View Full Version : best resupply locales: Long Trail

11-30-2015, 15:16
Hello everyone. Title pretty much says it all. Planning a month-long July 2016 with the whole family. (youngest is four, mpd expectations have been adjusted accordingly). In your opinion, what are the best resupply locales along TLT? Bonus points for accessibility without depending on the kindness of strangers.

Thanks and happy holidays :sun

11-30-2015, 17:13
Better practice you hitchhiking skills as all the towns are some distance off the trail and often down a narrow, twisty road which the locals like to fly along at 50+ mph. It's not a matter of where the best resupply points are, it's a matter of where the only resupply points are.

From S to N the usual resupply towns are

Manchester Center (home of the Green Mountain house hostel) Some go to Bennington, but that's only a day or two out from the state line.
Rutland (via $2 bus from Inn at the Long Trail)
Waitsfield (couple of pretty expensive B+Bs for lodging, good supermarket though)
Richmond (west on RT2, good supermarket)
Johnson (good supermarket, lodging at Nye's B+B in Jeffersonville) Then there is nothing until you finish.

I can't imagine how your going to get a 4 year old to do this trip, not if you want to do it in a month. The trail north of the Maine Junction (RT4) is extremely difficult and there are some rough spots even before you get that far. I think you need to leave the 4 year old home with Grandma or wait another 10 years to do this trip.

11-30-2015, 17:36
Well, I would assume you have an End to Enders or Long Trail Guide from http://www.greenmountainclub.org/
There is also this info online, follow links to resupply http://longtrailvermont.com/
There is this older (and maybe no longer accurate)archived post http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-57208.html

Resupply will require either caching a food drop, hitching, or long road walks.
Cell phone service is pretty spotty on the LT.

So you say that you've adjusted mpd expectations based on having a 4 year old hiking with you. That still comes out to 9 miles per day average for 30 days straight, without factoring in additional miles for access trails or time lost to resupply or weather - with a 4 year old on the LT?

I have to ask if you've hiked the LT before, especially the northern half? I took my children hiking when they were that age, and I wouldn't even consider 9 mpd on less difficult trails in the mid-Atlantic at that age. Half that distance would be more realistic on some parts of the LT. If you said an 8 year old, with hiking experience, my comments might be different.

11-30-2015, 21:02
There are a few bits of the LT -- mostly north of Rte. 4 -- that are simply not appropriate for a four year old, either on their own limbs (they'll need hands and feet) or on your back or shoulders.

Mountain Mike
11-30-2015, 21:13
If you detour down AT at ME Jct to Gifford Wood SP. They offer thru hikers discount rate. As a family it may be cheaper to get campsite or shelter. Plus they have showers there! !/2 mile away is large convience store/deli right next to PO. Also along bus route to Rutland. Thbut it is noisy with trucks climbing the hill from both directions.ere is free camping in the grass lot across from Inn At the Long Trail. Both option for camping where on parent could bus into town if needed.

11-30-2015, 21:26
Not a resupply but could lighten your load a bit if you do it right -- there's a cafe at the top of Jay peak that serves skier-grade food and I think beer as well.3283332832

11-30-2015, 22:10
TY everyone. I have hiked it before, post-college, pre-family. Took me just shy of three weeks. The youngster is a trouper but the person who mentioned it is right; four weeks may be a little optimistic. Fortunately we have some flexibility with the time line. I do have the end-to-end and LT guides.

Rafe: which parts are you concerned about not being appropriate? Admittedly it's been a few years but I was thinking if we take it slow and easy she'd be ok.

TY everyone for the thoughtful responses.

11-30-2015, 22:23
(I am also open to feedback about alternative routes if people think they are more preschool-friendly. Heh. Now I'm worried.)

11-30-2015, 23:00
I have people in Bennington and Rutland. I can probably cover your ride with some heads up.

11-30-2015, 23:51
Rafe: which parts are you concerned about not being appropriate? Admittedly it's been a few years but I was thinking if we take it slow and easy she'd be ok.

The descent off Mad River Glen. A section on the north slope of Camel's Hump. Just below the summit plateau of Mansfield, either end. "Devils Gulch", up near Eden.

12-01-2015, 10:23
Burnt Rock Mountain, there were some seriously scary parts coming down. Ladder Ravine. Most of the stretch from Battell to App Gap, lots of tricky rocky climbs and descents, some on ladders. The descent off Jay Peak in the pouring rain (and 40F temps -- the retaurant at the top was not open, and there were some seriously unhappy hikers). Mansfield. Any of the short, steep climbs up various cliffs, e.g., Whiteface Mountain. Moreso going down the other sides.

I don't think your 4 year old will die or anything (unless she falls off a cliff or a ladder, which could easily happen in a bunch of places). However, I don't think you'll make 5 miles per day with her, especially on the tougher stretches. We took our kid backpacking for the first time at age 4, and it was great, but there was no way she could have hiked the Long Trail, or made anything close to 9 miles per day for more than a day.

We met a mom and her eleven year old son doing an E2E, and he was doing very well, but they were dialed in on gear and mileage before the hike. So dialed in that it took us two or three weeks to catch them, even though they started only a few days ahead of us.

We have a logistics page here with the places we resupplied (https://longtrailhikejournal2014.wordpress.com/logistics/). Hitching was relatively easy in Vermont. Probably even easier with a family. You will absolutely need to hitch for all but a couple (Rutland, you can take the bus, and Johnson, if you stay at the B&B they will pick you up).

12-01-2015, 20:19
Heading north from North Adams, MA, my favorite resupply points were:

Bennington, VT
Manchester Center, VT
Waitsfield, VT
Jeffersonville, VT
Johnson, VT

there's other small towns that u can access from the trail....get the LT end to end guide and the LT map from GMC