View Full Version : Vermont Town to use as hub for area

07-02-2011, 17:33
Hi There,

I'm planning a trip to vermont in September. I'm searching for a town to use as a hub to do a few hikes in vermont. Similar to Keene Valley ( small with a grocery store, pub and a few restaurants) as opposed to Lake placid (Stowe) type of area. We would like to check out Camel Hump as well as some other day hikes in the Northeast Kingdom. Because all of the towns look rather nice I've researched we're having trouble making a decision.Can anyone recommend a small town that would be good to use a a hub. Groton seems like a good location to get up and down the state and possibly hit the white mountains as well. Any suggestions from locals?

Papa D
07-02-2011, 22:38
Waitsfield is about 7 miles east of appalachian gap on the Long Trail - it has a nice grocery store and other suppliers. Call up John at the Waitsfield Inn - it's a nice B & B. Another good town (smaller) is Hancock VT. Hancock is about 6 miles east of Middlebury Ski Bowl - nice hostel (The Gathering Place), pizza, and a little store. If you want to be on the AT specifically, Rutland is nice - there is a cheap shuttle to the Trail and a great Inn - the Inn at Long Trail with McGrath's Irish Pub. Further South, Manchester Center is of course obvious. Have fun

07-02-2011, 22:47
Richmond is a cool little town, anything they don't have can be found in Burlington, 15 miles away. Also Jeffersonville has a Motor Inn (motel) which is rare for Vermont - the land of B&B's...I don't like B&B's haha

singing wind
07-02-2011, 22:53
1. +1 for Rutland. All amenities and the public bus system has a run up to the Long Trail Inn or the Killington Ski area. Fares were $2 each way in 2010. The hike south over Killington is a nice one. Pretty easy to get back into town from there.

2. There's also trails that go through the Coolidge State Forest (http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/coolidge.htm) that are used during the summer by children's camps that I think may link into the AT.

3. Little Rock Pond is easily accessible via short road walk and side trails off Rt. 7. Local buses out of Rutland go pretty near the road access or hitching is also possible.

Hope you have a wonderful time and good weather.

07-03-2011, 07:25
Tough to know just what you're looking for - but here's my suggestions:

Waterbury - close to the long trail, nice pub, couple decent restaurants

My first choice is Montpelier - a bit further down the road from the LT, though still close enough, and that much closer to the Northeast Kingdom, Groton State Park, or the White Mtns. Great variety of restaurants (Sarduccis, Skinny Pancake, Coffee corner diner, Royal Orchid, Black Door... plenty) & pubs (check out the Three Penny Taproom or McGillicutties), nice walking town, and you can even catch a movie. Great choices of hotels (Capital Plaza), Inns (Inn at Montpelier), B&Bs (Betsy's) right in downtown. You can hike all day, then have a nice bit of night life before you crash in your room. If the weather's crappy or you want a day off from hiking, the state capitol has an open tour, and the historical society museum is right there, as is some nice shopping. It's the country's smallest state capitol, with less than 8,000 people. It's a very compact little city.

Papa D
07-03-2011, 07:37
Richmond is also a nice town - it's about 4 miles from Jonesville (where there is about nothing but a p.o.) - to the south, you can hike Danforth Ridge up over Camel's Hump or further, to the north, it's a good hard 20 mile hike to Mt. Mansfield. - You are also close to Burliington where you can have just about anything you want

07-03-2011, 14:49
good thread, thanks for sharing. I hiked the southern part of the Long Trail last summer, and would like to do some more section hiking in Vermont. Rutland is fairly centrally located, sounds like a good base. I also really liked Manchester Center, its just south from Rutland on VT-7.

I wonder how hot it is up there right now?

07-03-2011, 15:29
It's 73 and overcast at 3PM July 3rd...come on up !!

07-03-2011, 15:31
I would second the choices of Richmond and Waterbury since they are between Mansfield & Camels Hump. Waterbury is slightly closer towards the NE Kingdom.

On the west side, Middlebury is convenient to Camels Hump and the Lincoln Ridge. Bristol is another possibility.

07-05-2011, 10:24
Don't think there's much in the way of lodging, pubs or restaurants in Groton. There's a general store and a diner (I think). No lodging that I can think of other than the state campgrounds. You'd have to go to St. Johnsbury/Lyndonville, Barre/Montpeculier or Woodsville, NH for lodging, restaurants and grocery.

07-05-2011, 11:14
I really like Vermont! I've done the Trail from the Maine Junction to the southern border and have stayed in Bennington a couple of times but that won't qualify as a base or hub, but still a very nice town.

Smooth & Wasabi
07-05-2011, 16:06
There are so many great small towns here. I say try a couple of different towns. Waitsfield or Warren in the mad river valley is close enough to camels hump and close to Mt Abraham another great above tree line hike. Hit Mt Mansfield on the way north. In the North East Kingdom East Burke is one of my favorite tiny mountain towns of all time. Pub, restaurant, gear store, amazing mountain biking, lake, river , in town hiking and camping at the ski area, close enough to many North east kingdom peaks as well as NH's White mountains. Close to lyndonville if you need bigger grocer. Enjoy

07-05-2011, 19:23
Manchester is the bomb diggity :)

07-06-2011, 07:13
Thanks for the info! I'll have to check out East Burke. We were also looking at Littleton NH area as a possibility as well.

07-06-2011, 18:21
The hub concept works great for the High Peaks, and Keene Valley is an excellent choice in that about three-quarters of the High Peaks are within a 30-mile drive, followed by a 10-12 mile day hike (the Sewards, the Santoninis, Allen, Redfield, Cliff and Skylight being the exceptions). You can do a serious amount of gnarly hiking every day and still go back to the motel for shower and a beer.

It might not work quite as well in Vermont because the trail is pretty linear instead of being a cluster of mountains. As others have suggested, Richmond is a nice little town and is well situated for accessing Mansfield and Camels Hump. Rutland might be better if you want to hike Stratton, Bromley and Killington.

Personally, I like the stretch from Appalachian Gap to Route 15 the best. If I had only 5 or 6 days available, it would be that piece that I'd try to hike (including Camels Hump and Mansfield). It's a beautiful stretch and has some of the toughest hiking on the whole trail (but if you have spent much time in ADK, you'll be used to it!). Maybe there's some way to leave your car in Johnson and get a shuttle back to App-Gap....

07-06-2011, 21:21
Mama Bowers B&B is nice in Richmond. Zeroed there last year. Convient to Camles Hump, Mt Mansfield, etc.

mark schofield
07-07-2011, 05:24
I stayed at Mama Bowers a few years ago. Nice people. And Richmond is close enough to everything.

lemon b
07-08-2011, 09:56
Do not think you can go wrong in Vermont.