Twig Adventures

Long Trail of Vermont 2020

I thru-hiked the Long Trail of Vermont, starting at the Canadian border on September 23, 2020 and finishing atop Mount Greylock, MA on October 9th, 2020. Scroll to the bottom for links to all my daily blogs. Here are a few stats from my hike:

Total Miles: roughly 300 (including town miles and extra miles to the top of Greylock)
Days: 17
Nero days:  2 (no zeros)
Average daily mileage: 17 mi/day
Most miles hiked in one day: 28.5
Fewest miles hiked in one day: 2.4
High Point: Mt. Mansfield 4393′
Low Point: Winooski River/Rt 2/I-89 near Bolton VA, 325′
Nights I slept in my tent: 9
Nights I slept in a shelter: 4
Campfires: 5
Days of Rain: 3
Times I Wished I Carried a weapon or Bear Spray: 0

Trail Town & Resupply Stats:
Trail Towns/Resupply Stops: 4…Stowe, Waitsfield, Inn at Long Trail (Rutland), Bennington.
Nights spent in a hotel / B&B: 3 (Waitsfield Inn, Inn at Long Trail, Catamount Motel)
Nights hosted by family/friends: 7 (before & after the hike)
Rides from Trail Angels / hitches: 5 / 4
Resupply boxes: 1 package left at the Inn at Long Trail prior to starting the trail
Longest gap between resupplies: 4 days (Inn at Long Trail to Bennington, 74 miles)
Most days between showering/laundry: 6

LT Introduction & Pre-planning
LT Day 1: Journey’s End
LT Day 2: Humbling
LT Day 3: Back in the game
LT Day 4: Ski areas, quaint villages, mountain lodges
LT Day 5: The Top of Vermont
LT Day 6: Over the Camel’s Hump
LT Day 7: Quintessential Waitsfield
LT Day 8: Stark’s Nest
LT Day 9: Monroe Skyline
LT Day 10: Wilderness
LT Day 11: Meeting the Appalachian Trail
LT Day 12: Killington & Firewood Angel
LT Day 13: Rock Gardens
LT Day 14: The Biggest Day
LT Day 15: Stormy Bennington
LT Day 16: Harmon Hill & the LT Finish
LT Day 17: Mount Greylock

When I registered my End-to-Ender hike with the Green Mountain Club, the application asked a few questions. I figured I’d post my answers here:

What was your most memorable experience while hiking the Long Trail?

Every day was memorable. I kept a daily journal, later posting each entry to my blog. In reviewing these, I still can’t pick one day as being better or more memorable than all the others. A couple images that stick in my mind: a swim in Ritterbush pond, taking a break at a Farm Stand in the Lamoille Valley, humping and huffing over so many steep mountains like Mansfield and Camel’s Hump, a dip in the Winooski river followed by a peaceful farm walk, and countless hours marveling at the fall colors.

What was your favorite stretch on the Long Trail?

Again, it’s too hard to pick just one. There were many wonderful stretches. This also has so much to do with the weather and other conditions. One person’s sunny, beautiful ridgewalk can also be another’s worst nightmare in the rain, wind and snow. But I can confidently say that my least favorite stretch was going up Haystack mountain and along the ridge to Mt Belvidere. This mostly had to do with it being my second day, when I was most tired and sore. But also the trail was pretty rough through there.

What does being a Long Trail end-to-ender mean to you?

I completed many other long distance trails prior to the Long Trail and even still, I was presented with some new challenges. The Long Trail consisted of some of the hardest sustained hiking I’ve done. I liken it to the hardest parts of the CDT and New Zealand’s Te Araroa. This was also the first long distance trail I’ve completed since losing my father to cancer in 2020. He died less than 3 months prior to my hike. The trail allotted me a beautiful space to process my grief, helping me to heal. My last day, standing on top Harmon Hill (almost the same spelling as my last name), I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and connection. I will always be thankful for this experience.