Kicking off with a stiff 1,000-foot climb over Bear Mountain, this 22-mile run on the Long Trail (also the Appalachian Trail on this route), serves up one of the thru-hikes first sustained ascents: a 6-mile, 2,400-foot approach to Killington Peak (at 4,235 feet, it's Vermont's second highest summit after Mount Mansfield).
Before the big hump of the day, the route descends from Bear and tracks north, passing by two overlooks above VT-30 before heading northeast to the Clarendon shelter. Further east at the Clement shelter, thru-hikers must decide whether to call it a day or hunker down for the final (and steepest) 3.5 miles of the climb up Killington. After the steepest stretch up to Little Killington, the route traverses north across a saddle and arrives at a junction leading down to the Cooper Lodge. Drop your packs at the shelter and hike up the 300-foot, .5-mile out-and-back to the top of Killington (where expansive 360-degree views across the Green Mountains await). From the lodge, it’s a 7-mile downhill run to the end of the section at US 4.
Shelters: Minverva Hinchey, Clarendon, Clement, Cooper Lodge, Churchill Scott
-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: 35.3
Location: 43.4568786, -72.9327687
The Long Trail leaves from the right end of the parking lot on VT-140 (facing away from the road) and immediately begins a stiff, switchback climb up Bear Mountain (gaining 1,000 feet over the next 1.5 miles).
Location: 43.4643943, -72.9356252
Turn right to continue on the LT. A blue-blazed side trail continues straight.
Location: 43.4828989, -72.9275003
At the junction with the Lake Trail/Patch Hollow, continue straight on the Long Trail. Ahead, the route jogs left than right on and off a logging road.
Location: 43.4879803, -72.9252586
The LT passes a junction to the Minerva Hinchey shelter. Ahead the LT climbs a ridge above Spring Lake.
Location: 43.5111799, -72.9274178
The LT passes a westward overlook over an airport outside Rutland.
Location: 43.5167086, -72.9262787
Cross a dirt road; shortly ahead the LT crosses the Mill River and VT-103 before picking up a steep 600-foot climb to the Clarendon Lookout.
Location: 43.5241661, -72.9129638
The LT passes a junction to the Clarendon shelter. Heading east, the LT climbs 400 feet to the top of Beacon Hill, then continues east to cross Lottery Road.
Location: 43.5343299, -72.8736732
Cross a dirt road; shortly ahead the LT crosses a paved road (Cold River).
Location: 43.5407889, -72.8607818
Pass an overlook of the Gould Brook below. Shortly ahead the trail descends to and crosses the brook before following Sargent Brook up a mild grade. Note: the Gould Brook ford can be difficult in high water.
Location: 43.5501538, -72.8569476
Cross Upper Cold River Rd./VT-12.
Location: 43.5572235, -72.8526548
Cross Clement Shelter Rd; from here the LT continues uphill, paralleling the road en route the shelter proper. Before continuing past the shelter, consider that a 4-mile, 2,000-foot climb to Killington Mountain lies ahead.
Location: 43.5895176, -72.8171974
Pass the blue-blazed turn-off for Shrewsbury Peak and continue heading west, uphill (for another 300-feet) towards the summit of Little Killington.
Location: 43.6056114, -72.8224011
To continue downhill on the LT towards Cooper Lodge, bear left here. For an .5-mile out-and-back detour to the top of Killington Mountain, turn right.
Ahead the LT descends across the ridge saddle to Snowden Peak before continuing on below Rams Head as it follows contours to the northwest.
Location: 43.6335983, -72.8299397
At a saddle below Pico Peak, pass a turn-off for Pico Camp. Ahead the trail begins a steady 3-mile descent past the Churchill Scott shelter down to US-4.
Location: 43.6462328, -72.852882
Pass the Churchill Scott shelter.
Location: 43.6665695, -72.850057
Section 5 ends at US-4.
Killington Peak View
Location: 43.6046192, -72.820344
A misty view from the second highest peak in Vermont.
Descending to Patch Hollow
Location: 43.476286, -72.933704
The Long Trail on the way down from Bear Mountain.
Minerva Hinchey Shelter
Location: 43.4880153, -72.9247785
Gap in the Trees
Location: 43.511211, -72.9274607
A clearing in the tree cover affords a westward view worth pausing for.
Bob Bruggman Bridge
Location: 43.52124, -72.925217
Crossing the Mill River over a memorial bridge.
Location: 43.5255263, -72.9219675
Location: 43.5236126, -72.9126763
Governor Clement Shelter
Location: 43.5646426, -72.8483999
Heading up Little Killington
Location: 43.581774, -72.828018
Location: 43.606038, -72.822746