Running along the ridge of Vermont’s Green Mountains, 272 miles from the Massachusetts border to Québec, the Long Trail is one of America’s premier hiking routes. Those planning on hiking its entire length should count on it taking between 25 and 30 days. The most conventional way of accomplishing this feat is to hike from shelter to shelter, maintained during summer and usually no more than a gentle day’s hike apart. A moderate fee is charged at sites with caretakers (usually $5), and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis; if the shelter itself is full, you’ll have to camp, so unless you plan to arrive early you’ll need to carry a tent. All shelters are on the primitive side (no electricity or running water). Contact the Green Mountain Club (802 244 7037, greenmountainclub.org) for more information.

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