View Full Version : VT section hike question

08-04-2014, 16:17
me and a friend are hitting VT next week for our annual summer section hike.

could anyone share some tips/recommendations/advice that we can't find in the Thru Hiker Companion?

08-04-2014, 16:21
The Whistlestop Cafe on Vt 103 has reopened. Not sure it's in this year's book. If you can arrange to stay at Minerva Hinchey the night before, it's an easy walk down to the road and west 0.5 miles for a terrific breakfast. Highly recommended.

Things that are in the book but I'll recommend anyway: Sutton's Place in Manchester Center, along with Up for Breakfast (not cheap but great local farm-to-table breakfast food, well prepared.) The Inn at Long Trail, duh.

08-04-2014, 16:36
Back in 2011 the Whistlestop was closed on Mondays. I don't know if that is still the case but might be worth checking into in case you think you might be there on a Monday. Otherwise, as mentioned, it is a great stop and it's good to hear they have re-opened.

08-04-2014, 16:56
thanks guys,

what about a place to camp (legally or illegally) near the top of stratton

08-04-2014, 17:22
How about camping right at the Stratton Pond shelter? It's a good shelter and you'll be right by the pond. Only about 4 miles from the peak of Stratton Mountain.

08-04-2014, 17:28
Not sure if this is in the companion or not, but when you are approaching Governor Clement shelter and hit the detour on Cold River Road, I'd highly suggest following it. Easy .8 miles on flat road and the alternative is coming out on the wrong side of a bridge washed out by hurricane Irene. Could be a little better with the decreased rain lately but last time I was there the water was very fast.

08-04-2014, 17:34
thanks guys,

what about a place to camp (legally or illegally) near the top of stratton

There is usually a caretaker there at the summit hut, full time in the summer months that may thwart that plan... Unless they no longer put someone there anymore.

08-04-2014, 18:16
just a heads up on the Whistle Stop. I checked their schedule and called them on a Wednesday. No answer. Their web site says they are closed on Wednesdays. VTer here.

08-04-2014, 18:36
If you go into Bennington, the Catamount Motel is very hiker friendly....avoid Autumn Inn (listed first in AWOL because they are closest to the trail).

08-04-2014, 19:22
Summit caretakers Hugh and Jean Joundry are on Stratton this summer. The Stratton gondola is undergoing an upgrade and won't be operational until the end of August.

In Gifford Woods State Park follow the yellow blazed Kent Brook Trail (trail east or compass southeasterly) to ford Kent Brook and reach the Greenbrier Inn Nature Trail on the other side of Kent Brook (yellow diamond blazes with a black arrow). This will lead to the Greenbrier Inn and bring you directly across the Killington Deli/P.O on Vt. 4 avoiding a road walk on Vt. 100 (total walk time from jct with KBT to Greenbrier Inn, about 20 minutes).

The store/P.O. in West Hartford is closed (up for sale asking $419,000) however, Steve "Capt. Stash" of the (4 houses north of the former store/P.O.) offers drinking water, camping & info.

08-04-2014, 19:47
Summit caretakers Hugh and Jean Joundry are on Stratton this summer. The Stratton gondola is undergoing an upgrade and won't be operational until the end of August.

Stratton pond is a heavily used area. As noted, there are caretakers at the summit of Stratton Mt. There is a large and very nice shelter near the pond and there are also tent sites near the pond. These sites also have a caretaker so there is a minimal fee. Please do not camp illegally in this area - or anywhere else for that matter. Obey the rules or stay home.

08-04-2014, 21:05
Hugh and Jeanne are there this summer -- I think it's close to their 40th anniversary at Stratton? It would be difficult to camp near the summit for lots of reasons. The Stratton Pond shelter is excellent and there are good campsites on the far side of the pond.

Stay at Story Spring shelter the night before, then it's an easy 10+ mile hike up an over Stratton and down to the pond for a swim in the afternoon. There are some great campsites near Story Spring -- look to the right of the shelter, past the privy, and keep looking past the first couple of obvious sites. There's also a great tent site at Kid Gore if you want a longer day going over Stratton.

We skipped the road walk detour and took the original AT/LT path on the advice of a local. It wasn't difficult to find the "closed" trail heading north (it's right there in front of you across the road, even with blacked out blazes) but sobo it's probably hard to find. There was no one working there when we crossed the large creek, and the water was fast but not quite knee deep, but I can see how trail workers or high water would make that a difficult crossing.

Great camp site in front of Gov. Clement Shelter, and good water there. We pulled up short that day instead of climbing Killington, as it was a Saturday and big crowds were expected at the top. So we got an early morning start on the climb and made it to the Inn for a late lunch - lovely day.

08-04-2014, 23:04
I second Jeff's advice on Bennington ... AVOID the Autumn Inn. I had a horrible experience there in Sept 2012, the place is dirtier than the worst AT or LT shelter you can imagine, along with it being a flop house for parolees, drug dealers, pimps and other miscreants. I checked in and checked out within 30 minutes after seeing how bad it was..... GMC needs to remove that dump from their E2E guide book. The Knotty Pine Motel is also a great place to stay in Bennington.

08-05-2014, 05:40
Great article about Hugh and Jeanne published in 2013:


08-05-2014, 06:02
What a great article!

08-05-2014, 06:59
Thank you, Jeff, for the article! It brings back great memories from my last time on Stratton. Jeanne invited me for tea and I felt in the presence of a saint. Hugh was napping. One of the things I learned was that Hugh is related to Dylan Thomas.

08-05-2014, 07:31
Thanks, Jeff! Jeanne showed me a print copy and I got a shot of the cover, but being able to read the whole story is a treat.

Josh D
08-06-2014, 21:55
If you feel the urge to spend the evening in a place that is way too clean for thru-hikers give Jeff a call at the Green Mountain house in Manchester Center. The best (and cleanest!) hostel on the AT.