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, public campgrounds near the trail, and snowshoeing and skiing suggestions.
The following hikes are all included in the Winter Hiking Guide to Vermont:
Devil’s Gulch, Eden: Not only an interesting summer hike, Devil’s Gulch is a great winter hike as well. The 5-mile loop via the Long Trail and the Babcock Trail isn’t particularly steep but has rocky terrain that can be difficult in icy or snowy conditions. The trail brings hikers past a variety of features including ice cascades on the surrounding rock walls and Big Muddy Pond. Our four-sided shelter, Spruce Ledge, provides a nice location to eat lunch and drink hot cocoa.
Smuggler’s Notch, Stowe: Closed to vehicle traffic in the winter, route 108 through Smuggler’s Notch provides a beautiful and easy snowshoe or ski option. Most people choose the Visitor Center at the height of land as their destination, but those feeling more adventurous can extend the hike up to Sterling Pond.
Laraway Lookout, Waterville: This moderately challenging 3.6 mile out and back on the Long Trail is even more spectacular in the winter. Not only do hikers get views of Mansfield and the Sterling Range, but large ice pillars form on the rock faces the trail passes by.
Mt. Equinox, Manchester: As the highest mountain in the Taconic Range, Mt. Equinox is a demanding 5.5 mile roundtrip winter hike. The Blue Summit Trail starts by following a steep and winding woods road before narrowing into a rough footpath. The effort is rewarded with some of the finest views in southern Vermont.
Stratton Pond, Stratton: The gradual terrain of the Catamount Trail and the Long Trail make for a pleasant 7.5 mile roundtrip snowshoe out to Stratton Pond. The pond provides beautiful winter scenery while the shelter provides a great spot to eat lunch.
Clarendon Loop, Clarendon: This 2-mile loop starts with a moderately challenging ascent to a look-out then provides a gentle ridge walk to Clarendon Shelter. Hikers then follow an old Long Trail route back to the parking area. If time allows, don’t forget to take a short walk south on the LT to check out Clarendon Gorge and the ice sculptures that form in the winter.
Mt. Tom, Woodstock: Marsh, Billings, Rockefeller Historic National Park offer endless snowshoe and ski trails in the winter. Multiple easy routes will bring hikers to the summit of Mt. Tom where views of the beautiful town of Woodstock can be found.
Owl’s Head, Groton: This small mountain within Groton State forest offers a gradual climb to its summit that provides breathtaking views. Please note that if the gate to the park offices is open, it closes at 3:00 pm daily.
Bald Top Mountain, Fairlee: There are multiple moderate routes to the summit of this small mountain. All of them are well marked which makes this a great option for winter hiking when trail finding can be difficult. From the summit, spectacular views of Mt. Moosilauke and the Franconia Ridge in NH can be found.
Skylight Pond, Ripton: Located just outside the Breadloaf Wilderness, the Skylight Pond Trail has a wonderfully quiet and remote atmosphere. With the USFS road 59 closed in the winter, hikers follow it for a mile before reaching Skylight Pond Trail. The trail then leads 2.5 miles out to the beautiful, high-elevation Skylight Pond. Take a rest and eat some lunch at the four-sided shelter, Skyline Lodge.
Mount Abraham, Lincoln: With Lincoln Gap closed in winter, the Battell Trail to the Long Trail is the most direct route up to the summit of one of Vermont’s highest mountains, Mt. Abraham. Though the terrain can be difficult at times, it is all worth the effort to reach the beautiful alpine summit with breathtaking 360 degree views.
Abbey Pond, Middlebury/Ripton: Abbey Pond Trail steadily climbs 2.2 miles past Abbey Pond Cascades and ending at Abbey Pond. The cascades and the pond offer a wonderful winter scenery making this a great snowshoe option.
Great Cliff of Mount Horrid, Rochester: With the cliff closed March 15 – August 1 due to Peregrine nesting, winter is a great time to hike to the Great Cliff of Mount Horrid. Although a short climb, the trail is steep and demanding, but hikers are rewarded with amazing views from the top. In the right snow conditions, hikers can also be rewarded with glissading back down the trail.
Hiking the Long Trail Side-to-Side
Can’t get enough of the Green Mountains? Try completing the side trails!
- Number of side trails in the Green Mountains: 84
- Total mileage: 163.8
- Certification requirements: mail journal to GMC
- Certification perks: rocker patch, award certificate, and knowing you are among the few and the proud who’ve hiked them all!
We strongly suggest that hikers carry a guidebook and map when heading out to the trails!