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  1. #1

    Default 2017 SOBO Long Trail Trip Report (Sept 12-Oct 4)

    My girlfriend and I did a south bound thru hike of the Long Trail. I thought that doing a trip report may help people planning a thru hike of the Long Trail. I also have some short videos of our hike on Youtube. The link is below:



    We hiked from September 12th - Oct 4th. During that time we took 3 zero days. We hiked a total of 20 days to complete the trail.


    Our base weights are ~10 lb for each. We do have the advantage of sharing gear since we travel together, so some items were shared (tent, med kit, repair kit, stove fuel). A light pack, like always, was a big advantage on this trail. The northern section was some of the most rugged trail I have seen in a while. Extremely steep climbs and sketchy rock traverses definitely made travel difficult. We planned our gear on situations ranging from bugs to cold weather. Both of our equipment lists can be found at the links below:

    Hipbone: https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=43392
    MtnGoat: https://www.geargrams.com/list?id=43393


    We hiked the Trail southbound. We decided to start north so if the weather did turn we'd be further south. We already did southern part of the trail when we hiked the AT, so we wanted to make sure we got the northern half covered. We wanted to follow the fall foliage by starting at the northern end and the trail would be less crowded. This seemed to hold true even though we did pass a few groups headed north to Canada but in general the trail was pretty empty.


    The northern end is impossible to get to using public transportation. We arranged a shuttle to North Troy with Jay Way Jitney. Wendy (the driver/owner) picked us up and stopped at the outfitter in Burlington before we left. We stayed at the North Troy Inn B&B. There are no restaurants within walking distance of the B&B. The B&B is about 3 miles from Journeys End Road and the owners gave us a ride to the beginning of the trail the next morning.A few helpful links:

    North Troy B&B: http://northtroyinn.com/
    Jay Way Jitney: http://jaywayjitney.com/


    You probably do not need to do mail drops, but we did. We have been dialing our food in for a while and this is really a place that we save weight. We planned on 1.35 lbs of food a day per person.

    Mail drop costs were $18.85 to send a large flat rate box. I feel like mail drops did not cost us extra when compared to shopping at small convenient stores, outfitters, and big box stores. It saved us the time of having to shop at every town stop. I am including a link to our food planner below. It has exact weights for all of our food that we carried. It also has the costs of all of the food in the spreadsheet so that you can get an idea of the cost of maildrops vs. the cost of buying in town.



    We planned on averaging 13 miles per day for the northern part and 15 per day after Appalachian Gap. The climbs were steep, technical, and long. Rocks, roots, and mud were challenging. The area reminded me a lot of Southern Maine. Once we passed Appalachian Gap the trail seemed easier and our mileage ranged from 17 to 25 miles per day to Massachusetts.


    Our weather was less than typical. We started with cool weather and then it got HOT. I was expecting colder nights and was definitely surprised by the weather. The second part of our hike the heat wave broke and the temperatures drastically dropped. When we were in Killington the heat index was 112 degrees...2 days later we hit a low of 33...that's like an 80 degree temperature swing.

    Rain was also less than typical...we never walked in the rain. We only had 2 days where it rained and we were able to avoid it.


    We spent the night in the following towns:

    Jeffersonville - Smuggler's Notch Inn (highly recommended)
    Waterbury - Best Western (nice but expensive)
    Waitsfield - Millbrook Country Inn (highly recommended)
    Rutland - Quality Inn (convenient for getting around Rutland)
    Manchester Center - Palmer House Resort (highly recommended)
    Williamstown, MA - Williamstown Motel (highly recommended)

    I enjoy rolling into these local spots and getting a feel for the area. Town visits are really fun to us. We ate at restaurants, visited art galleries, and met the owners of B&B's, hostels and motels.


    I would consider taking a lighter shelter. I took a tent because I like the added warmth in cooler weather, however in a lot of places up north it's really hard to find a place to pitch a tent. Even shelter areas have limited camping in some places. Also, the weather was not as cold as I expected and we used shelters exclusively anyway, so we never took advantage of the added warmth of the tent. If I were to go south bound again I would take a 10 oz tarp and some type of light ground sheet that I would mainly use in shelters to lay on.

    I would also take much less sun protective clothing. We were in the alpine zone some, but not enough to carry sunglasses, sun sleeves, and a ball cap. The majority of the hiking was in the green tunnel. I would also leave the bug head net at home for fall hiking.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Thurmont, MD


    great report! am planning same trip for early fall 2018, you've answered a lot of my questions!

    thanks much,

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by rustmd View Post
    great report! am planning same trip for early fall 2018, you've answered a lot of my questions!

    thanks much,
    I hope the "food planner" spreadsheet helps a few people. It has a lot of info crammed into it (food weight, food cost, maildrop cost, mail drops, addresses, mileage info for our maildrops)

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Wilmington, NC


    I don't have plans to do the Long Trail any time in the near future, but this is filed away for reference when I do. Thanks!

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