Green Mountain Gambols

Day Hikes on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont
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The Green Mountains in autumn
The Green Mountains in autumn

From the Connecticut River at the Vermont/New Hampshire border, the Appalachian Trail passes from east to west, running over forty miles. Crossing through lowland hardwood forests and climbing over steep hills dotted with pastures and fields, the A.T. joins the Long Trail at Sherburne Pass, where it heads 101 miles south to the Vermont/Massachusetts border.

The northern section of the trail in Vermont passes through an area once populated by many farms. The area from the Connecticut River to Sherburne Pass features cleared hills, pastures, ravines, steep hills, and patches of timber. Stone walls, cellar holes, and other remnants of the farms that once dominated this area can still be seen. The area is now reverting to forest.

At Sherburne Pass, the Long Trail, which joined the A.T. at the Vermont/Massachusetts border, heads north another 160 miles or so to Canada. The A.T. picks up the Long Trail here and follows it south. The A.T. climbs the slopes of Killington and Pico Peaks of the Coolidge Range, reaching its highest point in Vermont just below Killington Peak (elevation 4,235 feet). Once the trail passes through the Coolidge Range, it descends once again to rolling hills and farmlands, crossing Clarendon Gorge on a suspension bridge before climbing back up into the Green Mountains.

From here, the A.T. follows the ridge of the Green Mountains, passing several mountain ponds (Little Rock Pond, Griffith Lake, and Stratton Pond). The trail also crosses several peaks, including Peru Peak, Spruce Peak, and Stratton Mountain. The latter is said to be the birthplace of the A.T., the spot where Benton MacKaye first envisioned a trail along the Appalachian Mountains.

From Stratton, the trail continues on to Glastenbury Mountain before descending to Vermont 9 near Bennington, Vermont. Then the trail climbs to a rolling ridge, which it follows for 14 miles before meeting the Vermont/Massachusetts border. The border is not near a road crossing. It is another 4 miles to Massachusetts 2 in North Adams.

© Article copyright Menasha Ridge Press. All rights reserved.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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