The GMC’s Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont and Long Trail Guide describe nearly all of Vermont’s hiking trails. The 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.
Please plan ahead and prepare when going for any hike. We strongly suggest that hikers carry a guidebook and map when heading out to the trails.
Below are some suggested spring/mud season hikes around Vermont, all of which can be found in the Day Hiker’s Guide to Vermont, Walker’s Guide to Vermont, or the Long Trail Guide. Don’t forget that the weather and trail conditions are variable though, and even these suggested hikes might not be appropriate on any given day. Make sure to check out our mud season blog for more tips and recommendations related to mud season hiking in Vermont.
Davis Neighborhood Trail, Johnson: This south facing trail is a good mud season Side-to-Side option. It follows an old logging road that gradually climbs 1.5 miles to the quaint Corliss Camp. Parking is limited for this trailhead, so please be considerate not to block driveways.
Burlington Bike Path, Burlington: This 7.6-mile multi-use path follows Burlington’s waterfront. Whether hiking or biking, outdoor enthusiasts are provided with beautiful views across Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Mountains.
Stowe Recreation Path, Stowe: This 5.5-mile paved path winds along the west branch of the Waterbury River through the beautiful town of Stowe. It is a great option for biking or walking while enjoying views of Vermont’s highest mountain, Mt. Mansfield.
Prospect Rock via Long Trail, Johnson: This south facing portion of the Long Trail climbs steeply over one mile to a lookout of the Lamoille River Valley and the Sterling Range.
South Shore Trail, Willoughby State Forest: This almost 2-mile loop skirts the edge of the beautiful Lake Willoughby. This easy trail only gains about 200’ of elevation making it a nice option for novice hikers.
The Pinnacle, Weathersfield: Multiple trails reach this high point on Windmill Hill. All gradually climb old woods roads to a clearing at the top that provides a view.
Long Trail to Spruce Peak, Manchester Center: This 2.4-mile section of the LT gradually winds from Route 11/30 to the summit of Spruce Peak where a view of the Taconic Range is found. Continue south on the LT for another 0.4 mile and have lunch at Spruce Peak Shelter. Return the way you came.
Homer Stone Brook Trail, South Wallingford: For those working on their side to side trails, the Homer Stone Brook Trail is a good mud season choice. The 2.3-mile trail gradually approaches the scenic Little Rock Pond. From here you can then circumnavigate the pond and even have lunch at the shelter.
West River Trail: Once complete, this multi-use trail will span 36 miles, connecting Londonderry to Brattleboro by following the old West River Railroad bed. As stated in the name, most of the completed sections follow the West River. A nice 3-mile loop can be made when combined with the Overlook Trail in Jamaica State Park.
Prospect Rock, Manchester: The trail steadily ascends Old Rootville Road 1.8 miles to a rocky outlook. From there, hikers are rewarded with views of Manchester and Mt. Equinox.
Black Mountain, Dummerston: Owned by The Nature Conservancy, this 1,280’ mountain is a granite pluton, or in other words, a volcano that never erupted. Along the 1.8-mile trail, hikers can experience plant communities that are rare in Vermont including Mountain Laurel that blooms each June.
Quechee Gorge Trail, Hartford: This easy 1.1-mile trail descends to the bottom of the infamous Quechee Gorge. From here, get a first-hand look as the rushing waters become a placid river at the upstream end of the North Hartland Reservoir.
Appalachian Trail from Gifford Woods State Park to River Road, Killington: This 2.7-mile section of the AT travels along the south shore of the beautiful Kent Pond. It then gradually descends through the woods to the Thundering Falls universally accessible spur trail, which leads to the base of a waterfall.
Mt. Ascutney, Windsor: For hikers seeking to gain some elevation during mud season, the parkway up Mt. Ascutney is a great option. The auto road provides a durable surface that winds up the mountain for 3.7 miles and provides many viewpoints along the way.
Mt. Tom, Woodstock: Located in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, this small mountain provides beautiful views of the town of Woodstock. Follow Mountain Rd to Mount Tom Rd to reach the summit in 4 miles.
Cross VT Trail: As Vermont’s first west to east multi-use trail, it spans 85 miles from Lake Champlain in Burlington to the Connecticut River in Wells River. A 9.2-mile section through Groton State Forest is a perfect mud season destination as it follows a class IV road and passes multiple glacial ponds and lakes as well as a view of Big Deer Mountain’s granite cliffs.
Mount Independence, Orwell: This small hill was an important defense point during the American Revolution and is thus loaded with history including archeological remains of brigade encampments, general hospitals, soldier huts, and battery defenses. All the trails are easy to moderate and the summit provides a commanding view of Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga.
Snake Mountain Trail, Addison: This small mountain is a nice choice for families and novice hikers. The 1.8-mile trail follows a well-traveled network of old logging roads. An old hotel foundation at the summit provides excellent views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.
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. Great for all abilities.
Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail: This 19.8-mile multi-use trail travels through Bennington and Rutland counties. Walkers can experience a variety of scenery as it passes by dairy farms; through meadows, forests, and wetland; and traverses 17 bridges and overpasses.
Trail Around Middlebury, Middlebury: Managed by the Middlebury Area Land Trust, this footpath travels 18 miles around the town. As a top trail running destination, it connects hundreds of acres of town land, conserved properties, and historic landmarks.