View Full Version : Long Trail Mid May

04-21-2009, 12:14
Hello just wondering about conditions on the Long Trail in mid may. Im involved with a leadership class at Unity College and there would be 10 of us hiking, ive heard that mud conditions can be pretty bad this time of year and trail impact could be bad with a large group such as ours. any feedback its helpful.

We where thinking of doing a few days of paddeling on the mad river then on to do some backpacking, if long trail isnt good any other suggestions around the area? again any information is helpful

04-21-2009, 13:36
This is mud season in VT and the state closes trails from April 15 Memorial Day Weekend:
"Please help protect state lands and trails by avoiding muddy trails! You may not know it, but trails and vegetation are super vulnerable during mud season and hiking on them during this time can cause irreversible damage by compacting soils and surrounding vegetation which accelerates erosion and the need for maintenance.

High elevation trails are especially vulnerable during this time and take considerably longer to dry than lower elevation trails, so the state closes high elevation trails from April 15 Memorial Day Weekend."
They list trails that are usually OK for mud season, but I think these are short day hikes.
Do it at another time or go further south.

04-21-2009, 13:42
I agree that taking a group on the Long Trail during trail closure season would set a real bad example. If you want to hike in VT, would it be worth considering hiking on some of the regional rail trails, they should be well drained and have a reasonable base for hiking. I dont know if they are set up for overnights. There is a long one that runs east west way up north and one in the Montpelier area, and one in the Burlington area.

04-26-2009, 11:59
The warnings are for the sensitive peaks and alpine zones, not for the whole trail. This spring has been unusually dry, so the mud season effect is not really a problem this year. On the logging roads around Laraway Mt it was drier than mid August and the fire danger is up.

That could change with a wet couple days though.

04-26-2009, 17:02
Mid May in most years will mean a couple of feet of snow in much of the upper elevations, particularly well shaded areas. I encountered over 2' of snow above 3300' on Glastenbury May 7th and 8th in 2007 and during the past few days met nearly impossible conditions north of Bromley. Going up Bromley there were only small amounts of snow, but immediately beyond it was thigh to hip deep post holing most of the time for any locations above 2500'... the higher, the worse it got.

The restrictions are mainly, but not entirely, aimed at the alpine regions of the LT. The link posted above by Snowleopard and also the Green Mountain Club site describes them fairly well.

neighbor dave
04-26-2009, 18:51
This is mud season in VT and the state closes trails from April 15 Memorial Day Weekend:
"Please help protect state lands and trails by avoiding muddy trails
funny stuff, if the ground is void of snow it's mud season, which would keep you off the trail from may till nov. that's one muddy, waterlogged trail.

04-26-2009, 21:20
Yes it's mud season, although many will ignore the warnings and hike on closed portions of the trail anyway. After all, it's the other people that cause all the damage, isn't it? Mid-May will find plenty of snow banks, esp. North of Killington.

OTOH, you're in a leadership class, so demonstrate some leadership and stay on the lower elevations off the Long Trail. Head for Moosalamoo to explore for a few days.