"Hiking uphill to get down off a mountain"

Listening to the radio today, the guest remarked on the ruggedness of the Long Trail compared to many other footpaths. Here's a quote that captures this point.

25 years ago, I took a trip with three friends from Middlebury Gap northward. This mid-summer trip was the epitome of wet - it rained every single day, except for one glorious sunny day on which we laid out all of our wet gear on some rocks near the top of Mt. Ellen. I remember vividly one 50 yard section of trail near the top of one peak which was surrounded on either side by impenetrable brush, but was full of water up to mid-calf level. No choice but to slog through!

In any event, we lasted out a torrential downpour during the night at Montclair Glen Lodge with a bunch of other nice folks, and told many stories of various hiking experiences around the world (when the rain on the roof allowed us to be heard!) Of note were two tall, lanky, middle-aged brothers from New Zealand who had been many, many places, but they felt that the Long Trail was unique. As they said, "we've hiked all over the world, and Vermont is the only place on the planet where you hike uphill to get down off a mountain!" Yup!

Bill V.


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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.