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  1. #1
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    Default SOBO Vermont section

    Planning to SOBO VT from Hannover to the Mass/VT around Sep 15. Just wondering if anyone can provide any insight on projected time required, conditions, gear suggestions, etc.

    I am 31 and in good condition and i like to do 15's. I can hike further but I like to take it easy and enjoy myself camping and checking overlooks etc. My pack stays under 30 with 4-5 days of food and 1.5 lt water. It's 150 total and I was thinking resupply every 50 miles (killington and one more between there and Mass).

    Sobo because I'll be walking in a direction that will shorten my return drive and secondly because it seems the eastern portion between Hannover and Killington would provide a less aggressive hike to warm up my legs for the green mnts.

    I have both hammock and tent setups <3 lbs but not a ton of experience hammocking yet. I hear it's wet and I like the idea of setting up my tarp to escape the rain before dumping my pack and stringing my hammock. (Plan to do a hammock shakedown prior). Also I use a pad in my hammock so I can use shelters when available and still stay light. Any thoughts on hammock vs tent that section?

    Water availability? Assuming plentiful? I use a 3 lt plat in case I need to camel a stretch but normally keep 1-1.5 lt on me.

    Im familiar with the shuttle list but anyone have any recommendations for a ride from the southern terminus of the LT to Hannover?

    Weather? Temps, precip, etc.... From what I've read I assume I can expect rain a lot.

    Ease of hitching into towns in that area? From my experience The New England area is pretty hiker friendly.

    Thanks in advance for any insight or advise!

    Medic665

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    Without hesitation I can recommend a stay at the Inn At the Long Trail. If you start at Hanover and walk at a normal rate, you'll hit it on your third or fourth day out. It's just a short distance from the AT, where the trail crosses Rte. 4 in Vermont.

    As for shuttlers, contact the Green Mountain Club for an up to date list. Folks at GMC are very helpful.

    Water is generally not a problem, but much depends on the weather patterns. Mid-September is a great time to be hiking in New England, though days are starting to get short -- sunset a bit after 7 PM.

    Manchester and Bennington are common stops. Both are a ways off the trail, but the trailheads are busy so hitching isn't usually a problem.

  3. #3

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    If you have some time, you could connect a few vermont buses on your way back to make it cheaper and see some of the towns. They're fairly direct buses
    You can use google maps to get an idea on the buses. Williamstown to rutland is 2.5 hours and will run you $12 with a transfer in manchester. Then you could catch another $10 bus to hanover. If you had to a stay night over (inn at long trail, in the town of rutland, etc) you'd still be better off.
    As long as you had a bus schedule you wouldn't have to worry about reservations for shuttles, etc. But the shuttle would be much faster if you need to get back!

    all of the vermont AT terrain is fairly moderate. Not easy and quite a bit of elevation change, but nothing crazy and 15 mpd will be very doable
    Could get some rain, but the terrain shouldn't be too wet unless there was a ton of rain. temps could be 30s in a cold snap at some elevation, but it also could be quite warm

    it's a 50 mile hike from inn at long trail to manchester. that is a logical 2nd resupply point (hitching in from there). manchester has a small hostel that is a decent deal, but I have not stayed there
    Inn at long trail near killington you can stay at (some hiker rates at times) or camp for free across the street. A good pub

    south of killington a ways, at the VT 103, there is the whistle stop restaurant a quarter mile right (west/north west) off the trail sobo. recommended. not open that late usually

    decent water. a couple dryer areas, but carrying a little extra will be more than good enough at those spots

  4. #4
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    There's also the famous "red barn" - Dan Quinn's place - on VT Rte. 12, just north of the trail crossing, near Pomfret VT. This is between Hanover and Rte. 4, about 25 miles "south" of Hanover (by compass, it's actually west, since the trail is mostly E-W between Hanover and Rte. 4.) Dan's been a friend to hikers since forever. I'm pretty sure, but not certain that he's still in business. Free, or small donation. You can camp in the back yard if you don't want to stay in the barn.

