What’s your favorite summer hike in Vermont? There are so many to choose from! Here are a few GMC staff favorites to get you started:
Rob Rives, Education & Volunteer Coordinator
For cold-weather enthusiasts like myself, summer is the time to escape the valleys when heat and humidity become an oppressive blanket. My mind turns to high-elevation ridges where I can feel a stiff breeze, bask in cool mountain air, and gaze down at all of my warm-weather friends catching rays in their backyards. The section of the Long Trail from Appalachian Gap to Lincoln Gap, otherwise known as the southern half of the Monroe Skyline, is my go-to: from either direction, you will climb steeply into boreal forest and once on the ridge you can glide from open summit to open summit without ever going too low. Just seeing the epic collection of bumper stickers on the guardrail at Appalachian Gap is reason enough to visit this section of the Long Trail and leave the lowlands for a while.
Lorne Currier, Group Outreach Specialist
After a long summer day of paddling, climbing, or barbecuing, there’s no better way to end a perfect Vermont day than with a sunset hike to the summit of Camel’s Hump. I’m preferential to the Burrows Trail, a steady yet moderate 2.1 miles to the hut clearing. A quick but steep 0.3 miles south on the Long Trail puts you atop the rocky summit. Standing tall at 4,083’, Camel’s Hump is one of three summits in Vermont that hosts the rare alpine vegetation found at high elevations. The sunset has a vivid effect on these beautiful plants and the unobstructed view is a great place to see the colorful sky over Lake Champlain. Don’t forget to always carry the Ten Essentials for your hike and to do the “Rock Walk” while in the Alpine zone.
Hellbrook/Canyon/Long Trail Loop
Lenny Crisostomo, Database Manager
My favorite summer hike is a loop hike on the Mount Mansfield ridgeline. I like to park at 108 and take the Hellbrook Trail over the Adams Apple, then the Long Trail south over the Chin to the Subway Trail to the Canyon North Extension\Canyon North Trail\Canyon Trail, back to the Long Trail, north to the Profanity Trail to the Long Trail back to 108, where I walk up the road to the Hellbrook parking. This is a challenging yet interesting hike with many views. The Hellbrook Trail goes straight up 2,187′ in 1.5 miles, frequently on precipitous ledges, through woods with several views of the cliffs on Smugglers’ Notch. The Subway and Canyon Trails offer solitude and spectacular views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks while going over, under, and through boulders, caves, and crevices, with assistance from an occasional ladder. This roughly 7-mile round trip hike will keep you on your toes. On the way back, I always stop at Bingham Falls to cool off with a swim.