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
COVID-19 and the Long Trail
Trails on the Long Trail System are open for hiking beginning May 22. However, it’s not as simple as that statement. With both a late snowpack and COVID-19 as dominant concerns this hiking season, we are asking hikers to take a few extra precautions to both protect public health and protect the public resource of our beautiful trails.
Hiking is the ideal outdoor recreational activity for these times since you can get outside for exercise and fresh air while still adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines, but let’s be smart about it, and above all, let’s be sensitive to trail conditions and courteous to other hikers itching to get out just as much as we are. Winter conditions and muddy conditions are still in place on many areas of the trail. Please plan ahead and prepare for any conditions you may encounter.
To protect public health, shelters and privies on the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail in Vermont are closed. Trail managers are developing guidelines for the use of backcountry facilities and hope to open some facilities in a reduced capacity by June 15. GMC is encouraging day hikes only for now, but dispersed and primitive camping is allowed at some locations on the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail in Vermont.
Please read our hiking season blog for the latest information on trail conditions (including photos) and COVID-19 trail etiquette.
Our thru-hiker FAQ has also been updated.
Please stay up to date with GMC’s COVID-19 response here.
Cliffs Closed to Protect Peregrine Falcons
Fourteen cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons, many on or near hiking trails. Peregrines are vulnerable to human disturbance on or above a nesting cliff and the cliffs are closed to improve the odds for successful nesting.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department closes the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to those cliff areas. These sites will remain closed until August 1 or until the department determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed. If nesting falcons choose new sites, additional sites may be added to the closed list.
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.
Duck Brook Trail
The Duck Brook Trail at Notch Road in Bolton is receiving some needed erosion control work where it is collocated with an existing forest road for approximately 250’. The work is slated to begin in early June and will be completed in a couple weeks’ time, weather dependent. The work will include the use of heavy equipment to stabilize the road and install culverts. Please avoid this trail while the equipment is working. This closure should be relatively short. This section of trail is on private land so we ask that you respect the landowner’s private property and not bushwhack to find a way around the worksite.
Forest City Trail Bridge Closed
As of Fall 2019, the Forest City Trail bridge is closed. Fording the stream is possible. Alternative access to the Forest City Trail is via stream crossing or via the Burrows-Forest City Connecter Trail accessed at the Burrows Trailhead parking area. Plan on this bridge being closed for at least a year as we explore replacement options with VT FPR.
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.
(last updated 5/21/2020)
Submit a Trail Update