While I knew since last September that I was going to be thru-hiking the Long Trail this summer, I didn’t actually begin looking into Long Trail logistics until January, when I ordered copies of the Long Trail End-To-Enders guide and a topographical trail map from the Green Mountain Club, the stewards and maintainers of the Long Trail (and also the Appalachian Trail in Vermont). In comparison to my six-week lead time for the Appalachian Trail, I’ll have been “planning” for my Long Trail hike for either six or ten months, depending on how you want to count.
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Vermont is a beautiful place. During my time in Vermont on my Appalachian Trail thru-hike last year, nearly every scenic outlook in Vermont was simply gorgeous. Vermont rivaled New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and large parts of Maine, for being the most picturesque portion of the Appalachian Trail.
And, in just a few weeks, I’m returning to Vermont to begin my next adventure: a thru-hike of Vermont’s Long Trail.
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My second hike on Friday was the Frazier Discovery Trail, a 1.4 mile loop in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park. The trail, starting from the Loft Mountain Wayside at milepost 80 on Skyline Drive, forms a loop with a short section of the Appalachian Trail as it climbs and descends from Skyline Drive to, and from, the ridge between Big Flat Mountain (home of the Loft Mountain Campground) and County Line Mountain.
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I took two short hikes in Shenandoah on Friday. The first was the Turk Mountain Trail, a short (2.4 miles) out-and-back trail in the southern district of Shenandoah National Park that leads to the summit of Turk Mountain and some nice views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west.
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Today, I took an excursion to the Meadowood Recreation Area in Lorton, VA. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Meadowood has about 14 miles of hiking trails, in addition to mountain biking and equestrian trails and two fishing ponds. The park’s trails also are host to two national trails: the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.
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