The Long Trail is a 273 mile long footpath that runs the entire north to south distance of the State of Vermont. In addition, it has 175 miles of side trails and nearly 70 very rustic shelters that range from enclosed lodges to tent sites. While not the longest marked long distance hiking trail in the U.S., that honor belongs to the Appalachian Trail, it is the oldest long distance trail in the United States.
The Long trail follows the main ridge line of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts border near Williamstown to the Canadian Border near North Troy, Vermont. Along that distance the trail traverses most of the major peaks of the Green Mountains. Best characterized as a rugged back country trail, the Long Trail climbs rugged peaks, passes ponds, bogs, forests and streams. 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail coincide with the Long Trail in Vermont.
The trail may be cross country skied or snowshoed in the winter, but that takes a lot of careful planning as the margin for error in a back country Vermont winter is pretty slim.
Long Trail History
James P. Taylor conceived of the idea of the Long Trail. The Green Mountain Club was formed in 1910 to help bring his vision to reality. The trail was constructed between 1910 and 1930. The Green Mountain Club was officially recognized as “the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector” of the Long Trail by the Vermont Legislature in 1971.
Planning a Trip
The Green Mountain Club provides resources to help you plan a hike on the Long Trail. See the “Take a Hike” section of their website for more information.