View Full Version : Info needed for my first LT hike

08-22-2008, 18:45
Hello. My name is Darwin. I hope that you're doing well.
I'm planning to hike the Long Trail this coming fall. I have a number of questions that I was wondering if you could help me with. I e-mailed the Green Mountain Club a couple of times, but I haven't heard back from them.

-I'm planning to do it on the last week of September and the first week of October hiking north to south. Will this be a good time to catch the fall colors?
-I'm planning to do the full 272 miles of the LT. Is there a safe place for me to leave my car at the southern terminus of the trail for around 2 weeks?
-Where could I find someone to shuttle me from the southern terminus (from where my car would be parked) to the northern terminus?
-Where could I leave my second week of food so that I could pick it up on my way south? I'm hoping to leave it at a place that's not far from the trail and where I could pick it up any day and anytime between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. (I don't know if that's realistic or not.)
-I have your 26th edition of your Long Trail Guide and your 16th edition of your End-To-Ender's Guide. Are these still up-to-date enough?
-Is hiking north to south a good direction for the LT at this time of the year?

If you're able to help me, please e-mail me at the below e-mail address.
Thank you for your help. Take care.

[email protected] ([email protected])

08-22-2008, 20:41
To answer some of your questions:

September is a great time to hike the LT. Just be prepared for any kind of weather. If it gets wet out, it will likely be cold too.

Where to park the car? North Adams most likely. Try the police department. Often they will let people park in thier lot for an extended period of time. How to get to the Nothern terminus? Most likely by paying someone a lot of money.

I would resupply along the way. There are pleanty of places to do so not too far off the trail. Trying to carry 2 weeks worth of food at a time is plain silly.

The LT doesn't change much year to year or decade to decade, so your guides are likely close enough. Though, I did the Canadian boarder to RT 2 a few years ago with an old guide book and they moved a shelter on me. Confused the heck out of me, as I had been there before and knew where it should have been and spent a considerable amount of time as it was getting dark trying to figure out where I went wrong. Turns out it was moved 1.5 miles south to the top of a hill! Much better view than the old one which was down in a hole, but I wasn't happy that day.

The only problem with going north to south on the LT, anytime of year, is that the top 50 miles or so (down to RT 2), is some really, really hard hiking. Unless your in tip-top shape to start out with, just going shelter to shelter (5-7 miles on the average) might be all you can do in a day. And do some it by headlamp! I'm not kidding! The good thing is that the middle section of the state is pretty easy and once you get past Camels Hump, you can start to make good time.

Good luck and enjoy the hike!

08-22-2008, 20:54
Well i think we are going to have a early fall i saw the trees starting to turn color all ready

08-22-2008, 21:02
I just realised you want to hike the whole LT in 2 weeks! You better be in really, really good shape! 3 weeks is more realistic.

08-23-2008, 09:20
I agree that two weeks, or 20 mile days every day is going to be a stretch, even if you are in good shape... 17 or 18 days may be a bit more realistic. Even the flat portions of the LT are not flat and the rocks and roots are difficult to describe.

That time of year should be excellent for hiking the LT and you'll probably hit the peak foilage. The temperatures in the higher elevations in the north should get below freezing at night.

If you are going to try to do only one resupply, the mid-point is Middlebury Gap (Vt 125). This is a lightly traveled road. I got a ride into Hancock OK, then spent and hour and a half getting back out. There is a hotel there (Old Hancock Hotel) that might hold your resupply, or the Post Office is just down the road.

You might check on a weekday to see if the schedule for the Addison County Transport Resources is still in effect. If so, you may be able to take one of their free shuttles into Middlebury and resupply or pick up a resupply box there. Check out THIS (http://www.actr-vt.org/bus_schedules/snow_bowl.php) link.

The only Post Office right on your path is the one at Jonesville, but that's only 90 miles from the start.

As far as a shuttle. I should be back from vacation before you start and you could leave your car at my house after we use it to shuttle you to the border. I'll drive it back and then pick you up at the southern end when you arrive. I'm about 15 or 20 minutes from the southern access in Williamstown, or North Adams if you decide to finish on the AT instead of the Pine Cobble Trail.

08-23-2008, 09:25
You can leave your car at the Greylock Community Club in North Adams. Their only requirement is that you register with them and they'll tell you where to park. There's no charge and the police patrol the lot. Call them at 413-664-9020.

If you only intend to re-supply once, try the HydeAway Inn which is a bit north of the middle, accessed from Appalachian Gap/ Rt. 17. The only caveat is that as of last year, it was up for sale so I don't know if it still exists as a hiker-friendly facility. Their number is 800-777-HYDE.

A complete end-to-end shuttle will be very expensive. You can take a series of buses from Bennington to Burlington if you have the time. From another recent thread, I provided these links:

Manchester to Rutland: http://www.thebus.com/routes/rt7commuter.htm
This covers 50 miles of the AT/LT from Rt. 30 to Rt. 4.

Bennington to Manchester: http://www.greenmtncn.org/schedule.html
This covers 40 miles from Rt. 9 to Rt. 30.

Rutland to Burlington is available via Vermont Transit - you can google to find the specifics.

Now I don't mean to second guess you; another poster a few months ago was insulted when some of us questioned his hiking pace. But averaging nearly 20 miles per day is quite rigorous and keep in mind, you'll have less daylight in late Sept. and early October.

I thruhiked the LT last year - read about it here (http://www.trailjournals.com/cookerhikerlt07/). It took considerably longer than 2 weeks.

Hope it goes well - that's a fabulous time to hike!

08-24-2008, 17:43
As far as I know, Middlebury Gap is closed due to flooding. The trailhead is not accessible by car. I don't know when it will reopen but you can check the transportation dept.'s website:


08-24-2008, 19:36
As far as I know, Middlebury Gap is closed due to flooding. The trailhead is not accessible by car. I don't know when it will reopen but you can check the transportation dept.'s website:

I checked the link and several other sources that I know of but can't see any problem at all in that area. I also called Hancock and was told that there was no problem. The Trailhead crosses Vt 125 at an elevation of 2144' so it's highly unlikely that it can be under water, and the road and valleys on both sides appear to be OK according to a local in Hancock.

Landshark... You were correct that there is a problem in the Middlebury direction for a partially washed out bridge. I had asked someone from Hancock and he said that there wasn't a problem between there and the trail head. I would have though that he's have mentioned the problem in the other direction.