Have you dreamed of hiking the 272-mile Long Trail? Whether you want to thru hike it in one go (taking an average of 20-30 days) or hike it in sections (finishing it in one year or a lifetime), you’re still what we call an “End-to-Ender” when you’re done. Over 5,000 hikers have registered their End-to-End hikes with GMC, but we know many more than that have finished. Just look at how a Long Trail hike has impacted these hikers:
Scott “Iceman” Albertson:
After hiking an estimated 1,500+ miles on the Long Trail system, and spending many hours helping to maintain it, I feel that the Long Trail is deeply interwoven into my soul. Somehow I am a part of it, and it is a part of me. It is wild and beautiful. I have hiked the trail with those I love most in life – my Dad, wife, sons, dogs, and many good friends. My experiences on the trail will be treasured memories for the rest of my life. I love the Long Trail dearly and am not ready to be finished hiking it yet! Hopefully there are many more good memories to come.
Brad “Weenail” Moore:
After hiking the AT, the John Muir Trail, the Teton Crest Trail, Philmont, Foothills and Pinhoti I thought I could handle the LT. I did complete… the trail but WOW was it hard. This has been the most difficult trail I have hiked and I am proud to have done it. I think only those of us who have hiked the LT can really appreciate the physical difficulty, the beauty, the fear, the solitude and the camaraderie of this amazing trail.
So how do you get started?
Right here at GMC, of course! We have the resources you need to plan your hike and we’re always happy to answer questions. You could start with the following publications:
- Long Trail Guide – The quintessential guide to the Long Trail, this book contains trail descriptions, maps, elevation profiles, shelter and water information, and more! The 28th edition, celebrating 100 years of GMC publishing, is available now.
- End-to-Ender’s Guide – A supplement to the Long Trail Guide, this book contains information about all the service near the trail that a hiker could need – groceries, hostels, outfitters, shuttles – and it even contains a handy mileage chart. Updated every two years, we are currently on our 21st edition!
- Long Trail Map – This map shows the whole Long Trail and side trails in lightweight, waterproof form! Know where all the shelters and road crossings are at a glance, and take advantage of the elevation profile when estimating hike times.
Next step? Join GMC’s free End-to-Ender’s panel coming up on May 4, 2018. This is an informative Q&A, show-and-tell style panel intended to provide quality backpacking information to aspiring end-to-enders from those that have already done it. ORCA Media live streams the panel every year so that even those who don’t live near GMC headquarters can participate, and you can watch the recording online any time once it’s over. If you just can’t get enough trail chat, check out the panels from 2017, 2016, and 2015 too.
We also suggest you join our Facebook Group to talk with people who have already hiked the Long Trail and connect with other folks who are planning their hikes this year.
Still have questions?
We keep a list of past hikers willing to be mentors to those still in the planning stages. Just email [email protected] to be put in touch with someone. And, of course, we are always happy to answer your questions at the GMC Visitor Center in Waterbury Center, Vermont. Stop in, email, or call us at 802-244-7037.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and was updated in April 2018.