, VT.

Transportation Available

1. Green Mountain Club Shuttle – Shuttle service provided by the Green Mountain Club for hikers along the Long Trail.
2. Vermont Translines – Bus service connecting various towns near the Long Trail.
3. Uber – On-demand ride-hailing service available in the area.
4. Lyft – Another on-demand ride-hailing service operating in the vicinity.
5. Local Taxi Companies – Various local taxi services serving the Long Trail area.
6. Amtrak – Train service with nearby stations for transportation to/from the Long Trail.
7. Greyhound – Bus service connecting nearby towns and cities.
8. Local Bike Rentals – Bike rental services for exploring the area around the Long Trail.
9. Car Rental Companies – Various car rental options available for independent transportation.
10. Local Airport Shuttles – Shuttles providing transportation to/from nearby airports.


The Long Trail is a hiking trail located in Vermont, USA. While it primarily offers a wilderness experience, there are some amenities available along the trail. Here is a list of amenities you may find at various points along the Long Trail:

1. Shelters: There are numerous shelters along the trail where hikers can take a break, rest, and spend the night. These shelters usually have a roof, wooden bunks, and a privy nearby.

2. Privies: Privies, or pit toilets, are available at many shelter locations along the trail. They provide a basic restroom facility for hikers.

3. Water sources: The Long Trail crosses numerous streams, rivers, and springs, providing hikers with access to water sources. However, it is recommended to treat or filter the water before drinking.

4. Parking: There are parking areas available at various trailheads and access points along the Long Trail. These parking areas may have limited capacity, so it’s advisable to check for any restrictions or permits required.

5. Camping sites: While the Long Trail primarily offers shelter-based accommodations, there are designated camping areas available at some locations. These sites may have tent platforms, fire rings, and access to water sources.

6. Picnic areas: Some trailheads or scenic spots along the Long Trail may have designated picnic areas where hikers can take a break, enjoy a meal, or simply relax.

7. Visitor centers: The Long Trail passes through or near several towns and villages where visitor centers or information centers may be available. These centers can provide maps, trail information, and other resources for hikers.

8. Lodging and amenities in nearby towns: Depending on the section of the trail, there may be towns or villages nearby that offer lodging, restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities for hikers to resupply or take a break from the trail.

It’s important to note that the Long Trail is primarily a wilderness trail, and amenities may vary along different sections. Hikers should always be prepared with their own supplies, including food, water, and appropriate gear.

Nearby Services

1. Green Mountain House (Lodging) – A cozy hostel located in Manchester Center, offering affordable accommodation for hikers.
2. Inn at Long Trail (Lodging) – A historic inn situated near Killington, providing comfortable rooms and a restaurant for weary hikers.
3. Stratton Mountain Resort (Lodging) – A popular ski resort with lodging options, located near the trail in Stratton.
4. The Long Trail Brewery (Food Services) – A brewery and pub in Bridgewater Corners, serving delicious food and refreshing craft beers.
5. Killington Market (Food Services) – A grocery store in Killington, offering a variety of food options for resupplying along the trail.
6. Rutland Regional Medical Center (Emergency Services) – A full-service hospital in Rutland, providing emergency medical care for hikers in need.
7. Gifford Medical Center (Emergency Services) – A community hospital in Randolph, offering emergency medical services for hikers in the area.
8. Manchester Police Department (Emergency Services) – The local police department in Manchester, available for any emergency assistance required by hikers.
9. Vermont State Police (Emergency Services) – The state police force in Vermont, responsible for providing emergency services and assistance along the Long Trail.
10. Green Mountain National Forest (Emergency Services) – A protected area encompassing parts of the Long Trail, with park rangers available for emergency situations.

Long Trail Difficulty Notes

The Long Trail, located in Vermont, is renowned for its challenging terrain and demanding nature, making it a difficult hiking trail for even experienced hikers. Spanning over 270 miles, the trail traverses rugged mountains, steep ascents and descents, and unpredictable weather conditions. Hikers must navigate through dense forests, rocky paths, and muddy sections, often requiring physical endurance and mental resilience. The trail’s remote and isolated sections, lack of amenities, and limited cell phone reception further add to the difficulty level. However, the Long Trail’s difficulty is also what makes it so rewarding, as hikers are rewarded with breathtaking views, serene wilderness, and a sense of accomplishment upon completing this arduous journey.

