How to Hike the Long Trail

The Long Trail is a hiking trail that stretches from Waterbury, Vermont, to Whiteface Mountain in New York. It’s known for being the most beautiful hike trail in the country. And it offers solitude and serenity at every turn. One reason why it’s so popular is because it spans over 100 miles through some of the most rugged terrain you’ll find anywhere on earth. But if you’re thinking about hitting up this trail soon, here are some things that might help:

Way to Hike the Long Trail

A Short Guide to Vermont’s Long Trail

The Long Trail is a long trail that stretches from Vermont to the Canadian border. It divides into two sections. The northern section (which ends at Killington Ski Resort) and the southern section (which ends in Georgia).

The best way to hike this trail is by car or on foot, depending on how much time you want to spend hiking each day. If you’re planning on driving partway through your trip and parking for most of your hikes. Then I’d recommend using an SUV or van as opposed to a compact car. It’ll be easier for carrying heavy gear like tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks!

If you’re planning on hiking all 450 miles during one trip, then here are some tips that will help keep things organized:

Quick Facts

The Long Trail is a 3,100-mile footpath that runs from Maine to Georgia. It connects the Appalachian Mountains and the Adirondack Mountains, passing through more than 30 counties in New York and Vermont.

The trail was originally developed for recreational use in 1932 and has been open for hikers ever since. The first section of the trail opened in 1936. It ran from Monson to Grafton before being expanded into its current form in 1938 with additional sections added as time went on (for example, one segment between Franconia Notch and Sugarloaf Mountain was completed in 1972).

The Long Trail Association reports that there are currently over 1 million miles of maintained trails open for public use on this system alone!


Permits are required for overnight use of the Long Trail. There are two options: a self-issued permit or a permit from the Green Mountain Club.

A self-issued permit costs $5 and can be obtained at most trailheads. The Green Mountain Club charges an additional fee, which varies depending on how far you plan to hike and when you plan to start your trip. But it’s still less than what you’d pay for an annual membership.

Northbound (NOBO) vs. Southbound (SOBO)

The best way to decide whether or not you should go NOBO or SOBO is by looking at where you live and what kind of trail experience you want to have. If you live in New England or Canada, or somewhere where there are lots of mountains nearby. Then going NOBO would be ideal because it will take longer, but once done. It will feel like an accomplishment since this part of New England has so much history behind it!

Transportation to Trailheads

To hike the Long Trail in Vermont, fly into Burlington, VT. You can rent a car or take public transportation to drive yourself to your trailhead—it’s up to you! To reach Albany, NY, and take Amtrak there. However, if you choose this route, it will cost more money than taking a rental car since an Amtrak ticket is usually more expensive than renting one. Once in Albany, make sure that your boarding pass has been validated before boarding trains because some stations. Do not validate them and will force travelers back into their cars after trying unsuccessfully to board trains with invalid tickets.

Once aboard, the train ride lasts approximately three hours. Once arriving at Rutland Station, where Long Trail begins its trek northward towards Green Mountain National Forest near Lake Champlain and Lake George. Many hikers stay during their hike along this trail system. Which is comprised mostly of forested land except for some farmlands here and there along its route through towns such as Bennington, VT, then onto Charlotte, VT. Before finally reaching Alderford, VT, where campers set up tents overnight before beginning their journey again tomorrow morning! “

Planning your itinerary

Planning your itinerary is one of the most important aspects of hiking the Long Trail. You want to know what to pack and plan the course before you leave home. You’ll need to know how much food and water you’ll need. Where there are resupply points and how far you can go without a resupply, as well as what to do if you get lost or injured. You may want to print this out and take it with you on your trek!

  • Plan Your Route

The best way to get an accurate idea of how long it will take for you to hike is by planning out each day’s distance (in miles). Make sure that all of your stops are within reasonable proximity of each othe. If not physically, then at least mentally! This way, when it comes time for lunch or dinner in town. There will be no confusion in finding nearby places without driving too much off-road during the day’s walk. Plan your food and water supply. Plan your resupply points.

