This site is designed to provide quick access to informative Vermont hiking websites. Private hiking enthusiasts have posted excellent web pages on Vermont hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
Appalachian Trail -- Danby Area Silas Griffith Inn -- not really a hiking link, but a B & B in the town of Danby that runs a shuttle out to the AT for slackpacking guests. Cool. Nice people, great looking place...take a look, and you'll see why we prefer slackpacking to sleeping in moldy tents on hard ground. They also have a hiking link, see Danby, below.
Camel's Hump Excellent narrative describing the Monroe Trail route, with some excellent photos. A must-click on the Natural Born Hikers website.
Danby Area brief page lists a few key hikes & highlights in Danby area. Page maintained by Silas Griffith Inn, see AT link above.
Deer Leap Trail located at Sherburne Pass on Route 4; you can either take the short route from the Long Trail, a longer route via the Appalachian Trail NOBO, or an even longer route by starting from Gifford Woods State Park heading SOBO. The trail is easy to find and requires little or no maps really, so the link provided here goes to an interesting story by a young family that did the AT to LT loop in 2006. Worth a read, some great photos, and a warning of a mishap that can befall all hikers. Now having said that, we have to tell you that the Deer Leap Trail is a shadow of what it once was. It used to be a fantastic and difficult scramble over and under boulders, through cracks and along rocks to reach the viewpoint. Even in the early 1970s it was a seldom-used trail that started next to the Long Trail right on route 4. As hiker pressures increased through the 1980s, the fragile landscape became subject to serious erosion, to the point where the trail had to be closed. Today the trail is reached from a spur off the Long Trail; you basically climb up far to the east of the old trail and then take a rather disinteresting route across the ridge to reach the viewpoint. We present this information not to cast stones at the agency that closed the old trail, nor at the hiking community, but simply to say "this is what happens" and when we overuse something, we lose it. Now, are we trying to say people shouldn't have used the trail? Of course not. The point is, "it is what it is" and at this point in time the restoration of the terrain is more important than having it accessible to hikers. Add in to this some vague claim by the supposed Abenaki Indian tribe, and the official word is "please refrain from using the old route." Incidentally, the cliff portion is quite popular with climbers, and you can find information about that by clicking here for the Deers Leap VT website. As far as the old trail, if we do allow it to restore naturally, perhaps someday a controlled use can be permitted. Can you think of a better alternative?
General site by the Green Mountain Club features a dozen hikes of varying difficulty.
Groton State Forest nice laundry list of trails with brief descriptions on the GrotonVT.com website. Click around and you'll find maps, photos, the usual. Owl's Head Mt., Peacham Bog Loop Trail, Silver Ledge Trail, Little Deer Mt. and quite a few other trails are described. Good resource if you're headed for any of the campgrounds around Groton.
The Long Trail The Long Trail is a 270-mile backcountry adventure along the crest of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Good intro site, links to trail info and maps.
The Long Trail thru-hiker's short memoir by "Lightning Canuck." Fun, quick read.
Long Trail Journal day by day, with mileage, notes, photos; excellent site. "Must see" site for LT hikers.
Long Trail here's a very in-depth and extensive photo/journal of a 2003 thru-hike of the Long Trail by "Rough and Tumble." It will take a while to review all this, but you can also jump to certain sections and places. Thumbnail/menu driven; definitely a site to keep in mind if you're planning a thru hike or even if you're a section hiker or slacker.
Long Trail Web site describes speed hike record for completing the Long trail, as done by "Cave Dog." Interesting, but not for most of us.
Trip map with clickable points leading to some excellent photos. This is on the "Turner Toys" website, which seems to donate a lot of web real estate to the Green Mountain hiking club. Check this one out.
Middlebury - Trail Around MIddlebury The "TAM" is a now-complete 16 mile loop around the village of Middlebury that links several hundred acres of town land, conserved properties, schools, and other local landmarks. It's maintained by the Middlebury Area Land Trust and a whole bunch of sponsors and volunteers. This link goes to the main page, you have to click on the little trail icon to get to the trail. Great project and a terrific community effort.
Owl's Head Trail - Well known trail built by the CCC during the 1930s, please see the link for Groton State Forest, above.
includes basic descriptions of Camel's Hump hiking, Long Trail, etc. Nice "basic" site gives fairly good introductory descriptions, by the Waterbury Tourist Council. Not a bad hiking site as tourist council sites go.
