Friday, August 11, 2017

Long Trail to US-4

Today Nancy and I hiked the Long Trail from David Logan Shelter to US-4 (southbound). The photo below is about 2/3 of the way through our hike at Rolston Rest Shelter:

Vermont's Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, dating from 1910. This 270-mile long hiking trail runs along the spine of the Green Mountains in Vermont from Massachusetts to Canada. The Long Trail (LT) inspired Benton MacKaye to propose the idea of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in 1921. The AT eventually became a 2,100-mile long hiking trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

The AT and the LT coincide in southern Vermont, parting ways at "Maine Junction" in Willard Gap (see photo below). Maine Junction was on our hike today, toward the end, just north of US-4. From here, the AT heads east to New Hampshire and Maine, while the LT continues north to Canada.

Our hike took us to the east of Chittenden Reservoir, which we occasionally glimpsed through the trees (alas no good photos of the reservoir). This portion of the Long Trail crosses both public and private land. Vermont prides itself on having a "working landscape" as noted in this sign that we saw on a downed tree:

The three logos on the sign above are of the Green Mountain Club, the United States Forest Service (USFS), and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The Green Mountain Club maintains the Long Trail in partnership with the respective federal and state agencies.

We saw moose droppings and moose tracks (see photo below next to Nancy's boot), but no moose. However, we did find some blackberries to pick and eat.

The photo below shows where we came out on US-4, looking back (north) at where we had come from. The sign says: "Long/Appalachian Trail North."

Today's hike was easy walking compared to the rugged terrain on portions of our hike last month. We parked one car at the end of USFS Road 99 in Chittenden and hiked in to the David Logan Shelter on the New Boston Trail. We parked a second car at the Inn at Long Trail on US-4 in Killington. Total distance was 14.7 miles: 1.2 miles on the New Boston Trail, 12.7 miles on the LT, and 0.8 miles on US-4. My Fitbit registered 44,161 steps. Nancy's registered 40,673. Neither of us used hiking poles on this hike.

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