View Full Version : Long Trail Logistics

08-13-2017, 20:40
The title is a word play on my trail name Logistics. I just completed my first long distance trail, the Long Trail in Vermont, 273 miles over 25 days. For me it was an amazing experience. It was also for me super challenging and it makes me even more impressed of those that hike the entire AT. I'm going to share a little about my trip in case anyone else is planning on hiking the LT and might find this information helpful. I'm not saying my way was the best but it worked for me.

1) I did the first week and about 75 miles with my boys, ages 15 and 13 and they seemed to really enjoy it. I was super pleased. The rest of the way I was on my own.

I broke the LT into 5 sections:

First leg about 56 miles from Massachusetts to Manchester Center (including Pine Cobble). I started with 4 days of food and mailed my resupply box and stayed at the Green Mountain House Hiker Hostel. As others have said on here it is a great place and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Second leg about 50 miles from Manchester Center to Killington/Rutland. Again 4 days of food and I had my next resupply box at the Inn at Long Trail. I was impressed with my stay here too and highly recommend it.

Third leg about 60 miles from Killington/Rutland to Waitsfield. For this leg I had 5 days of food and I had my next resupply box mailed to the Hyde Away Inn. I'm a broken record but I enjoyed my stay here as well.

Fourth leg about 60 miles from Waitsfield to Jeffersonville/Johnson. For this leg I also had 5 days of food and my next resupply box mailed to Nye's Green Valley Farm B&B. Once again I enjoyed my stay here.

Fifth leg about 50 miles from Jeffersonville/Johnson to Journey's End/North Troy. For this leg I had 4 days worth of food. I stayed at the North Troy Inn B&B. I believe it's the only game in town if you want to walk from Journey's End to a B&B. The Inn may appear a little ragged in places but Norm especially was super friendly and provided me a ride into Burlington. I don't see how you can beat that?

2) I actually enjoyed the train ride home. There is only one train that per day that heads south from St. Albans/Essex Jct-Burlington toward western Mass, CT, NY, DC. It's called the Vermonter. If for some reason you are splitting the trail in two, check out the Ethan Allen train into Rutland. Anyway I was lucky and got a ride to Essex Junction from Norm at the North Troy Inn B&B because he happened to be working that day. If he isn't working then all you need to do is find a way to the next town over Richford and take the 116 M-F commuter bus to St. Albans. I learned about this bus on whiteblaze and confirmed it myself by calling Green Mountain Transit. I didn't end up taking the bus but nice to know it's there. If Norm didn't have to go to Burlington he told me that he could have given me a ride over to Richford in time to catch the bus. I'm not saying that he'd do that every time but it's certainly something you can ask about if you are considering between the North Troy Inn and The Crossing in Richford.

3) Taking the kids out of the equation, I spent roughly $1000 over the course of the 25 days. I spent about $230 on eating out. That includes a few of Vermont's very fine beers too! I spent about $40 in additional groceries/canister fuel (a ben & jerry's pint or gatorade etc) and about $50 in UPS to mail my resupply boxes. I spent about $350 in hostel/B&B stays (2 nights at Manchester Green Mountain House, 1 night at Inn at Long Trail, 2 nights at Hyde Away Inn, 1 night at Nye Farm and 1 night at North Troy Inn). I spent the zero day at Manchester Green Mountain House because my feet got pretty beat up the first few days on the trail and I wanted to give them a day off. I also took a zero day at Hyde Away Inn to avoid hiking on a day when it rained heavily all day. My lodging spend also includes $10 for when I stayed at Butler Lodge and Montclair Glen Lodge ($5 each). I spent roughly $150 on getting home to NJ via Amtrak (I didn't order my ticket ahead of time since I wasn't sure when I'd finish) and $150 on new hiking shoes (the ones I started the trail were relatively old and sprung a hole after about 200 miles so I had my wife order me new ones and she had them shipped to my next town stop).

4) The Long Trail map was awesome. I only wish it listed water sources more clearly. I also had an older version of the Long Trail guide and it was fun to read about the upcoming day while in my tent. I also bought the 2017 end-to-ender's guide. It's ok but it wasn't perfect. For example in Manchester Center it listed a Friendly's that closed years ago and it didn't list Cilantro a great and cheap burrito place. It also didn't list where you could get a fuel canister and other hiking supplies at Johnson Farm & Garden center which is less than a 1/4 mile from the LT and an easy walk the opposite way down a bike path in Jeffersonville/Johnson, VT just before you reach VT-15.

5) A couple of my favorite nights on the trail I was in my tent no where near an official shelter but instead near a warming hut. If the weather is nice I highly recommend the top of the Sugarbush castlerock chairlift between Mt Ellen and Mt. Lincoln. There is even a water source about .1 mile north of the warming hut. I also stayed in my tent at Madonna peak. I had to haul my water up but the views at sunset and sunrise made it well worth it. Don't over look camping near a ski resort warming hut is my point here. Of all the lodges I saw my favorite was Butler Lodge but Skyline Lodge looked nice too. Of my 18 nights on the trail, I was in my tent for 15 nights, one night at Butler Lodge, one night at Montclair Glen Lodge and one night in Buchanan shelter.

6) If you are staying at the Inn at Long Trail take the Sherburne pass trail i.e. the old LT. I might share my experience here in a separate thread.

7) I thought my resupply worked really well for me (although I always seemed to end with a little too many snacks but I'd rather be safe than sorry in that department). I prepared all my dinners before hand, using a dehydrator so all I had to do was freezer-bag cook on the trail. Again perhaps a subject for a different thread.

If you are on the fence about trying a long distance hike I encourage you to give the Long Trail a try. You can do it in under a month even with a couple of zero days and even though it's very challenging for some long stretches, it makes the completion all the more rewarding. It's true that it gets more desolate north of Maine junction but I still met a lot of great LT hikers. Thank you to them, thank you to the GMC caretakers and organization for maintaining the trail and thank you to whiteblaze for all the helpful advice I've received on this website!

08-13-2017, 20:59
Thanks for the great "logistics" info!

Sent from my VS986 using Tapatalk

08-13-2017, 23:00
How did that 12-14 mile pace work out?

08-14-2017, 13:36
How did that 12-14 mile pace work out?
Thanks LDog!

Allddownhillfromhere, the pace worked out for me. You are correct, I usually tried to aim for about that 12-14 miles per day. At the start it was a full days worth of effort (i.e. usually hiking by 8:30am and finishing around 5-6pm, with plenty of short breaks). By the time I got to the harder sections I was in better shape but the trail was harder so my mileage stayed about the same. I did do two 17 mile days and that was a little longer then I liked.

If anyone wants more details I did a trail journal. I wrote it for myself but I don't mind sharing. www.trailjournals.com/somers515 or just search for Logistics.

08-14-2017, 16:40
Thanks for the post here and the link to the journal. Enjoyed reading both thoroughly, but especially appreciated the detailed water supply notes in your journal :)