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Although the official tread of Vermont’s Long Trail doesn’t start until the Massachusetts-Vermont state line, this first section of the northeast’s most storied thru-hike begins just outside Williamstown in the north corner of Massachusetts. The trail picks up a significant climb right from the gun, scaling Pine Cobble and then East Mountain before accessing the Appalachian Trail on the approach to the state line.
The official Long Trail continues north/northeast on a remote and rugged path. On this section you’ll cross numerous logging and jeep roads as the trail skirts beaver ponds, power line clearings, and wooded summits in southern Vermont. This section’s steepest pitch comes on the final rock-step descent from Harmon Hill to VT 9.
Shelters: Seth Warner and Congdon Shelter.
-Mapped by Berne Broudy, AuthenticOutdoors.com
MORE LONG TRAIL MAPS
Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6 | Section 7 | Section 8 | Section 9 | Section 10 | Section 11 | Section 12
- Distance: 26.3
Location: 42.7161007, -73.1852766
From the parking lot on Pine Cobble Road, cross the street, and turn left to walk north alongside the pond toward the Pine Cobble Trailhead.
Location: 42.7164871, -73.1852956
At the Pine Cobble Trailhead, turn right off the road and walk around the other side of the pond. Shortly ahead, the route heads east up an increasing climbing grade.
Location: 42.7220056, -73.1668867
Turn right for a .1-mile detour to the Pine Cobble summit; turn left to continue heading northeast and join the Appalachian Trail.
Location: 42.7272775, -73.1610683
At the junction with the Appalachian Trail, continue heading north/northeast.
Location: 42.743827, -73.1555051
Cross into Vermont and onto the official Long Trail.
Location: 42.7467905, -73.1503532
Continue through stream crossing.
Location: 42.7689481, -73.136928
Continue across dirt road; the Seth Warner Shelter is just head. Beyond the shelter, the Long Trail crosses a dirt road again.
Location: 42.7912107, -73.1186511
Here the climbing eases at a long power line clearing with a view.
Location: 42.8084773, -73.1172209
The trail cuts right, leaving the logging road.
Location: 42.82781, -73.1237863
Continue straight across the logging road.
Location: 42.8406734, -73.1125689
Continue across jeep road crossing.
Location: 42.8480091, -73.1097666
The Long Trail passes the Congdon Shelter. Continuing west on a slight uphill grade, the trail crosses a logging road just ahead.
Location: 42.8584928, -73.1301329
Continue north across a poorly marked logging road crossing. The trail crosses the road again in another 100 yards or so.
Location: 42.8711672, -73.1324248
From the top of Harmon Hill, the trail descends gradually, then down very steep steps for the last half-mile of section 1.
Location: 42.8849514, -73.1154953
Section 1 ends and Section 2 begins at this parking lot on Route 9. A toilet is available here.
Location: 42.726785, -73.161741
Rough terrain is common on the Long Trail.
Pine Cobble Trail
Location: 42.715474, -73.184447
The Official Long Trail Start
Location: 42.744102, -73.155335
Seth Warner Shelter Junction
Location: 42.771208, -73.134524
Location: 42.801563, -73.117107
The Long Trail skirts a large beaver pond.
Long Trail Flora
Location: 42.818014, -73.122417
Location: 42.8711207, -73.1317377