Climb to the top of 3,360-foot Belvidere Mountain’s 50-foot fire tower, and gain views into Canada and New Hampshire. Start at the Frank Post trailhead nine miles north of Eden Mills, and connect the Frank Post, Long, and Forester’s Trails to make a seven-mile loop. “Maybe once I’ve run into someone else hiking it,” says Tracy Lariviere (below).
2. Top Swimming Hole
Grab the rope swing and take a five-foot plunge into Ritterbush Pond, tucked in narrow, mossy, and deep Devil’s Gulch. Hike there via a three-mile out-and-back on a quiet segment of the Long Trail; start at the trailhead off VT 118, two miles south of Belvidere Corners.
3. Most Iconic Peak
The climb to the 4,083-foot, tundra-clad bald of Camel’s Hump is a Vermont rite of passage. Hike the Monroe Trail from Camel’s Hump Road for a 6.6-mile lollipop
4. Best Backpack
The southernmost 50 miles of the Long Trail feature starry skies, crystal springs, and views of four states. Start at MA 2 in North Adams, and hike to VT 30 near Mt. Bromley. Look for otter and loons at Stratton Pond, and moose near Story Spring Shelter.