The Green Mountain Club periodically updates this page with trail conditions and reports. We encourage hikers to share their trail observances with the Club either by contacting our Visitor Center or filling out the form below. 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
Black Bear Activity
Forest Service officials announced July 24th 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.
Goddard Shelter has reopened after multiple bear incidents. The bear’s behavior continued to escalate and it had to be euthanized by game wardens. Please continue to practice safe food storage so we can avoid this outcome in the future.
East Dorset Trail
The East Dorset Trail is currently closed. Trail damage occurred during a heavy rain event in April. 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.
Peregrine Falcon Nesting Closures
Any trails formerly closed for peregrine falcon nesting are open as of August 1st as peregrine falcon nesting season is complete. (Each spring the Forest Service closes some trails and cliffs from March 15 – August 1 in order to prevent disturbance to critical nesting habitat of peregrine falcons. In 2019, the Long Trail to Prospect Rock in Johnson was a new addition to the list of closed trails.)
2018 Hiking Season News:
The mile-long Long Trail relocation in Smuggler’s Notch is open, featuring an accessible boardwalk, new parking area, and relocated trail that passes right by the historic Barnes Camp Visitor Center, open on weekends through the summer and staffed by dedicated volunteers. The Long Trail north and south of Smuggler’s Notch is accessed from the Barnes Camp parking lot, with hiker parking across the street at Stowe. Follow the boardwalk to take the Long Trail south, or walk over the bridge behind Barnes Camp and up the stairs to take the Long Trail north. The former parking area on Route 108 no longer accesses the trail. If you are hiking up Mount Mansfield on the Long Trail from Route 108, still park at Stowe and take the boardwalk south from Barnes Camp. All GMC maps are up to date.
The renovations at Cowles Cover Shelter are complete and the shelter is open, including a new tent platform.
Tucker Johnson Shelter near Maine Junction has been rebuilt and is open for use.
(last updated 8/1/19)
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