Long Trail "Oddities and Trivia"
While hiking and backpacking on the Long Trail over many summers we have encountered what we consider some odd things about the trail and gathered some related trivia. It's been a fun and irresistible exercise. We hope you enjoy reading our list as much as we have enjoyed compiling it. So, here we go:
It's not what you think
Battell Shelter is located on Mount Abraham, not Battell Mountain. The Battell Trail is not on Battell Mountain, but on Mount Abraham.
Buchanan Shelter is not located on Buchanan Mountain. It is near Bolton Valley.
Sunset Rock is at the end of a short side trail on Battell Mountain. Sunset Ledge is on the Long Trail just south of Lincoln Gap.
Mount Abraham is named for President Lincoln, but Lincoln Peak is named for the nearby town of Lincoln. The town of Lincoln was named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln who served during the American Revolutionary War.
Skyline Lodge overlooks Skylight Pond, two names often confused with one another.
The Inn at Long Trail is not on the Long Trail. It is one mile east of the Long Trail.
The smallest shelter on the Long Trail is the Atlas Valley Shelter near Jay Pass, but it is not intended for overnight use.
The largest shelter on the Long Trail is Taft Lodge. It is located on Mount Mansfield and sleeps twenty-four cozily. But, the largest shelter on the highest mountain is not the highest shelter on the Long Trail.
The shelter at the highest elevation on the Long Trail is Cooper Lodge on Mount Killington at 3,850'. The shelter at the lowest elevation on the Long Trail is Clarendon Shelter at 1350' (it was Duck Brook Shelter at 670' before the Winooski River relocation in 2015).
There are only four shelters on the Long Trail named for women: Lula Tye, Minerva Hinchey, Emily Proctor, and Laura Woodward.
There are twenty shelters on the Long Trail named for men: Seth Warner, Melville Nauheim, Kid Gore, William B. Douglas, Governor Clement, Cooper, Churchill Scott, Tucker-Johnson (two men), Rolston, David Logan, Boyce, Battell, Theron Dean, Cowles Cove, Buchanan, Puffer, Taylor, Butler, Taft, and Corliss. The guys have the gals outnumbered.
Only five Long Trail shelters are named for the mountains on which they reside: Spruce Peak, Bromley, Peru Peak, Roundtop, and Tillotson.
Mount Mansfield is the only mountain on the Long Trail to feature three shelters designated as "lodges:" Taylor, Butler, and Taft. Lodges are defined by the Green Mountain Club as large enclosed structures.
A Long Trail hiker can stay overnight in three different ski-area warming huts: Bromley, Castlerock, and Stark's Nest. These are not official Long Trail shelters, but are open to hikers during the summer hiking season.
The trail goes where?
The Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the U.S., climbs the oldest mountains in the U.S., the Green Mountains.
White blazes mark both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail.
The Appalachian Trail uses the Long Trail for approximately 100 miles in Southern Vermont.
Two sections of the Appalachian Trail, one from Route 100 to Maine Junction and another from Route 2 in Massachusetts to the Long Trail Southern Terminus, are the Long Trail's only white-blazed side trails.
The Alpine Trail on Camel's Hump is the Long Trail's only yellow-blazed side trail.
The Long Trail that currently runs along Bamforth Ridge was once a blue-blazed side trail. Before it became a blue-blazed side trail, it was the original Long Trail.
Northbound hikers on the Long Trail head southeast for 2.7 miles from Laraway Mountain to Corliss Camp and southbound hikers head northwest over the same terrain.
There are signs marking the northern terminus of the Long Trail and the southern terminus of the Long Trail, but there is no longer a sign on Breadloaf Mountain marking what once was the halfway point on the Long Trail. To keep up with the often relocated Long Trail, a sign marking the mid-point would have to be on wheels.
The northern end of the Long Trail is halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
The Long Trail passes over a "family" of three Starks: General Stark Mountain, Baby Stark Mountain, and Molly Stark Mountain (Baby is appropriately located between General and Molly).
Mud on the Long Trail is affectionately (and sometimes not so affectionately) known by hikers as "Ver-mud." We like to call the soft, green moss carpeting many boulders, "Ver-ber."
Up, Over, Out, and Around
Spaces between mountains are typically known as "gaps" in Vermont and as "notches" in New Hampshire. The Long Trail passes through eleven gaps: Willard Gap, Wetmore Gap, Telephone Gap, Bloodroot Gap, Brandon Gap, Romance Gap, Middlebury Gap, Lincoln Gap, Appalachian Gap, Huntington Gap, and Wind Gap; and three notches: Nebraska Notch, Smuggler's Notch, and Hazen's Notch.
Brandon, Middlebury, Lincoln, and Appalachian Gaps have paved highways passing through them; the other gaps do not.
The Long Trail also goes through three "passes": Sherburne Pass, Jay Pass, and North Jay Pass.
The devil is in the Long Trail details. The trail passes through Devil's Gulch, passes near the Devil's Dishpan (Mount Mansfield), passes near Devil's Perch Outlook near Spruce Ledge Shelter, is accessible via the Hell Brook Trail on Mount Mansfield, and crosses a small bridge over Hell Hollow Brook just north of Melville Nauheim Shelter.
A hiker can climb four lookout towers while hiking the Long Trail over Glastenbury, Stratton, Bromley, and Belvidere mountains.
The Long Trail passes over Vermont's "High Five," the five peaks over 4,000' in elevation: Killington, Mount Abraham, Mount Ellen, Camel's Hump, and Mount Mansfield. Mount Ellen and Camel's Hump are tied at 4083' . . . so don't take a souvenir rock from either summit or you'll break the tie.
The Long Trail passes over the summit of Jay Peak at 3,858' which originally soared to 4,018'. In 1967 the Weyerhaeuser Company (the major shareholder of the Jay Peak ski area at the time) blew 160' off the top of the mountain to install the aerial tramway and tram house.
Of the numerous lakes in Vermont, the Long Trail touches the shore of only one, Griffith Lake.
Long Trail Notables
Revolutionary war figures are honored with names along the Long Trail: Hazen's Notch for Brigadier General Moses Hazen, Seth Warner Shelter for Revolutionary Army Officer Seth Warner, Mount Ethan Allen, Mount Ira Allen, Stark Mountain for General John Stark, and Molly Stark mountain and Molly Stark's Balcony for the general's wife.
Five former Presidents are honored on the Long Trail: Mount Abraham, Mount Grant, Mount Cleveland, Mount Roosevelt, and Mount Wilson.
The only Vermont Governor to hike the Long Trail end-to-end is former Governor Howard Dean.
You're not done yet
When a hiker reaches the end of the Long Trail, at either the Massachusetts or Canadian borders, they are not done hiking. They must continue on another trail to reach a town, parking lot, or highway.
The sign marking the "Northern Terminus of the Long Trail" is located just south of the first white blaze marking the Long Trail. Both the sign and the blaze are located several yards south of the United States/Canadian Border post which is generally recognized as the official end of the Trail.
If a portion of the Long Trail is relocated after you have finished an end-to-end hike, the Green Mountain Club still considers you an end-to-ender.
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