Wildlife On The Long Trail

Although my hiking on the Long Trail has been limited to day rambles, I have seen many animals. A turkey walked across the trail a few feet in front of me. I have heard and seen many birds, squirrels, frogs and salamanders. I have yet to see any bear or moose but have seen evidence that they have been there. On today's hike between Little Rock Pond and White Rocks I came across wildlife that was totally unexpected.

While walking north under spruce trees I heard voices coming towards me. I moved to the side of the trail so they would have room to get by. A group of elderly naked hikers appeared! They were wearing boots and backpacks but otherwise not a stitch of clothing! At first I was speechless, I could not think of a thing to say. As the group filed by and I attempted to avert my eyes, I counted off eight hikers moving by. When the last naked hiker, who appeared to be in his 80s, strode by I collected myself enough to say, "Hi."

As they moved into the distance I wonndered if I had hallucinated. Later in the day I met a clothed hiker who mentioned that he had seen the same group. Apparently it is a tradition in Vermont to hike naked on the summer solstice. Balancing an egg on it's end was not enough for these old gents. They went the "full monty" and I was there to see it.

Bob Whitney
Manchester, Vermont


  • Longtrail 100 Blog
  • Trail Markers
  • Trail Stories
  • View All

Longtrail 100

VPR is marking the 100th anniversary of The Long Trail with a month-long series of reports and essays. Through this series, we'll explore the history and future of The Long Trail and introduce listeners to the people who built, maintain and hike it today.