2020 was a bust for many thru-hiking plans, including my own for the Appalachian Trail. By late summer, I reasoned that if I couldn’t hike the whole AT, 100 miles of it was better than nothing. This is the part it shares with the Long Trail (LT).
The LT is 273 miles, running the length of the Green Mountains from the Canadian border to Massachusetts. It was the first long distance, continuous footpath that was purposely designed. Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 – 1930, it later became the inspiration for the AT. In following, the AT incorporated 100 miles of the LT as it was routed through Vermont (much like how the CDT and CT ‘share’ sections of trail). Given its unique and long-standing heritage, thru-hikers of the LT are more traditionally referred to as “End-to-Enders”.
Thru-hiking the LT was like experiencing a shorter version of the AT. I’d go further to say that it’s like hiking the most difficult parts of the AT in New England. Summed up on the LT website, “hikers encounter the best natural features Vermont has to offer, including pristine ponds, alpine sedge, hardwood forests, and swift streams. It’s easy in few sections and rugged in most. Steep inclines and plenty of mud present hikers with ample challenges.”
I intentionally planned this hike to take advantage of ideal fall conditions and peak foliage colors, starting at the Canadian border and working south. Once a SOBO, always a SOBO. I began the trip by flying direct from Fort Lauderdale to Cleveland OH so that I could meet with Tom, whose family connections in the Vermont area solved many of the complicated logistics in times of COVID. The next day, we drove 10 hours to upstate Vermont, where we stayed with his cousin’s family overnight.
I wrote blogs for this trip while on the trail but didn’t post in real-time, given the brevity of the hike. Cheers and enjoy!