The Green Mountain Club periodically updates this page with trail closures, conditions, and reports on the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail in Vermont, and Northeast Kingdom Trails. We encourage hikers to share their trail observances with the Club either by contacting our Visitor Center or filling out the form at the bottom of this page. Please be aware that all such trail updates sent to the Club may be used and publicized on this page with the source cited.
GMC also posts conditions reports frequently in our Facebook Group.
Trail Changes & Closures
Reminder: Parking Limits at Stowe/Barnes Camp
Due to Stowe Mountain Resort pay-to-park requirements and traffic issues at the resort and along Route 108, there is now a 90-minute parking limit in the Barnes Camp Lot (at the base of the Notch Road, often used for hiking, skiing, and recreation in winter.) Free, unlimited parking is also available at the Toll House or at the Cross Country Center (both on Route 108) with shuttle bus or Green Mountain Transit bus transportation up to Barnes Camp (and back to your car). For more information, contact Stowe Mountain Resort (802-253-3000; [email protected]) or Vermont FPR (802-828-1534; [email protected]).
Town Road Closures may be in place this winter
Due to frequent freeze-thaw cycles, many towns are struggling with maintenance of dirt roads, including those up to popular trailheads including the Monroe Trailhead in Duxbury. Variable weather means roads cannot always be repaired or regraded in a timely manner. Please be aware of weather conditions and respect all posted road closures, even if it means finding another place to hike.
The Long Trail through the Winooski Valley Farm Fields is CLOSED
The flooding of the Winooski River on December 18 washed away stiles and electric fences on the Long Trail through the Winooski Valley fields (between Duxbury Window trailhead and Route 2). This portion of the trail is closed and hikers should walk along Duxbury Road as a detour.
December 18 Flooding – Trail Status Unknown
On December 18, 2023, much of northern and central Vermont experienced high winds, high temperatures, and intense rain (2-3 inches). The resulting snowmelt flooded the Winooski and Mad Rivers, among others, and many towns and homes experienced flood damage. At this point, GMC does not have a comprehensive list of road damage or closures, and we do not have staff or volunteers in the field to conduct trail assessments. As of Wednesday, flood waters have largely receded, but streams and rivers remain high and dangerous. Emergency crews remain occupied with frontcountry recovery operations.
If you plan to go hiking, please use extreme caution and expect icy conditions. Microspikes and even Crampons will be necessary. Snowshoes are also advisable, as high winds may have caused drifting of snow even on previously broken trails. Do not attempt to ford water crossings. Please consider your preparedness and the taxed emergency resources around the state before embarking on any hiking plans.
Forest City Trail Bridge Removed
As of 11/1/23, the Forest City Bridge (.25 miles from the Forest City trailhead in Huntington) was removed. The bridge was closed in 2019 due to structural concerns. It sustained further damage in the July 2023 floods that necessitated its removal for public safety. Bridge replacement funding was secured by Vermont Forests Parks and Recreation and construction will begin next spring.
Reroute: There are two options: carefully ford the stream if water conditions allow to safely cross. Or, park at the Burrows Trailhead parking area and take the Burrows-Forest City Connecter Trail to intersect the Forest City Trail above the stream crossing. Other bridges on the trail remain in place.
UPDATED: Pico Camp Reopened
The Green Mountain Club is reopening Pico Camp to the public, effective 8/18. Signage will be removed. After serving a no-trespass order earlier this summer, the unauthorized occupant of the shelter has not been seen there in over a month, and his belongings are no longer present. Note to the hiking public: If you see the unauthorized occupant (Mr. Scott Saltis), please immediately report this matter to the Killington Police (802-422-3200) so that the No-Trespass order can be successfully enforced. If you are ever in an emergency situation or encounter someone on trail who makes you feel threatened, call 911.
We appreciate the ongoing concern and cooperation of the hiking community and support from the Killington Police Department, Rutland Police Department, and Killington Resort in regards to this matter.
