Slackpacking Vermont

Destination: Rutland, VT

| Activities: Hiking and Slackpacking

Vermont's mountains aren t called the Green Mountains for nothing! This section of the Appalachian Trail is characterized by dense and verdant forests, offering great autumn foliage and a chance to get away from the crowds. In Vermont, the AT also coincides with the Long Trail beginning at the Massachusetts border, just north of Mount Greylock. The two trails share a footpath for 100 miles through southern Vermont, crossing notable peaks such as Stratton and Bromley. Killington Mountain in central Vermont marks the first time the AT reaches an elevation of 4,000 feet since Tennessee. We'll cover approximately 50 miles, returning at the end of the day to our lodging near the small town of Plymouth, VT. You'll hike significant mileage on this trip - between 7.5 - 12.2 miles each day, which requires being in excellent physical condition. Maximum group size: 12

Highlights

  • Hiking both the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail in Vermont
  • Walking through beautiful and historic Vermont in fabulous autumn weather
  • Standing atop Killington Mountain where the state was christened 'Verd-Mont' in 1763
  • Hiking the Clarenton Gorge, swimming in a high mountain lake, enjoying spectacular vistas
  • Returning to a comfortable bed and hot shower at the end of every day
  • Sharing adventure and learning the lore of the Appalachian Trail
  • Carrying only what you need for the day on your back

Departures and Prices

September 09 to September 15, 2023
$2495.00 - Limited Availability
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Inclusions

  • 2-3 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Six nights lodging
  • All meals from dinner on first day through breakfast the last day
  • Daily shuttles back and forth to the trailhead

What's not included: Airfare/travel to/from Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT), alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and travel insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip involves hiking from 7.5 to 12miles a day (see the itinerary for daily mileage) with significant elevation changes and footing that is rocky and uneven at times. It requires being in excellent physical condition. While you can always choose to stay at the house for the day, there are no options for shortening the daily hikes. This trip is rated a 5 due to the rocky, muddy, and slippery conditions often found in Vermont at this time of year. Prior to beginning the trip, participants should be engaged in aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Participants should feel comfortable hiking up to 8 hours a day for multiple days in a row. Additional endurance exercise and strength training is required to fully enjoy the trip. Please do not underestimate the fitness needed to hike the Appalachian Trail in Vermont; the trail is rugged and full of exposed tree roots and rocks, steep in many places and true to its reputation - muddy! Rating: 1 2 3 4 [5]

This is a hiking trip on the Vermont section of the legendary Appalachian Trail. The AT runs along the same path in this particular section as the Vermont Long Trail - the first long distance hiking trail in the US. You will be hiking in the mountains with constant elevation gain and loss on a trail that is rocky and steep.

This historic 1840's house has undergone a COMPLETE gut renovation and combines modern amenities with streamlined country tradition. The perfect getaway for hikers who want to have comfort within their country retreat. This 4700 square foot lofty beauty sleeps 19 in 6 separate bedrooms and a sleep loft. The house is located 15 minutes to Okemo and 10 minutes to Killington Skyeship Gondola. There is a separate yoga room, with yoga mats, blankets, and blocks.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Meet at 4 p.m. at the Rutland, VT airport (RUT). From the airport we'll shuttle approximately 30 minutes to our lodging for the week. After settling in a bit and exploring the lodging, we'll gather for introductions and go over the information you need for a week of happy and healthy hiking! After introductions we'll enjoy the first of many home-cooked meals by your fabulous guides! (D)
DAY 2
Our first day on the trail and what a day it's going to be! After breakfast, we'll shuttle to our put in point at Cold River Road. One of the nice aspects of the AT is that it crisscrosses several country roads providing easy access to the trail. Hiking south we'll first summit the modest peak of Beacon Hill and continue to the Clarendon Gorge. Clarendon Gorge is a lovely, rock-strewn gorge along with a suspension bridge over the Mill River, one of those AT surprises in the middle of nowhere! We continue past Minerva Hinchey Shelter (named for the Green Mountain Club's long-time secretary) and on to Patch Hollow (at the base of Bear Mountain). After summiting Bear Mountain we'll have a bit of downhill to VT 140 where our van will be a welcome sight! Now - on to a warm shower and great dinner! A wonderful first day! Mileage: 10.2. Biggest overall elevation gain: 1368 feet (B,L,D)
DAY 3
Here we go - off for another day. We'll start where we left off yesterday - VT 140 and continue our journey south. True to AT lore, all days begin with an 'up' and our day holds true to that saying. We begin hiking up to the junction of the AT and the White Rocks Cliff trail. At this point you enter a cairn field with dozens of cairns randomly placed, making this spot an interesting place for a break and contemplation. Do save some energy for the next beautiful spot on the trail - Little Rock Pond Shelter and Campsites, complete with a sandy beach and gorgeous pristine high mountain pond - swim anyone? Our takeout point today is the Danby-Landgrove Rd where once again our lovely van will be patiently waiting for us to bear us back to those nice showers and great dinner! Mileage: 8.5 Biggest overall elevation gain: 1054 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 4
Wonder what today will bring? More picturesque high mountain ponds, streams and summiting more peaks, what else! Today we'll have some excellent opportunities for picture taking of beautiful forest streams and ponds as well as views from the top of both Peru Peak and Styles Peak. We end our day at the interestingly named Mad Tom Notch - an excellent beginning for an AT story! Mileage: 12.1. Biggest overall elevation gain: 1,877 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 5
Today we head back to Mad Tom Notch and turn south! Our first peak will be Bromley Peak - part of the Bromley Ski Resort and gives us a beautiful 360-degree view of the surrounding area. After enjoying this perfect vista, we'll head to Spruce Peak and then onto Prospect Rock - each offering their own beauty and vista. Compared to our previous days with some steep ups and downs, today is a welcome respite with comfortable hiking and great picture opportunities. Enjoy! Mileage: 10.4. Biggest overall elevation gain: 600 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 6
Our last day on trail and what a good day this will be. Today will be just a bit of a later start - we'll be taking the Killington gondola to the top of the mountain. Once there, we'll take the short hike up to the summit where we'll be able to look over the trail to the south that we have traveled all week. Killington offers a beautiful 360 degree view into Vermont and New Hampshire! Returning to the gondola, we'll test those downhill muscles we've been work on as we hike down to join the AT and, once again, hike south. Summiting Shrewsbury Peak we'll continue to our very first put in spot, Cold River Road, completing our week on the AT. And what a week it has been! Tonight, we'll celebrate our accomplishment and most likely, start making plans to come back! Mileage: 7.5. Biggest overall elevation loss: 1523 feet (B, L, D)
DAY 7
After sharing one final breakfast together, we'll have to leave our vacation home and head back to the airport for those flying out. But we'll leave with wonderful memories and plans to continue our quest to hike the Appalachian Trail. (B)

