The fabled Green Mountains of Vermont form a nearly continuous spine, starting in the southwest corner and extending beyond the Canadian border. The first long distance hiking trail conceived and built in America—the Long Trail—follows the range from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border for 273 miles. The Long Trail established the very vision for the existence of the Appalachian Trail, planting the seed for Bento MacKaye to propose the idea in the 1920s.
The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail are one in the same for the southern most 100 miles. Then the AT turns east toward the New Hampshire border, a 50-mile stretch that ultimately help make the connection between the Green Mountains and the White Mountains.
The Cobbles – Leaving Massachusetts, the trail climbs onto some low mountains known as “cobbles”, named for the cobblestone-like rocks strewn about their summits. From here, you get nice views to Mount Greylock and the surrounding ridges to the south.
Killington – At 4241′, Killington Peak marks either the first place the trail has topped 4000′ since Tennessee or the last time you will reach that elevation until you get there, depending on which way you’re going. Either way, the views are sensational.
From Route 4 to the New Hampshire Border – The nearly 50-mile stretch between the Green Mountains and the New Hampshire border is a beautiful New England hike with sweeping vistas of farms throughout.
More about the AT
If you are interested in hiking the trail, you may find my book Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on the America’s trail a useful resource. I section-hiked the AT over nearly three decades with a good friend and we learned a lot!
If you are interested in the history of the Appalachian Trail — how the trail came into existence in the first place and the powerful personalities that got it built — you may enjoy my book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail.