Ask a Thru-Hiker: I Want to Hike a Long Trail, But I Have a Family
Going on a long hike is complicated under the best of circumstances—but kids and a partner open up a whole new world of challenges.
The Long Trail is a 272-mile long-distance hiking path in Vermont, which runs the length of the state. It is the oldest long-distance backpacking trail in the United States, finished in 1930 by the Green Mountain Club.
The trail begins on the Massachusetts border, and coincides with the Appalachian Trail for 100 miles, until the two trails split at the Maine Junction, near Killington, VT. The Long Trail summits most of the prominent peaks in the Green Mountain range, including Killington Peak, Camel’s Hump, and Vermont’s high point, Mount Mansfield. The trail reaches its northern terminus at the Canadian border, near North Troy, VT.
In spring, the Long 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.
The Green Mountain Club still maintains most of the Long Trail, and receives assistance from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and private landowners.
Some hikers attempt to complete the Long Trail in one continuous trip, an activity known as thru-hiking. Depending on mileage, a thru-hike normally takes two to four weeks.