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    I'm currently planning to do this section in September and I'm looking at starting the week before the OP. Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I'm curious about the legality/availability of dispersed camping possibilities other than the campsites and shelters listed in the various guides such as AWOL ?
    Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, the Trail beckons not merely north and south, but upward to the body, mind, and soul of man.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCut View Post
    I'm currently planning to do this section in September and I'm looking at starting the week before the OP. Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I'm curious about the legality/availability of dispersed camping possibilities other than the campsites and shelters listed in the various guides such as AWOL ?
    From Hanover until you enter the National Forest, the trail crosses private land and camping is only permitted at designated sites. No exceptions, period.

    With in the National Forest, dispersed camping is allowed with exceptions at certain established sites where you have to use the shelter or designated tenting areas. The National Forest starts south of RT140 and extends to the Mass line.

    However, even in the 50 or so miles of National Forest where you don't need to use shelter sites, finding off trail campsites is nearly impossible due to the nature of the terrain and forest and you will not spot a well used camping spot from the trail except near one or two of the larger stream crossings.
    Last edited by Slo-go'en; 06-20-2016 at 15:29.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Due to the terrain, the nature of the forest and the way the trail is routed, dispersed camping is pretty much non-existant in Vermont. There are so few places, it's not worth considering the possibility. Many of the shelters don't even have much or anything to offer in the way of tenting spots either.
    That's what I suspected. Thanks for the info.
    Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, the Trail beckons not merely north and south, but upward to the body, mind, and soul of man.


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    What about a hammock rig? Part of the reason I was thinking I'd hang. Anyone hammock in VT section?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    From Hanover until you enter the National Forest, the trail crosses private land and camping is only permitted at designated sites. No exceptions, period.
    is that really true? the companion only mentions no camping near VT12, in a very vague non specific way. i dont recall ever reading anything about no camping anywhere through that entire section, and have camped at random spots between shelters through there as the shelter spacing i found to be kind of odd.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCut View Post
    I'm currently planning to do this section in September and I'm looking at starting the week before the OP. Sorry for hijacking the thread, but I'm curious about the legality/availability of dispersed camping possibilities other than the campsites and shelters listed in the various guides such as AWOL ?
    IMO and ignoring legal matters, there are lots of possibilities. Almost all of the AT in Vermont is below treeline and mostly on easy grades. Classic New England green tunnel. A few meadows and bogs and lakes. But no real need. Shelter/campsite spacing was reasonable and mostly worked out fine for me.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    is that really true? the companion only mentions no camping near VT12, in a very vague non specific way. i dont recall ever reading anything about no camping anywhere through that entire section, and have camped at random spots between shelters through there as the shelter spacing i found to be kind of odd.
    Camping regulations are in the Green Mountain Club LT guide books. Dispersed camping is only allowed in the National Forest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Camping regulations are in the Green Mountain Club LT guide books. Dispersed camping is only allowed in the National Forest.
    why would one consult "the green mountain club LT guide book" for information on where to camp along a trail that is not the LT and is not in the green mountains? i dont know the book but i imagine what that statement means is that there are places within the green mountains that are not the province of the national forest, such as state parks and ski resorts, and that camping on these lands is not allowed or at the very least follows regs not set forth by the national forest.

    i would just think that were this true the companion would mention it, and the mention of not camping "near vt12" seems to imply that camping not near VT12 is ok, doesnt it?

  13. #13

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    Atc has table with restrictions on website
    Guidebooks are remiss in omitting it

    Basically
    You can camp dispersed in natl forest
    Designated sites only on private land
    Below 2500 ft on state lands

    Atc table breaks it down

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs...b.pdf?sfvrsn=0
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-21-2016 at 13:38.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Atc has table with restrictions on website
    Guidebooks are remiss in omitting it

    Basically
    You can camp dispersed in natl forest
    Designated sites only on private land
    Below 2500 ft on state lands

    Atc table breaks it down

    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs...b.pdf?sfvrsn=0
    guess i broke the rules. twice.

    someone should tell the companion.

  15. #15

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    Apparently not a big problem.

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