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The Long Trail

The Long Trail is a 272-mile long distance hiking path in Vermont that runs the length of the state. The trail begins on the Massachusetts border, and coincides with the Appalachian Trail for 100 miles before splitting at the Maine Junction, near Killington, VT. It summits many of the Green Mountain range‘s most prominent peaks, including Killington Peak, Camel’s Hump, and Vermont’s high point, Mount Mansfield. The trail ends near North Troy, VT, just south of the Canadian border.

long trail sign

Trail History

The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance backpacking trail in the United States. It was finished by the Green Mountain Club in 1930. The Green Mountain Club still maintains most of the trail today, and works in conjunction with Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and private landowners to preserve it.

Thru-Hike the Long Trail

Some hikers attempt to complete the Long Trail in one continuous trip, an activity known as thru-hiking. Depending on daily mileage, a thru-hike normally takes two to four weeks. In spring, the trail is extremely muddy, and the Green Mountain Club urges hikers to avoid high-use and high elevation sections of the trail until after Memorial Day weekend every year.

Boston, MA: Distance Dreaming (Long Trail)

Experience thru-hiking fever (and New England hardwoods) on this section of the historic Long Trail across Glastonbury Mountain. BY RYAN WICHELNS

Long Trail (Section 01): Pine Cobble Road to VT 9

The first 16-mile chunk of the Long Trail starts in Massachusetts, kicking off with a steep climb to the Vermont state line (the Trail’s official start) and a rugged trek north.

Long Trail (Section 02): VT 9 to Kelley Stand Road

This 20-mile stretch of Vermont’s Long Trail tops out at a fire tower overlook on Glastenbury Mountain and offers thru-hikers four shelter options along the way.

Long Trail (Section 03): Stratton-Arlington Road to Mad Tom Notch

A pair of 1,300-foot ascents bookend this 25-mile stretch of Vermont’s Long Trail. In addition to Stratton and Bromley Mountains, this route also samples numerous forested brooks and Green Mountain vistas.

Long Trail (Section 04): Mad Tom Notch to VT 140

Even as this 19.2-mile stretch of the Vermont Long Trail loses more elevation than it gains. Plus: thru-hikers are treated to pond-side shelters, Green Mountain overlooks, and more challenging terrain.

Long Trail (Section 05): VT 140 to US 4

Nearly 7,000-feet of climbing are spread over this 22-mile point-to-point on Vermont’s Long Trail; the highlight is a 2,400-foot ascent to 360-degree views atop Killington Peak.

Long Trail (Section 06): US 4 to Brandon Gap

Tracking northwest along the western edge of the Green Mountains, this 19-mile section of the Long Trail skirts several peaks on an increasingly rugged path.

Long Trail (Section 07): Brandon Gap to Cooley Glen

Heading north through the Breadloaf Wilderness, this 19-mile Long Trail section tackles rugged climbs on a route that traces ridgelines and wanders through a Vermont ski area.

Long Trail (Section 08): Cooley Glen to Birch Glen

A true ridgeline trek in the Green Mountains, this 15-mile point-to-point section of the Long Trail skirts classic Vermont ski areas, offering far-off vistas and several overlooks.

Long Trail (Section 11): VT 15 to Tillotson Camp

Ranging 23-miles through northern Vermont, this Long Trail section continues through rugged terrain and rewards thru-hikers with sweeping views of the Green Mountain range.

Long Trail (Section 12): Tillotson Camp to Journey’s End

This 21-mile homestretch of Vermont’s Long Trail conquers one more mammoth Green Mountain summit (Jay Peak) before trekking north to the Canadian border and Journey’s End.

Long Trail (Section 09): Birch Glen to Buchanan Shelter

One of the toughest stretches on the Long Trail, this 23-miler tackles an exposed, boulder-scrambling climb to Camels Hump while enjoying views of the Greens, Whites, and Adirondacks.

Long Trail (Section 10): Buchanan Shelter to VT 15

A 25.7-mile point-to-point across some of the toughest terrain in the Green Mountains, this Long Trail section scrambles up Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak.

Manchester, VT: Stratton Pond via the Long Trail

Ogle fiery color in the Green Mountains.

Long Trail: Monroe Skyline

Sample a 15-mile stretch of the Long Trail on this challenging leg between Appalachian Gap and Duxbury Road. Expect steep scrambles, big elevation gains, and sweet views.

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