Best Overnight Hikes In Vermont

Best Overnight Hikes In Vermont

If you’re looking for the best place to hike overnight, then you’re in luck, as Vermont offers some of the greatest backpacking terrains in all of the States.

This guide will explore the best overnight hikes in Vermont, providing you with the best locations for an enjoyable trip.

Below, you will find the best hikes that provide the perfect opportunities for a wildlife escape or a weekend backpacking trip.

Reasons to Visit Vermont

Overnight hikes Vermont trails

Vermont provides more shelters/ lean-tos than any other state located in New England.

Additionally, there are far fewer crowds than in its neighboring state of New Hampshire, and the scenery is just as breathtaking.

On top of that, Vermont offers a 270+ mile Long Trail which is perfect for those looking to prolong their hikes for days, weeks, or even months longer.

The Long Trail is undoubtedly one of the finest overnight hikes in Vermont and could even be considered the best in the United States.

1. The Long Trail

The Long trail Vermont
  • 272 miles/438 km, 5 to 28 days.

The original Long Trail, a thru-hike, is the earliest uninterrupted trail in the United States. It was also the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail.

Twisting and winding through the expanse of the Green Mountains, along with northern hardwood forests, on top and sometimes through mountain streams and brooks,  as well as past alpine tundra – this trail extends from Massachusetts to Canada. 

If you accomplish the hike end-to-end, you’ll officially receive bragging rights for the rest of your days. As this is extremely hard to accomplish, most people take day trips to the Long Trail and ‘section hike’ portions of the trail throughout the years.

Whether this is a weekend trip or just for the afternoon. Over 166 miles of the side trails allow passage to the Long Trail as well as its 70 backcountry campsites. 

In the South of Vermont, the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail are shown to share the same trails for 100 miles.

As you climb north towards Mt. Mansfield and Jay Peak, the trail begins to get increasingly rugged. Likewise, in the north there are steep inclines situated with permanent ladders to aid hikers up rock faces. 

Each season brings new challenges and wonders to the Long Trail. You will see spring flowers accompanied by soggy, rainy weather or snowy summits, with the warmer seasons being more crowded, buggy, and hummus.

In the fall, the weather is unpredictable but you will be greeted with a kaleidoscope of autumnal colors and leaves.

In the winter, the trail is otherworldly and magnificent; however, correct clothing and navigation skills are essential. 

2. Mt. Philo

Mt. Philo Vermont trails
  • 1.4-1.9 miles/2.25-3 km, 1-1.5 hours.

Champlain Valley, which is the source to Lake Champlain, is known as Vermont’s breadbasket as a result of its abundant agriculture and fertile lowland soils. 

The trail up to Mt.Philo provides panoramic views of the Valley, Lake Champlain, and New York’s million-acre Adirondack Park. Situated in Charlotte, Vermont, Mt.Philo stands proud at 968ft within 232-acres of Mt. Philo State Park.

Within the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built roads and planted trees, a campground, a picnic area, trails, ranger quarters, and on top of its natural viewpoint: a summit lodge. 

While some hikers prefer to stick to the paved roads towards the summit, others prefer to seek out stretches of trails along the way.

The park’s trails and paved roads provide hikers and walkers with a view of Mt. Philos mid-mountain cliff band, access to hardwood forests in the park, and a summit to admire the surroundings. 

In addition, this is one of the best areas to observe hawks in Vermont – with September being the best month to do so.

Likewise, Mt.Philo holds the state record for the highest volume of raptors seen in one day (3,688). With 10 campsites to choose from, you can reserve your camp spot and drive through the access road.

Alternatively, you can park at the bottom and pay a fee to have access through the entry gate for everyday use.

3. Camels Hump Trail

Camels hump trail Vermont
  • 6.0 miles/ 9.7 km, 4.27 hours.

Near Waterbury, Vermont, you can enjoy this 9.7km out-and-back trail. Typically considered a challenging hike, this trail averagely takes about 4h 27 mins to accomplish.

This is a popular route for birding, camping, and backpacking alike, so you may encounter other people on your journey. This is a year-round hike, with different months providing breathtaking views. 

Considered one of the best hiking trails in the Green Mountain National Forest, Camel’s Hump Trail is also the third highest peak in the state.

The summit provides outstanding panoramic views in whatever direction you’re looking at, as well as a view of Killington Peak. 

You can complete this trail as an out-and-back hike, which consists of a 6 mile round trip using the Monroe Trail.

Alternatively – You can loop the route using the Dean Trail, Long Trail, or Monroe Trail. In addition to this, it can also be accessed from the Burrows trailhead from the Forest City Trail to Burrows’s Trail.

When hiking the out-and-back trail, hikers will begin the route using the Monroe trail, and while this is relatively steep, it does, however, provide leveled off areas throughout the trail.

Using this Monroe Trail, hikers will then reach the Dean Trail intersection, where you will be given the option to either turn left towards the Dean Trail and then follow along the Long Trail up to the summit, or continue straight to reach the summit using the Monroe Trail.

Final Thoughts

Discover Vermont and all its wonders through overnight hiking. There is no better way then to fully immerse yourself into nature then waking up to it at your doorstep. Hopefully, this guide has informed you on the best overnight hikes in Vermont. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog