Kicking off with a stiff 1,000-foot climb over Bear Mountain, this 22-mile run on the Long Trail (also the Appalachian Trail on this route), serves up one of the thru-hikes first sustained ascents: a 6-mile, 2,400-foot approach to Killington Peak (at 4,235 feet, it's Vermont's second highest summit after Mount Mansfield).
Before the big hump of the day, the route descends from Bear and tracks north, passing by two overlooks above VT-30 before heading northeast to the Clarendon shelter. Further east at the Clement shelter, thru-hikers must decide whether to call it a day or hunker down for the final (and steepest) 3.5 miles of the climb up Killington. After the steepest stretch up to Little Killington, the route traverses north across a saddle and arrives at a junction leading down to the Cooper Lodge. Drop your packs at the shelter and hike up the 300-foot, .5-mile out-and-back to the top of Killington (where expansive 360-degree views across the Green Mountains await). From the lodge, it’s a 7-mile downhill run to the end of the section at US 4.
Shelters: Minverva Hinchey, Clarendon, Clement, Cooper Lodge, Churchill Scott
-Mapped by Berne Broudy, AuthenticOutdoors.com
MORE LONG TRAIL MAPS
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Trailhead: Start: From Wallingford, go S on US-7 to VT 140. Turn L on and continue 2.7 mi to trailhead/parking on L.
End: From Rutland, head east on US-4 for 8.2 mi to parking on right.