White Rocks Recreation Area -- Ice Beds Trail White Rocks is a section of the Green Mountain NF east of Wallingford and Route 7 (head south from Rutland). This is a fairly sizeable section, with plenty of trails of varying lengths. The one we're concerned with here is the Ice Beds Trail. Now to get there you simply take Rt. 140 east from the center of Wallingford, go a couple miles uphill and follow the signs to a dirt road on the right hand side for "White Rocks Picnic Area." Follow that to the picnic area parking lot, where you'll find the trailhead for the Ice Beds. By the way the picnic area has neither grills nor toilets. But if you don't need to cook, and you can hold it like a camel, it's a dandy picnic area. I digress. The point in all this is that hidden off of this pathetic picnic area is arguably one of the best hiking trails in the northeast. Yes, you read correctly. For the casual hiker this has to be one of the most pleasant, rewarding, unusual trails you'll find east of the Mississippi. The trail is only 1.8 miles roundtrip, but the steep ups and downs do make it seem longer. It's rated from moderate to strenuous, and I'd agree that it's at the harder end of moderate...it's not a trail for granny and pops in sneakers. Leaving from the entry side of the parking lot, the Ice Beds trail climbs quickly to a series of short switchbacks, then splits with a viewpoint to the left, and ice beds to the right. You can skip the viewpoint, unless you want a taste of what's ahead. The trail is solidly in a pine forest at this point, and the terrain is simply wonderful. Continuing toward the ice beds you soon reach a point where the trail turns slightly right and heads down hill -- but ahead of you is a rock outcrop that obviously offers a view point. This one, unsigned, is a must. Step out on this thing, with a view of the rock piles and broken edge of the cliff ahead, and honestly it looks as if they took a little slice of the Sierras and put it in Vermont. It's simply wonderful. Back on the trail you climb steadily down into eastern hardwood forest, cross a few streams and on to the jumble of rocks that cover spots of ice deep below. I've never seen the actual ice, but from the temperatures of these rocks, it's obviously there. The athletic and energetic climb the rocks. What a trail! Put this on your short list of must-do hikes in New England.
The Hills are alive...
Most of the Long Trail has no viewpoints. There, I said it. Yes, there are many exciting scenic vistas in Vermont, but you can plod along for miles on the Long Trail and not see anything but trees. You'll climb what seems like the steepest, highest mountain you've ever been on, and have absolutely zero reward at the top. Maybe a few empty Magic Hat bottles scattered around.
You'd do well to grab a copy of the best local guide, called the
Hiker's Guide to the Mountains of Vermont by Jared Gange, Andrew Nemethy, Nuna Teal, Alden Pellet, Jared J. Gange, Matthew Cull, Resting Lion Studio, Linda Young, Larry, Darryl & Darryl. Anyway, it sells out all the time, so I think this Amazon link will take you to a used copy you can pick up at discount. Hey, New England thrift and all that. If that book is sold out (and it usually is) you can do no wrong with 50 Hikes in Vermont: Walks, Hikes, and Overnights in the Green Mountain State, Sixth Edition edited by Bob Lindemann for the Green Mountain Club. Again, this is an Amazon link, so you can go ahead a click it without worrying that some monsters will infest your computer.
Now, here's a business I don't know anything about, other than the fact that they seem to donate a ton of bandwidth to their chapter of the Green Mountain club. It's called Turner Toys. I put the link here because anybody who donates so much time and energy to maintaining those trails deserves a plug. And considering their dedication to the blazed pathway, I bet they have some darn fine quality toys.
On another note, I'm sad to say that we recently lost a true Vermont icon, The Dog Team Tavern north of Middlebury. I planned to dine there the night it burned, then changed my plans to the following night. You can't imagine how shocked I was to find it burned to the ground. The sadness is compounded by the loss of the most recent owner, Mr. Hesslink, who perished in the fire he apparently started. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
And so my favorite restaurant remains, Sandy's Drive-In Lunch, in the village of Sharon. Stop in for the onion rings and a grilled hot dog when you have time.
Want to add YOUR Vermont hiking page? It's free, it's easy, and there are no strings attached. Please click the "Submit a Site" button, above left, for instructions and complete information.
Got kids? Recently caught this guy, Brady Rymer, at a show in the northeast. Infectious to say the least, a fun, energetic sing-along type thing had the audience singing and grinning from ear to ear. Now don't ask why, but I bought the CD (my own kids are teenagers) and now I can't get these tunes out of my head. If you've got kids between the ages of 2 and 7 or thereabouts, you'll just love this music. So much better musically and lyrically than the usual drivel recorded for kids, that mind-numbing stuff that drives you nuts. If you don't have kids, you'll have to think up some other excuse for buying it. And when you do, let me know, because my daughters think I'm crazy. Not sure where'd you find it in stores, so here's a direct link to Amazon.com for I Found It! and again, the singer's name is Brady Rymer. Just great stuff, excellent gift for pre-K kids. Here's a video preview: