The Long Trail
The great grandfather of all long distance trails, the Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains through Vermont, from the Massachusetts state line to the Canadian border. The route served as the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail (and, as America’s first long-distance hiking trail, it predates it), and coincides with it for 100 miles in southern Vermont. Nearly 70 primitive shelters and tent sites spaced a day’s walk apart provide convenient overnights. Dogs are welcome on the trail.
“The Long Trail is like a tale of two trails,” says La Ruffa. “The southern half is in the Green Mountains, which are nice and rolling. The northern half is very rugged — 1 mile-per-hour kind of terrain. It’s steep, and mostly granite which gets really slippery, especially during wet weather.”
Time to Complete: 3-4 weeks
Terrain: Well-maintained hardwood forest paths that are strenuous in the north, and can get seriously muddy.
Best Segment You Can Do In a Day: Shelburne Pass to Pico Peak (6 miles round-trip). This incredibly scenic (and steep) hike climbs through the Green Mountains to a 3,957-foot peak.
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