4.9

(19 reviews)
4.8 Food
4.1 Lodging
4.7 Safety
5
(17)
4
(2)
3
(0)
2
(0)
1
(0)

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Lisa L.
1 month ago

The guides, especially Clair. They go out of their way to make you feel that you have everything you need. And if not, that they would get it for you! Their knowledge base was phenomenal.

Rese C.
2 months ago

The group of women clicked really well and the guides were great!

Diane S.
2 months ago

The Trail was gorgeous in VT. The group well matched. The guides excellent.

Cassandra C.
2 months ago

Getting to experience hiking in the beautiful Vermont.

Deborah A.
2 months ago

Hike leaders, Claire, Laura, and Chloe. The facilities, lots of bathrooms, and single rooms, and walking distance to Ludlow center. The AT in Vermont

Stacy C.
2 months ago

The house, guides, hiking, and fellow travelers

Anita S.
2 months ago

Hiking the AT in Vermont made it special. It was fantastic, beautiful and challenging.

Mary L.
2 months ago

Getting back on the Trail after 5 years away. Meeting a great group of ladies and hiking in a beautiful area. Not having to worry about the logistics or cooking :)

Patricia G.
2 months ago

I was able to challenge myself physically in a beautiful setting with a terrific group of women.

Deb C.
1 year ago

This was a very challenging trail for me. The guides (Claire, Kaitlyn, Jody) were all excellent. They worked well together and made the technical aspects of this trail feel safe and manageable. The meals and lodging were excellent. Claire's cooking is the best. It was nice to see old friends from other AGC trips and make some new ones. The group was cohesive and fun. I hope to hike with all of them again.

Gail S.
1 year ago

Awesome group of women and guides. The accommodations were great for getting to know everyone and Claire, Kaitlyn and Jody did a great job with meals.

Rachael S.
1 year ago

Our guides were wonderful and the best part of the trip. The food (Claire Lukas!) was exceptional.

Bonnie T.
1 year ago

Friendliness and supportiveness of Claire, Jody and Kaitlyn, Super and efficient organization, and wonderful food, not to mention all the great ladies on the trip.

Wendy S.
1 year ago

It was cool being on the inaugural trip. The accommodations were great! I loved the ruggedness of the trail, and the fact that this is a less-trafficked section.

Wendy W.
1 year ago

Everything. The guides were great, our hikes challenging, and our food and lodging were excellent. We also had a great group of participants (as usual)!

Lynn W.
1 year ago

I enjoyed hiking this gorgeous area with a group of great women. There were some issues with scheduling due to the gondola schedule that unfortunately caused shortening of mileage from the published itinerary. The guides were overall very good. Though this trip was more technically difficult than expected, I learned and gained new skills, and felt good about my accomplishments.

Alice R.
1 year ago

The guides were exceptional on this trip. They kept us safe and well-cared for at all times. The accommodation's were good, the food was fantastic, and the hiking each day was beautiful and challenging.

Laura R.
1 year ago

Location, ease of being in one place the whole time, guides.

Doris E.
1 year ago

Hiking in the beautiful woods of Vermont. Successfully navigating the tough terrain. Being with old and new AGC friends.

  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at the lodging. You'll go out for one dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the lodging and have dinner there. For lunches, before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    We can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-friendly although we can not guarantee a completely gluten-free diet, if we know well in advance. If you’re severely allergic or if you have other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register. If you're vegan or require a specialized diet, you may want to bring some additional foods to supplement the provided food.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we'll randomly pair you up with someone else.
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