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4 The Long Trail

The Long Trail

The oldest long distance hiking trail in the United States, the Long Trail was completed in 1930. It stretches about 265 miles from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts state line, connecting more than 40 of the state’s highest peaks. The route follows the ridgelines, descending into valleys between peaks and crossing highways periodically. There are parking areas at most of these crossings, but no formal hiker shuttle, so hikers need to make arrangements with friends, local taxi companies, or private shuttles. Trailside shelters and huts are available for camping along the way, but long distance hikers need to be prepared to carry everything with them. It is essential to be fully prepared and to have a copy of the most recent Guidebook of the Long Trail before setting out.

Several sections are well-suited to overnight hikes. The section between Brandon and Middlebury Gaps is a popular two-day hike, and from Lincoln to Middlebury Gap is a three-day trip. One of the most scenic sections, from Lincoln Gap to the summit of Mt. Abraham, is a popular day hike, even though it means returning by the same trail. The Long Trail crosses an unnumbered road between Lincoln and Warren, just off Route 100, and heads north to Mt. Abraham along a ridge covered in stunted firs and spruce trees. The view from Mt. Abraham’s summit extends to New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington, Lake Champlain, and the Adirondacks in New York.

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