We all started somewhere — possibly a teary-eyed climb up Camel’s Hump while being chewed alive by black flies. As we approach the traditional start of hiking season this Memorial Day weekend, you may be wondering where to begin — or need a refresher after the long winter. Whether you’re brand new to hiking, growing your skills, or looking for up-to-date information, we can help you out. Here’s what you need to know:
Leave No Trace
To start off, check out these seven Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. LNT is all about understanding that hikers are the visitors in wild spaces, and it’s important to leave wilderness just as you found it to best protect wildlife, respect other trail-users, and keep a balanced relationship with nature. Proper prep and planning can help you hone your hiking etiquette. Find more information here.
- Leave No Trace activity sheet
- Bear Safety while Hiking and Camping
- We All Belong: A Transgender Thru-Hiker’s Reflections on the Long Trail
Plan Your Trip
Next, you’ll want to prepare to tackle a challenging trail or summit hike. We’re talking gear, fitness and training, planning a hike, and safety. Lucky for you, we have a Hiking 101 video for that exact purpose.
Find a Trail
Now that you’ve brushed up on hiking etiquette and your pack is ready, you can pick a trail. (We have over 500 miles for you to choose from!) Check out these recommended summer hikes around Vermont. We really like Belvidere Mountain, Mt. Ascutney, and the Jerusalem Trail, but there really is a hike for everyone.
- Wheelchair-accessible, car accessible, and low-elevation hikes
- Log into the GMC Facebook Group to connect with Vermont’s hiking community.
- View regularly updated trail recommendations, and tag your adventures — #HikeVT — to share the love.
Grow Your Hiking Skills
Ready to bring your hiking adventure up a notch? An End-to-End hike covers all 272 miles of the Long Trail, while the Side-to-Side challenge covers its 88 side trails. Complete these trails as thru-hikes or in sections!
- Video: End-to-Ender Panel, 2021
- Backpacking Advice from End-to-End Hikers
- Feminine Hygiene While Backpacking
- Backcountry Campsites & Water Sources