Coming attractions: It’s time to get back in the saddle, so what’s next? The oldest hiking trail in the United States beckons. Next up, the mountains of Vermont and The Long Trail.
We’ll be driving to the Canadian border just as soon as the Labor Day traffic clears. Then we’ll hit the trail early the next morning for what is hoped to be a 16 day trek – more if mother nature proves our planning wrong. The objective is to collect the 172 Long Trail miles missed when hiking the Appalachian Trail. (Note: Sources differ on the exact distances involved.)
The AT and the Long Trail overlap for the 100 miles starting at the Vermont/Massachusetts border northward to “Maine Junction” just north of the Rutland and Killington area. At Maine Junction the trail hangs a sharp easterly right turn toward Hanover, NH and from there onward to central Maine.
The Long Trail was conceived in 1910 and stitches Canada to Massachusetts for 272 miles along the spine of Vermont’s rugged Green Mountains. It’s rugged and last month’s 100-mile wilderness hike was good practice, but this adventure will be more strenuous.
Ironically, both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail were conceived in the same place.
The fire tower on Stratton Mountain has been preserved and maintained so that hikers may see the same views that conceptualized the two hiking trails birthed there.
The hike has a happy ending. Can’t wait!
My partner will be Rush Williamson, a fellow PATC member who also is highly involved in protecting and preserving the AT. He’s also a retired Marine with whom I work closely on many trail-related projects.