Features And Attractions

1. Camel’s Hump: This iconic mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Green Mountains and is one of the most popular hikes along the Long Trail.

2. Mount Mansfield: The highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

3. Stratton Mountain: Known for its fire tower, Stratton Mountain provides a 360-degree view of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.

4. Glastenbury Mountain: This remote peak is surrounded by a mysterious folklore and offers a unique and eerie atmosphere.

5. Lye Brook Falls: A beautiful waterfall located near Manchester, Lye Brook Falls is a popular spot for hikers to take a break and enjoy the natural beauty.

6. Bromley Mountain: With its scenic chairlift ride, Bromley Mountain offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is a great spot for photography.

7. Mount Abraham: This mountain offers panoramic views of the Green Mountains and the Champlain Valley, making it a favorite among hikers.

8. Killington Peak: Known for its ski resort, Killington Peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

9. Mount Ellen: The fifth highest peak in Vermont, Mount Ellen offers breathtaking views of the Green Mountains and the Mad River Valley.

10. Mount Belvidere: Located in the northern section of the Long Trail, Mount Belvidere offers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness.

11. Sterling Pond: A picturesque alpine pond located near Smugglers’ Notch, Sterling Pond is a popular spot for hikers to relax and enjoy the scenery.

12. Mount Wilson: This peak offers stunning views of the southern Green Mountains and is a great spot for sunrise or sunset photography.

13. Mount Horrid: Known for its rugged beauty, Mount Horrid offers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness and is a favorite among experienced hikers.

14. Mount Hunger: This challenging hike rewards hikers with panoramic views of the Green Mountains and the surrounding valleys.

15. Mount Mansfield Chin: The highest point on Mount Mansfield, the Chin offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and is a must-visit spot along the Long Trail.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Long Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping is only permitted at designated campsites along the trail.
3. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or fireplaces.
4. Leave No Trace principles must be followed, including packing out all trash and waste.
5. Hunting is allowed in certain areas during specific seasons, so hikers should wear bright colors for safety.
6. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be impassable during winter due to snow and ice.
7. Hikers should be prepared for variable weather conditions and carry appropriate gear.
8. Permits may be required for overnight camping in certain areas, so check with local authorities or trail organizations.
9. Hikers should respect private property boundaries and stay on the designated trail.
10. It is recommended to carry a map and compass or GPS device for navigation on the trail.

Seasonal Information

The Long Trail, located in Vermont, offers breathtaking views and a challenging hiking experience for outdoor enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit the Long Trail largely depend on personal preferences and the type of experience you seek. The trail is open year-round, but the most popular time to hike it is during the summer and fall months.

Summer, from June to August, is a great time to visit the Long Trail as the weather is generally warm and the trail is easily accessible. The lush greenery and blooming wildflowers create a picturesque backdrop for hikers. However, it is important to note that summer is also the busiest time on the trail, so expect more crowds and potential difficulty in finding available campsites or accommodations.

Fall, from September to October, is another fantastic time to visit the Long Trail. The foliage transforms the trail into a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and gold, making it a favorite among photographers and nature lovers. The weather is cooler, and the crowds tend to thin out, providing a more serene hiking experience. It is advisable to check the foliage forecast and plan your visit accordingly to witness the peak colors.

During the winter months, the Long Trail offers a unique experience for experienced hikers and winter sports enthusiasts. However, it is important to be well-prepared and have the necessary equipment, as the trail can be challenging and hazardous due to snow and ice. Some sections of the trail may be closed or inaccessible during winter, so it is essential to check for trail updates and closures before planning a winter visit.

