The final 21.3-mile homestretch of Vermont’s Long Trail treks north up the 3,668-foot summit of Jay Peak before descending to the Canadian border and then Journey’s End. Jay is not the only challenge of the day, though: as with much of the Long Trail, the route packs 7,600 feet of climbing into and undulating and rugged traverse.
Start hiking northwest from Tillotson camp on the first pair of climbs up Tillotson Peak and Haystack Mountain. From Haystack, the LT drops over 1,000 feet to Hazens Notch, before looping around Sugarbush Mountain to take on Buchanan Mountain. From the top of Buchanan enjoy views in all directions, especially northwest to Jay Peak (where the trail heads next).
After descending north along a ridge, cross VT-242 to arrive at Jay Camp, the base of the 1.5-mile, 1,500-foot climb to Jay Peak. Nearing the top of Jay, hikers are rewarded with more views back south over the expanse of the Long Trail. Navigate ski trails up to (and down from) the summit before descending down the Laura Woodward shelter.
From the Woodward shelter, the LT climbs the southern slopes of North Jay, one of three shorter ascents before the trail tracks north (past the Latitude 45 point) to the Canadian Border and then down to its northern entry point on Journey’s End Road.
Shelters: Tillotson Camp, Hazens Notch Camp, Jay Camp, Laura Woodward, Shooting Star, Journey’s End
PRINT & GO: To download a PDF of this route, go to backpacker.com/printandgo.
-Mapped by Berne Broudy, AuthenticOutdoors.com
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