Hiking trails in Vermont

Long Trail Overview Vermont’s Long Trail System, with its 272-mile footpath, 166 miles of side trails, and approximately 70 backcountry campsites (many featuring shelters) offers endless hiking opportunities for the day hiker, weekend overnighter, and extended backpacker. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont state line to the Canadian border, crossing Vermont’s highest peaks. Although the Long Trail is known as Vermont’s “footpath in the wilderness,” its character may more accurately be described as backcountry. On its way to Canada, this “footpath in the wilderness” climbs rugged peaks and passes pristine ponds, alpine sedge, hardwood forests, and swift streams. It is steep in places, muddy in others, and rugged in most. Novice and expert alike will enjoy the varied terrain of the trail as it passes through the heart of Vermont. Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with the Long Trail for 100 miles in the southern third of the state. As maintainer and protector of the Long Trail, the Green Mountain Club works in partnership with the Green Mountain National Forest, state of Vermont, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and private land owners to offer a world-class hiking trail. Trail Marking The Long Trail is marked by two-by-six-inch white blazes. Intersections usually have signs. Double blazes may mark important turns. In open areas or on rocky summits, blazes are often painted on rocks; cairns and scree walls may also define the trail. Property lines, snowmobile routes, and cross-country ski trails marked in various colors occasionally cross the route, but the well-worn footpath and standard white blazes distinguish the Long Trail from these. Nearly all side trails are blazed in blue. Hikers should always pay special attention at trail intersections as signs may be missing and blazes fade.

Following the state’s highest ridgelines from the northern border with Canada to the Massachusetts state line in the south, Vermont’s Long Trail is America’s oldest long distance hiking trail. But day hikers can enjoy segments of the trail, and use the miles of well-maintained side trails to reach the more than 40 summits the Long Trail connects.

Mt. Ascutney We know today that Mount Ascutney is a monadnock and is not related geologically to surrounding hills. Rather, it stands alone and shares a geological history more closely with the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There are four trails that run from the base of the mountain to the summit that are connected by a relatively level trail that follows the ridgeline and crosses the summit. They are: The Weathersfield Trail. The trail runs 2.9 miles along the south face of the mountain, passing Cascade Falls, the largest waterfall on the mountain. The Windsor Trail. The trail runs 2.7 miles to the summit, passing a small waterfall and the remains of an old stone shelter. The Brownsville Trail. This trail is 3.2 miles and follows an old logging road, passing an old granite quary and offering great views from the north and west. The Futures Trail. This 4.6 mile trail is the longest on Mt. Ascutney. It can be accessed at two points along the state park mountain road. The Mt. Ascutney Parkway is a 3.7 mile paved road leading to the summit, revealing many excellent scenic views. Additionally, there is a .7-mile side trail to an observation tower on the summit with a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.

Find best hiking trails New York

This is a rugged ridge in the Hudson Highlands near Cortlandt Manor. An elevation gain of 1,000 feet—a lot of vert for the rolling hills of Wisconsin—is enough to earn a plate of sliders and a flight of whiskey at Driftless Glen Distillery, three miles from the trailhead. But the Backbone Trail though the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness offers escape from the swamp. Starting at Exit Glacier, you’ll climb 1,000 feet through forest and meadows, eventually ending above tree line at the edge of a 700-square-mile ice field. If you want the 360-degree views at the top of Mount Cascade to yourself, get up early and watch the sunrise from the summit — no Insta filter needed.

Anthony’s Nose, Peekskill, 900 feet The vista at the top of this mini-mountain (supposedly named for a pre-Revolutionary War captain with a Cyrano sniffer) “is like a helicopter view of the Bear Mountain Bridge” and the Hudson River, says Catherine of this six-mile/three-hour loop, which is also part of the Appalachian Trail. On the lake’s northwest side sit 100-foot quartzite cliffs that are popular with climbers. The hike begins just off Route 6.

Find best hiking trails New York

Watkins GlenDistance: 2.4 miles You’ll feel like Indiana Jones, winding through caves, across bridges, and over waterfalls — 19 of them, to be exact. With all the ups and downs, one climbs up about 1,500 feet total (the Empire State Building is only 1,250 feet). Devil’s Lake State Park, the third oldest in Wisconsin, is home to 100 bird species and 800 types of plants. Plus they can be tackled together in a single, not-too-challenging hike; once you’ve conquered Cascade, it’s only another mile or so to bag Porter. —Kelsey Lindsey, assistant editor

1. Suessian longleaf pines. From Mount Marcy, the highest point in New York State, to the popular peaks such as Cascade and Porter, the famed 46 High Peaks provide endless opportunities for recreation and stunning views. This popular hike is a 2.2-mile loop with scenic views of the pond and surrounding mountains, wildlife- and bird-watching opportunities, and a boardwalk stroll through a hemlock grove. —Abigail Wise, online managing editor. That and the proximity to downtown Lake Placid makes this an extremely popular hike. Think it can’t sound any better than that? Nearby post-hike stops include Mongaup Pond Campground (pictured), which has a beach for swimming and canoe rentals, picnic tables, and an accessible fishing pier, or Catskill Fish Hatchery, which offers tours (8 am–4 pm Monday through Friday, 8 am–noon on weekends and holidays).

Cascade and Porter Mountains Lake PlacidDistance: 5.6 miles Among the 46 mountains that make up the Adirondack High Peaks, these are two of the most accessible. Hike the High Peaks

It’s a little touristy by Alaska standards, and there are definitely more-secluded hikes in the state, but the 8.2-mile Harding Icefield Trail, in Kenai Fjords National Park, is still the best bang for your buck. This one of the more popular parks in the Finger Lakes region, so aim for off-peak hours if you don’t want too many randos in your pics.

It’s hard to get high in Louisiana, where the mean elevation is just 100 feet and New Orleans actually sits below sea level. —K.B.

Home to the most iconic peaks in the Adirondack Mountains, the Lake Placid Region is surrounded by legendary hiking trails and summits. The wide stone pathway has been carved into the rock and makes for easy walking, so instead of looking down at your feet you can gawk at the dramatic rock formations and pools around you. Those looking for a longer hike can start on the Camp Smith Trail.

It’s not the length that makes this quick five-mile loop the best in the Badger State, but the views, which range from waterside—looking over Devil’s Lake—to the thick forest of the East Bluff Woods. Savor on-high views from 300-foot outcrops and, in spring, blooming azaleas. Keep an eye out for armadillos. A steep, 500-foot rock staircase takes you up the first section of the 2.6-mile hike, then a relatively flat trail leads to an overlook with views of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge. This 7.7-mile path scales sandstone hills topped with Dr.