Nearby shelters and overnight sites are listed below if hikers prefer to use them:
- Churchill Scott Shelter or Tucker Johnson Shelter on the Long Trail North
- Cooper Lodge or Governor Clement Shelter on the Long Trail South
- The Inn at the Long Trail on U.S. Route 4
Sunrise Shelter: NEW location and structure
GMC crews and volunteers are putting the finishing touches on a brand new Sunrise Shelter, at a new site. The new 3.5-walled shelter sleeps 14-18, and a moldering privy, constructed in 2022, is located nearby. There is no designated space for tent camping at this site. The water source is a small stream that crosses the LT about 75 feet south of the spur trail.
The new site is about 1.5 miles south of the old site, and .2 miles south of the Long Trail’s intersection with the Chittenden Brook Trail. The spur trail is obvious, but not yet signed.
The old Sunrise Shelter is slated for decommission this week, and is now closed to public use. Please do not use the shelter or tent in the area.
Bamforth Ridge Shelter is Closed
Due to flooding damage, the foundation of Bamforth Ridge shelter has been deemed unsafe and is closed. Please do not sleep in or use the shelter until further notice. There are a few tent platforms at the site, but hikers should plan an alternative route in case the tenting sites are full. Primitive camping is not permitted above 2500′. Montclair Glen is 5.5 miles to the south, and Hump Brook Tenting Area is about 6.5 miles south (use the Dean Trail). Buchanan Shelter is 12 miles north. Duck Brook Shelter is also an option, located on the Duck Brook side trail off Stage Road in Bolton (near the Long Trail Route 2/I-89 crossing).
July Flooding Trail Updates
GMC is posting all flood-related closures, updates, and hiker guidance on this webpage. Thanks to the hiking community for showing such support and cooperation during this time. The trail system suffered widespread damage, but had no catastrophic infrastructure losses.
Notice on “Trail Magic” Activities in the Green Mountain National Forest
Hikers and “trail angels” (volunteers) please be advised that the Green Mountain National Forest has issued new guidance on “trail magic” for hikers and backpackers. This guidance comes in response to an increase in unattended food and beverages, leading to concerns around bear activity and waste disposal.
All “trail magic” — including water, cold drinks, snacks, prepared foods — may only be given out with a volunteer physically present. Any trail magic left unattended will be removed and disposed. This guidance applies to cached food and resupplies as well. Thank you for your helping us keep the Long Trail System litter free and a safe place for humans and wildlife to co-habitat.
Forest Road 10 Closure – Old Job Trailhead Access
Forest Road 10 between Mount Tabor and Landgrove (sometimes called the Danby – Mt. Tabor Road) is closed to through traffic due to a significant washout just west of the intersection with Forest Road 30. As of July 18, 2023, it is closed from FR30 east for bridge and culvert work that is scheduled to last to the end of the summer, so road access to the Old Job Trailhead is unavailable. Green Mountain National Forest Alert.
Smugglers’ Notch Parking and Stormwater Improvement Project
The Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC) in partnership with the Vermont Agency the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Vermont Department of Parks and Recreation completed environmental restoration along the “Notch Road” (VT 108 from Stowe Mountain Resort to Jeffersonville) to preserve and restore the natural beauty and landscape through the Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway Parking Area and Stormwater Improvement Project. Construction is now complete for the 2023 season. Detailed updates can be found here.
