An End-to-Ender is someone who has hiked all 272 miles of the Long Trail, all at once in a thru-hike, or sometimes over the course of many years in a section hike. Preparation is an important part of any hike, so please read on for some frequently asked trip planning questions.
How long does it take to thru-hike the Long Trail?
- Average estimate: 20 to 30 days
- Each person hikes differently. The Vermont terrain is rugged, and different hikers spend differing amounts of time in towns or have different daily mileage preferences. Please study the Long Trail Guide and End-to-Ender’s Guide ahead of time.
When is the best time to do an End-to-End hike on the Long Trail?
- To avoid the black flies, the crowds, and the heat you might want to plan your hike for late summer or early fall. However, the later in autumn you hike, the higher the chance of snow.
- If planning a hike earlier in summer, please note that late May is still mud season, and there can still be snow on ridgelines in early June. Hiking in late June/July will mean black flies but less risk of dry water sources.
- Keep in mind that there is often snow on the higher elevations as early as October and possibly through mid-June. It is imperative to be prepared for these hiking conditions.
How do I plan transportation along my End-to-End hike?
- The End-to-Ender’s Guide lists many transportation options, including public, commercial, and private, that will shuttle people to and from trailheads. We have compiled a list of Public Transportation Options that can be used during the COVID-19 outbreak, but please confirm with the provider before using that service, as many places are closed or operating in a limited capacity. Once it is safe, GMC will resume its shuttle driver list for hikers.
What resources are available for planning a Long Trail End-to-End hike?
- The Long Trail Guide, the End-to-Ender’s Guide, and the Long Trail Map are a great trio of resources. Though these guides are updated every few years, we recommend you call any business you plan on using prior to leaving for your hike to ensure the information is still accurate.
- Spring End-to-Ender Panel: Every spring a panel of End-to-Enders who completed the Long Trail gather to share their advice and stories from the trail.
How do I get in touch with an End-to-End mentor?
- Please join our Facebook Group to chat with former and current hikers.
Is a permit required? What about any special equipment?
- A permit is not required for hiking anywhere on the Long Trail. On Green Mountain National Forest land, storing all your food or smellable items in bear boxes (located at some overnight sites), in a portable bear can or Ursack, or hanging all your food/refuse/etc 12′ from the ground and 6′ from the tree and branch is required. Find out more.
Becoming a Certified End-to-Ender
Who is eligible for a Long Trail End-to-End certificate and patch?
- Anyone who has hiked the entire Long Trail, in one trip or many, this year or in previous years. Join the 5,000+ individuals who have received their End-to-End certification! Applications and journals are archived in the collections of the Vermont Historical Society.
Certified End-to-Ender benefits:
- Complimentary one-year GMC membership (for first-time members only)
- End-to-End Certificate
- End-to-End rocker patch
- GMC logo patch
- Your name listed in the following summer’s Long Trail News!
- Complete the Long Trail End-to-End Certification Online Application (each applicant MUST submit their own application).
- Or by Mail:
- Print and fill out the paper Long Trail End-to-End Certification Application (each applicant MUST submit their own application).
- It is not required but we encourage you to submit a trail journal sharing your Long Trail experience. Journal stories help us learn about what is happening on the trail and are often used in our work to educate and inspire others.
- Keep your journal submission at or under 10 pages (typed preferred).
- Please note: Make a copy of your journal to send in. Journals will not be returned.
- Mail both to:
Green Mountain Club
4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road
Waterbury Center, Vermont 05677
End-to-End applications are processed twice each year. Applicants who meet the following deadlines will be listed in the Summer edition of the Long Trail News:
- Deadline #1, if postmarked or submitted online by September 15th you can expect to receive your certificate and patch in October.
- Deadline #2, if postmarked or submitted online by February 15th you can expect to receive your certificate and patch in March. (If you submit your application after February 15th your name will not be listed in the Long Trail News until the following year.)