It is worth noting that some sections of the Long Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions due to maintenance or environmental concerns. It is advisable to check with the Green Mountain Club, the organization responsible for maintaining the trail, for any closures or restrictions before embarking on your journey. Additionally, it is always a good idea to be aware of the weather conditions and plan accordingly, as the trail can be affected by heavy rain or storms, leading to temporary closures or hazardous conditions.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to trailheads for easy access.
2. Accessible Restrooms: Restrooms with wheelchair-accessible stalls available at certain trailheads.
3. Paved Pathways: Some sections of the Long Trail have paved pathways suitable for wheelchair users.
4. Boardwalks: Wheelchair-friendly boardwalks in certain areas provide smooth passage over wet or uneven terrain.
5. Trail Widening: In specific sections, the trail has been widened to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
6. Accessible Shelters: Some shelters along the Long Trail are designed to be accessible for individuals with disabilities.
7. Trail Information: Detailed trail information, including accessibility features, is available on the Green Mountain Club’s website.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are allowed on the Long Trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Campsites: Certain campsites along the trail are designed to be accessible for individuals with disabilities.
10. Trail Maintenance: The Green Mountain Club works to maintain accessible features and improve accessibility along the Long Trail.

Safety Information

1. Plan and prepare: Research the trail, weather conditions, and pack essential gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike.
2. Hiking experience: The Long Trail is challenging, so prior hiking experience and physical fitness are recommended.
3. Navigation: Carry a detailed map, compass, and/or GPS device to navigate the trail accurately.
4. Weather awareness: Be aware of changing weather conditions and pack appropriate clothing and gear for rain, wind, and cold temperatures.
5. Water sources: Identify reliable water sources along the trail and carry enough water or a water filtration system.
6. Wildlife encounters: Familiarize yourself with local wildlife, carry bear spray, and know how to react in case of an encounter.
7. Camping regulations: Follow designated camping areas and adhere to Leave No Trace principles to minimize environmental impact.
8. Trail conditions: Be prepared for muddy, rocky, and steep sections of the trail, and use caution while hiking.
9. Emergency communication: Carry a fully charged cell phone, a whistle, and inform someone about your hiking plans.
10. First aid: Carry a well-stocked first aid kit and know basic first aid techniques for common injuries.
11. Lightning safety: Avoid exposed areas during thunderstorms and seek shelter in lower elevation areas or forested sections.
12. Solo hiking: Consider hiking with a partner or joining a hiking group for added safety and companionship.
13. Leave No Trace: Practice responsible hiking by leaving the trail as you found it, disposing of waste properly, and respecting nature.
14. Trail closures and updates: Stay informed about any trail closures, updates, or advisories from local authorities or trail organizations.
15. Physical limitations: Assess your physical limitations and hike at a pace that suits your abilities to prevent exhaustion or injuries.
16. Emergency protocols: Familiarize yourself with emergency protocols, such as contacting local authorities or search and rescue teams.
17. Wildlife safety: Keep a safe distance from wildlife, do not feed them, and store food securely to avoid attracting animals.
18. Hygiene: Maintain good hygiene practices to prevent illness, such as washing hands and using hand sanitizer.
19. Trail etiquette: Be courteous to other hikers, yield to uphill hikers, and follow any specific trail etiquette guidelines.
20. Enjoyment and relaxation: Take breaks, enjoy the scenery, and listen to your body to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience on the Long Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Long Trail, located in the state of Vermont, holds a significant conservation status due to its ecological importance and the efforts made to protect its natural resources. As the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, spanning approximately 272 miles, the Long Trail traverses through diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and alpine zones. This trail is home to a variety of plant and animal species, some of which are rare or endangered.

Conservation organizations, such as the Green Mountain Club, have played a crucial role in preserving the Long Trail and its surrounding environment. Through land acquisition, habitat restoration, and trail maintenance, these organizations have worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of the trail’s natural resources. The Long Trail also benefits from legal protections, as it passes through state and federal lands, including national forests and state parks, which further contribute to its conservation status.

Efforts to mitigate human impact on the Long Trail have been implemented to preserve its fragile ecosystems. These include Leave No Trace principles, which encourage hikers to minimize their impact on the environment by practicing responsible camping, waste disposal, and respecting wildlife. Additionally, the Long Trail’s conservation status is reinforced by regulations that limit development and commercial activities along its route, ensuring the preservation of its natural character.

Overall, the conservation status of the Long Trail is considered significant due to the ongoing efforts made by conservation organizations, legal protections, and the promotion of responsible outdoor practices. These measures aim to safeguard the trail’s diverse ecosystems, protect rare and endangered species, and maintain the trail’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.

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