Please plan ahead and prepare when going for any hike. We strongly suggest that hikers carry a map and guidebook when heading out to the trails. Guidebooks and maps are available for purchase at GMC’s Visitor Center, GMC’s online store, and in most Vermont bookstores and outdoor gear retailers.
Below are some suggested summer hikes around Vermont, all of which can be found in GMC guidebooks. GMC’s Day Hiker’s Guide describes more than 150 trails to mountains, scenic ponds and waterfalls, and nature trails in the Green Mountains and beyond. In the Long Trail Guide, you will find detailed maps and descriptions of the Long Trail System and the Appalachian Trail in Vermont, suggested day hikes, shelter descriptions, and public campgrounds near the trail. The Walker’s Guide to Vermont includes shorter walks and leisurely rambles around the state. We also now have a list of more accessible trails in Vermont.
Barnes Camp Loop, Stowe: This newly opened 1.5-mile loop is a great moderate option found in the scenic Smugglers’ Notch. The loop starts at the historic Barnes Camp on the new ADA accessible boardwalk then continues on the white-blazed Long Trail. In 0.3 miles, turn right to follow blue blazes towards the picnic area. At the next intersection, hikers can head towards the picnic area for lunch, or continue to the right following the blue blazes towards a river crossing that can be difficult in high water conditions. After the river, follow the trail to the intersection with the Long Trail, where you will turn right to follow the white blazes back to Barnes Camp.
Belvidere Mountain, Eden: For those trying to tick off the side-to-side trails, a difficult 7.9-mile loop can be made by connecting Frank Post Trail, the Long Trail, and Forester’s Trail. Along the way, stop and have lunch at Tillotson Camp then continue on to climb the fire tower on the summit of Belvidere for 360 views.
Moose Mountain Trail, Willoughby State Forest: In a moderate 1.7 miles from the front door of GMC’s Hadsel Mares Camp on Wheeler Pond, you can summit Moose Mountain, connect to other trails in our Northeast Kingdom Section and experience great views of Lake Willoughby and the surrounding area.
Skyline Trail, Worcester to Middlesex: This 6.4-mile trail connects Worcester Mountain and Mount Hunger, and requires a car spot and side trails to access it. Use the Worcester Mountain Trail to connect to the Skyline Trail near the summit of Worcester Mountain. The trail then follows the ridge of the Worcester Range all the way to the open, rocky summit of Mount Hunger. Make sure to descend via the Middlesex Trail, so you stay on the east side of the range for an easier car spot.
Harmon Hill, Bennington: Though only 1.8 miles to the top of Harmon Hill, this section of the Long Trail is a thigh burner! It climbs a steep rock staircase for about 0.7 miles before shallowing out in beautiful open woods then traveling through ferny glades to the beautiful views on the open summit.
North Stratton Mountain, Stratton: The Wanderer Trail leaves from Stratton Mountain Ski Resort and gradually winds 2.4 miles across ski trails and pass chairlifts to the summit. Nice views are found throughout from the open ski trails. To continue to Stratton Mountain, follow Stratton Ridge Trail to the Long Trail.
Mt. Olga, Wilmington: An easy 2-mile loop can be made by families and novice hikers looking to summit a smaller mountain with nice views. Mt. Olga became a fire lookout site in 1930, but the current steel tower was transferred from Bald Mountain in 1950. From the top of the tower, there are wonderful views of Southern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Bromley via the LT: The Long Trail gradually ascends Bromley Mountain, crossing Bromley Brook and passing Bromley Shelter on its way to the summit where there are sweeping views in most directions. At the summit, the Bromley Ski Patrol hut is open for hiker use in summer and fall and a moldering privy is provided and maintained by the Manchester Section of the Green Mountain Club.
Appalachian Trail, Maine Junction to Norwich: This 44-mile section of the AT has many day hike options that provide rolling hills, open pastures, views, and shelters. Make your day as long or as short as you want. Specific suggestions can be found in our Day Hiker’s Guide.
Spruce Mountain, Plainfield: This family-friendly trail winds 2.2 miles to the summit where a fire tower provides 360 views of the surrounding area. Originally built in 1919 and replaced in 1944, the current tower was placed on the National Historic Lookout Register.
Mt. Ascutney, Windsor: A true monadnock, Mt. Ascutney has many interesting features with trails for all levels of ability. Hikers can visit waterfalls, an old granite quarry, and a stone hut site. The stone hut was built in 1858 as an overnight shelter for hikers. A fire tower at the summit provides 360 views.
Wright’s Mountain, Bradford: Another family-friendly mountain that has short trails that lead to the summit. The Bradford Conservation Commission and local volunteers have made many improvements to this trail system allowing for a great place to hike. A lookout near the summit provides views to the North and West.
The Presidents, Lincoln: This difficult 12.4-mile loop via Cooley Glen Trail, the Long Trail, and Emily Proctor Trail is aptly named as it brings hikers over Mt. Cleveland, Mt. Roosevelt, and Mt. Wilson. The two shelters along the way provide nice places to rest during this long adventure.
Mt. Philo, Charlotte: This small mountain is found in Mount Philo State Park which is the oldest park in the state system. The short hike to the summit provides spectacular views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks and is great for all abilities.
Stark’s Nest, Irasville: Starting at Mad River Glen Ski Area, a moderate 5.3-mile loop starts with the Stark Mountain Trail which brings hikers across ski trails and past the famous single chair to the beautiful views at the top of Stark’s Nest. Rest at the warming hut before taking a rugged section of the Long Trail to the Sunnyside Trail.
Jerusalem Trail, Jerusalem: This 2.4-mile side trail is a great way for peak baggers to access Mount Ellen. It gradually rises through an extensive maple bush and sugaring operation then becomes steeper towards the top. Mount Ellen can then be reached in another 1.8 miles via LT south. For those that want a shorter trip, in 0.1 miles via LT north, the spur trail to Glen Ellen Lodge is another nice destination.