“The mountains are calling and I must go” was written by John Muir in 1873 and is still applicable to this day. After winter, the weather starts to warm and the lure of the mountains is strong, but mud season forces us to wait even longer. The time has come when we can finally answer the call! The trails are open and hiking season has begun!
Although our field staff and volunteer trail maintainers have been hard at work cleaning up the trails, shelters, and privies for summer use, Mother Nature is the true protector and maintainer of the trail, so snow and mud can still be found in the higher elevations. Please help us protect our trails and prevent erosion by walking through the mud or snow and avoid treading on the surrounding terrain. Planning ahead and having knowledge of your hike will help you be prepared for most conditions. Bring plenty of food and water to sustain you through longer hikes. And because not everything always goes according to plan, make sure someone knows your itinerary.
You may find our caretakers on some higher summits working to educate the public regarding fragile alpine zones and proper backcountry etiquette. Please help them by staying on the trail and leashing dogs in these areas to protect the fragile alpine tundra. Remember, the summits can be much colder than the valley below and weather can change quickly, so don’t forget extra layers and rain gear to keep yourself dry and comfortable. For information on the other important essentials for your hike and tips on how to hike safely, visit our Trip Planning page.
If you are looking for hiking recommendations, we have updated our Suggested Day Hikes list for summer! You can also check out our outings calendar to join a trip with one of our sections. Don’t hesitate to contact 802-244-7037 or stop by the Visitor Center for more information as well as maps and guidebooks to help plan your hikes. This weekend we begin our summer hours of 9AM – 5PM, seven days a week.
Whether you are planning a day hike, a section hike, a thru hike, or have already hiked the whole trail, we invite you to join our new Long Trail Hiking – GMC Community Facebook Group. It’s a great place for people to connect with other hikers and gather and share information on anything from planned outings to gear suggestions to trail conditions to trip reports. We welcome anyone seeking to learn more about hiking on the Long Trail or Vermont’s other trails as well as those wanting to share their knowledge!