Long Trail Shelters, Campsites, & Privies

You can sleep in shelters for free. You must have a permit, though, to use them. Here’s how:

  • Shelters are usually marked by signs or flags with “Shelter” written on them. If you’re hiking a long trail and you see a shelter nearby. Choose an accommodation that looks like a good place to camp. Because when they get there, they will be empty and dry. If there is no sign or flag in front (or if the shelter is closed). Keep walking until you find another one with a door or window open. Don’t worry about whether or not it has firewood; most of these places don’t provide any for overnight guests anyway!
  • To enter the sleeping spot of your choice, follow whoever is using it until they leave. Wait until it’s dark, and then sneak into a locked door or window. While others sleep soundly without knowing what’s going on around them…

Resupply Points

There are a few places to resupply on the Long Trail. The first thing you need to know is that there is no set refueling point. But there are different points They are about 10-15 miles apart. The second thing you need to know is that many of these places have food and/or snacks available for purchase by non-travelers who have traveled far enough for a hike or trip. Down the river!

The best way for hikers who don’t want to spend too much on food or fuel is to shop in local towns along the route.


Water is a major concern on the Long Trail. You’ll need to be prepared for any number of things:

  • Impending dehydration, heat exhaustion, and sunstroke
  • Poisonous snakes, spiders, and insects
  • Falling rocks or slippery rocks (especially if you’re hiking in winter)

Bears and food storage

Bears are common in Vermont. They can be found throughout the Green Mountain National Forest and White Mountain National Forest. That are always on the lookout for food. The bear is also smart enough to understand how to get into your car if you leave it unlocked. Therefore, it is best to avoid leaving food or drink out in the open in your tent.

If you do need some snacks while hiking through bear country, there are several ways to store them:

  • Hanging them from trees (see below)
  • Storing them in a bear canister (see below)


bug spray

Before you start hike your trail, be sure to pack some bug spray. While the long trail is a beautiful and serene place, it’s also crawling with many kinds of insects. Pack at least two bottles of spray in your daypack and keep one in the car if you have one.

In addition to wearing bug repellent when hike on the long trail, consider wearing long sleeves or pants that cover your legs up to mid-calf as well as tucking your pants into socks. So, they don’t ride up while walking through tall grasses or shrubbery. Wear protective gear such as hats, bandanas, and/or head nets for sun protection during hot summer days. If possible, bring along an extra hat just in case!

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace is a cornerstone of responsible hiking. It’s not just about picking up trash, but about respecting the environment and minimizing your impact on it. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Pack it in, pack it out—the only thing worse than leaving trash behind is having to pick it up later.
  • Don’t cut switchbacks—switchbacks can be used by hikers and horseback riders, but not if they’re cleared by removing vegetation or rocks that might otherwise slow you down.
  • Don’t move rocks or branches—it’s easy to accidentally kick one over when hiking through brushy areas, which would damage plants below them (and possibly injure yourself).

Become a member of the Green Mountain Club.

If you’re not a member of the Green Mountain Club, consider joining. It’s free to join, and once you become a member, the benefits are endless.

The GMC offers many programs and events that can help make your trip more enjoyable. For example, they have volunteer opportunities for those who want to help maintain trails at their Vermont headquarters. They also offer guided hikes as well as educational classes on general and specific area hikes along long trails.

Backpacking Gear

Consider the following:

  • Waterproof backpack. A good waterproof bag will keep your stuff dry. even in the rain or snow. In addition to keeping your gear dry. It also helps prevent blisters and rashes by protecting you from rubbing against the back of the bag while hiking on uneven terrain.
  • Sleeping bag, duvet, or sack combo: These options work great together because they’re both small enough to fit inside. It’s also warm enough for freezing temperatures. if you intend to spend time outdoors during the winter. Make sure whichever sleeping system you choose is rated to operate in temperatures as low as the mid-20s Fahrenheit!
  • Tent: This should be a matter of personal preference—some people prefer less space when camping than others do. If this sounds like something worth considering before purchasing a tent, then go ahead and get one of those too! If not, then don’t worry about getting one yet. You’ll probably want one anyway once winter roll around again so keep reading anyway 🙂

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you prepare for your adventure on the Long Trail! If you’re interested in learning more about the trail and what it has to offer. Check out The Long Trail website or follow them on Facebook.

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