View Full Version : North Troy to St. Albans VT

05-03-2015, 20:14
Anyone have any updates on means of getting from the northern terminus? I will be hiking in August and live in DC. Thankfully there is a bus from DC to the southern start and a train from St. Albans to DC which is an hour 15 minute car ride from North Troy. I have heard that the bed and breakfast in North Troy may take you to Burlington for a fee, but has anyone else tried getting to St. Albans or have any recommendations? I've been looking at VT's bus system and it doesn't seem helpful.

Lone Wolf
05-03-2015, 20:22
hitching is your best bet.

05-04-2015, 15:10
We did this. We finished at the border, walked the trail back south a couple of miles to a "major" road, and hitched west to the small town of Richford. There is a hotel there, and a 5:00am commuter bus to St Albans. Easy fast and cheap :). Details in our journal:


There is a section on logistics. PM me if you want more details.

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05-04-2015, 17:33
Just fyi.. the northern terminus of the LT is pretty out there. I went sobo and started there. Let me say that when you reach the northern terminus and plan on getting off the trail right there well it's still a few miles down journey's end trail and past the camp. The trail head to journey's end camp is a very quiet, woodsy road. Not many houses out there. You have a pretty decent walk until you would exit the trail head road and then another mile or so to North Troy. It's going to take a while to get from the northern terminus to north troy so plan accordingly. Then, from what I saw, North Troy is a pretty small town. Not much amenities and fairly quiet.

Definitely come up with a plan beforehand if no one will pick you up.

05-04-2015, 17:57
Yeah, agreed. We backtracked to VT 105, and waited at least 30 min for a ride. Not a lot of traffic. But it's doable without that much trouble.

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05-04-2015, 19:00
The owner's husband works in Burlington. He leaves about 3:00am every morning. If you get up in time he may give you a lift to Burlington.

05-04-2015, 23:57
That was an option I was thinking of (105). Thank you for the info. Any pointers for the LT for a 30 yr old whose longest hikes are 30-40 miles?

05-05-2015, 16:37
That was an option I was thinking of (105). Thank you for the info. Any pointers for the LT for a 30 yr old whose longest hikes are 30-40 miles?

Just be aware that the northern end will kick your rear.

05-05-2015, 17:35
IMHO, nobo would be harder than sobo. I have only done a sobo hike and was glad I did... everyone I met finishing up a nobo hike in the north was cursing the trail lol. Most were just done with it. Nobo gets harder and harder till the very end. And that last section you'll probably be a little worn out and ready for a few days rest, but nope, the trail keeps coming at you hard.

It can also be very lonely up in the north. You may not see anybody for a day or two. That paired with rough terrain and only your 2nd personality to talk to... gets to ya lol. It's rewarding to finish the LT though.

Even if your healthy (I was 23, athletic, and hiked a bunch before my end to end), the trail is so rocky, rooty, muddy, and never flat that your joints, knees, ankles, feet,...everywhere takes a beating, especially in the north.

I highly recommend taking some Turmeric every night to help aid in recovery. Multiple days on rough terrain beats up your body no matter who you are.

oh... and pack light!

The LT map is really all you need. The trail is well marked, but it's a good resource if taken the trail day by day. If I were to do it again, I would plan my resupplies and write down important phone numbers and my own information to towns. The End to Ender's guide was one of the least pieces of equipment I used. I used it, cause I had it. Knowing what I know now, I really would only need a few phone numbers out of it and those are readily available on the internet.

Let us know your gear list and start date with itinerary when you have it all together. I'm sure a lot of us could shed some good insight.

05-05-2015, 18:10
That was an option I was thinking of (105). Thank you for the info. Any pointers for the LT for a 30 yr old whose longest hikes are 30-40 miles?

105 worked out fine. We had Amtrak tickets from St Albans, and getting there proved to be pretty simple, actually.

Pointers? Hmm. We hitched into Waterbury, about the halfway point I guess, with a guy who works for the GMC. He told us that the Long Trail is a race to see if you will finish before your body breaks down. Huh, thanks buddy. I came home with a stress fracture in one foot and a persistent degenerative issue in the other ankle - finally went last weekend for my first hiking trip in ten months after a lot of PT.

So go lite, of course. It's easy on the LT in the summer - weather is generally good, not too hot, not too cold. Very wet at times, some years. Keep your mileage expectations down a bit -- looking at the map it's easy to think, "Oh, that's just a couple of hours" and it turns out to be most of the day. We were told to expect less than 10 mpd in the northern section -- we averaged about 12, including some fairly long days, but the hiking took every bit of 12 hours each day and totally kicked our butts. The treadway is not well maintained, there are no switchbacks, the trail is extremely eroded in many places, and up north the trees are growing into each other across the trail. Much of the trail is a rock scramble -- if you get to a spot where you lose the trail, just look up (or down) at the steepest avalanche chute you can find, and 90% of the time you'll see a blaze at the top (or bottom). OK, yeah, I'm exaggerating, but not by much. :) In all seriousness, the same effort that gets us 18-20 miles on the AT in the South got us 12-13 miles on the LT.

Resupply was really easy. Hitching in VT is simple and usually pretty quick, at least with VT residents (the many big SUVs with NY plates aren't stopping for hiker trash). The major resupply towns have good grocery stores (we stopped at Manchester Center, Rutland, Waitsfield, Waterbury, Johnson, but there are plenty of other choices), and we only carried at most 4-5 days at a time.

It was not as remote or uncrowded as I expected - we saw other hikers every day, and only had one shelter to ourselves the whole trip. It did start to feel remote the last 50 miles in the north, though. I wish we had some views from Jay Peak, but it was socked in (torrential rains and 45-F temps, not fun), as it would have been nice to see into Canada.

We spent a lot of money - it was our vacation, and we are lucky enough to have it to spend. We stayed at B&Bs in each town, had a lot of great Vermont farm to table food and amazing craft beer, replaced some gear along the way, and ate very well on the trail.

I have to agree with fastfox, we were cursing the trail, and long before the end. I think we found a powerful motivation to finish just to spite the evil minions who "maintain" the Long Trail. But looking back it was a great experience. This was our longest hike as a couple, and we're already planning the next one.

Good luck, take it easy, and enjoy the experience.

05-05-2015, 20:31
Speaking as one of those evil minions, just imagine the trail if we weren't there to "improve" it!

I think when I retire I'm going to buy a van, stock it with goodies, and start a hiker shuttle service.

05-05-2015, 20:39
I was originally debating SOBO, but thought it might be hard to get from St. Albans to the trail head. Also, (and correct me if this is poor thinking) I am leaning towards NOBO to get my hiking legs on flatter trail before I tackled the harder north.

Hopefully I can have a 20lb pack for this.

bamboo bob
05-05-2015, 21:20
I walked into North Troy and got Anywhere Taxi. he will take you where ever you want to go. He drove us all the way home to southern Vermont.

05-05-2015, 21:41
Speaking as one of those evil minions, just imagine the trail if we weren't there to "improve" it!

I think when I retire I'm going to buy a van, stock it with goodies, and start a hiker shuttle service.

Oh, yeah, I'm just being snarky and sarcastic. One of my few talents. :) The trail was extremely difficult in places -- some of those places were just how the trail is, no biggie, and some could use a fair amount of work (extreme washouts where everything is eroding away).

The shuttle things sounds like a fun retirement, actually.