Avoid the crowds that flock to this trail’s southern reaches by hiking at the other end. There, you can follow moose prints the size of salad plates along 28 miles of remote, Northwoods hiking from Corliss Camp to Jay Peak, which dominates its end of the Green Mountains like a lost Alp. But first, it’s down into Devils Gulch, a fern- and boulder-filled grotto where snow lingers far into summer. The final 1,700-foot haul up Jay rewards you with views of three states and into Canada.
Contact: Green Mountain Club, (802) 244-7037; www.greenmountainclub.org.
Near the small but impressive Gifford Woods Natural Area, which protects old-growth sugar maples, yellow birches, and hemlocks, the AT doglegs east and leaves behind the high-peak traverses of the Long Trail. But that doesn’t mean your legs get a rest. There are plenty of mountainous ups and downs along this 44-mile sampling of snowy white paper birch forests and placid Vermont farm valleys.
Contact: Appalachian Trail Conference, (304) 535-6331; www.atconf.org.
Camels Hump State Park
Warm-weather hikers swarm over this 4,080-foot peak, but in winter it becomes an arctic adventure that’s remote and wild from any approach. A snowshoe up the Long Trail from the south can take a full day as you climb through snow-blanketed spruce woods, then over windswept knobs to Gorham Lodge and the summit.
Contact: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, (802)879-6565; www.vtstateparks.com/camels.