Annual Peregrine Falcon Closures
Peregrine falcons are very sensitive to human presence during their breeding season, so the following areas are closed to hiking and climbing. Please maintain a respectful distance from known nests. Cliffs occupied by peregrines this year are being identified and the current closed hiking areas include:
• Bolton Notch (Bolton) – UUW cliff – cliff access and climbing closed
• Bone Mountain (Bolton) – portions closed to climbing
• Deer Leap (Bristol) – cliff-top and climbing closed
• Eagle Ledge (Vershire) – closed to hiking and climbing
• Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – cliff-top closed
• Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) – portions closed to climbing
• Mt Horrid (Rochester) – Great Cliff overlook closed
• Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – cliff-top and climbing closed
• Prospect Rock (Johnson) – cliff-top overlook and climbing closed
• Red Rocks Park (S. Burlington) – southern cliff access closed
• Rattlesnake Point (Salisbury) – southern overlook closed
• Snake Mt (Addison) – entire western trail closed
These sites will remain closed until August 1 or until Fish & Wildlife determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed. Additionally, sites may be added to the closed list so keep checking in VT Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Glastenbury Fire Tower Closure
As of December 2, 2022, the Glastenbury Mountain Fire Tower is currently closed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently deemed the tower structurally unsafe. Please do not climb or otherwise use the Glastenbury fire tower. Trails in the area including the Glastenbury/West Ridge Loop remain open.
Seth Warner Shelter Relocation
The new Seth Warner shelter is complete and is available for overnight use. It is located two miles north of the old site, five miles north of the Vermont-Massachusetts border and five miles south of Congdon Shelter. There is a new composting privy and the water source is located north of the shelter on the Long Trail.
The old Seth Warner site was deconstructed and decommissioned in Fall 2022. Dispersed camping is permitted in this area, but hikers should not use the old Seth Warner site to allow it to revegetate.
Stratton Pond Trail Relocations
Last fall, work was completed to reroute the LT/AT and Lye Brook Trail around Stratton Pond. Both trails were moved upslope to a more sustainable location to help protect the pond’s ecosystem. Please follow new signage at the site to stay on trail. You can still hike to and enjoy the pond’s edge via a short spur trail to the Willis Ross Clearing. Final signage is being installed this spring. Early season hikers should be aware that on-site signage is correct, but not yet complete. A new shelter at Stratton View tenting area will be complete in the first half of the hiking season. In the meantime, new tent platforms are available at Stratton View.
Winooski River Footbridge, Parking Closure
Parking is currently blocked at the south side of the footbridge. The only current parking for the bridge is on Route 2.
AT/LT Rootville Bridge Closed
GMNF has closed the AT/LT Rootville Bridge at the end of Rootville Road at the Lye Brook Wilderness Boundary due to a failed abutment. An inspection of the structure determined a replacement will be needed. In the meantime, this is a fairly easy rock hop with steep scrambles on the banks on both sides of the stream.
Black Bear Activity
Forest Service officials announced July 24, 2019, that they are implementing a Forest Order for the entire Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) geared toward minimizing black bear and human encounters and interactions. The order specifies proper food storage and prohibits leaving food, or refuse on National Forest system lands in Vermont. The Order was issued to provide for visitor safety and the conservation of bears. See more information in the press release.
The following acts are prohibited on the Green Mountain National Forest:
- Except while being consumed, all food, food containers and refuse shall be stored in a closed motor vehicle or suspended at least twelve (12) feet above the ground and not less than six (6) feet horizontally from any object. Bear boxes and bear canisters designed specifically for food and/or refuse storage are acceptable.
- All refuse containing food materials or containers shall be deposited in receptacles provided for that purpose, removed from the Green Mountain National Forest to be disposed of properly, or stored in the manner prescribed for food in #1 above (36 CFR 261.58(cc)).
We have had many questions about whether Ursacks are allowed with the GMNF order. Ursacks are currently acceptable under the Food Storage Closure Order, but as with any newer device or technology, they could be unacceptable in the future if GMNF sees issues with them. We recommend that they be used in conjunction with the odor-proof OPSaks recommended by Ursack.
East Dorset Trail
The East Dorset Trail is currently closed. Trail damage occurred during a heavy rain event in April 2019. The East Dorset Trail took a heavy hit and is completely washed out and impassable about 0.2 miles in from the Forest Service boundary. The river braided and took out a large section of trail and left deep, fast-flowing water in its place. The damage still needs to be further assessed. See the Forest Service Alert.
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