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Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path

Hike Stratton, where the Appalachian and Long Trails Began

The Appalachian and Long trails share a southern 103.6 miles, crossing over Stratton Mountain which was the inspiration for both of these storied routes.

James P. Taylor was on the slopes of Stratton in 1909 when he envisioned a trail linking the Green Mountain peaks "to make the Vermont mountains play a larger role in the life of the people."

By 1921, the Long Trail was a reality; forester Benton MacKaye hiked it to the summit of Stratton where he "felt as if atop the world, with a sort of planetary feeling."  At nearly 4,000 feet his vision extended beyond the borders of Vermont setting his sights on a footpath to preserve the Appalachian chain.  Protected by the 1968 National Trails System Act, the AT is considered a linear national park.

Make Your Own History.

Hiking Routes and Descriptions

Stratton Trail: The route begins at the parking area off of Kelly Stand Road in the town of Stratton. It makes a gradual ascent from the parking area through a mixed hard/softwood forest. After about 1.4 miles it begins a steeper climb up the mountain. The trail flattens out along the ridgeline, then climbs again using switchbacks. At the summit of Stratton climb the Fire Tower that offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Green Mountain Range.

      Length: 7.6 miles round trip
      Average hiking time: 5-6 hours
      Hiking Level: Moderate-Difficult

The Stratton Trail Map

*There is no camping at the summit due to the volume of visitors and the sensitive alpine ecosystem.

Two Day Overnight Loop:
Follow the route of the Stratton Trail and continue to the Stratton Pond where there is a tenting area and a shelter. Carry forward out of the Pond Trail to the Stratton-Arlington Road and turn left proceeding back to the parking lot.

      Length: 11.7 mile loop
      Hiking Level:
Moderate-Difficult

Overnight Loop Trail Map

*Tent sites and a shelter are available at the pond, on a first come first serve basis. There is a $6 per person/night fee paid to the Green Mountain Club Caretaker.

Stratton Pond Trail:
The route also begins off of Kelly Stand Road in the town of Stratton. The trail  rises through a deciduous forest. Several wet areas dot the trail, so puncheon (planking) is set over the areas to minimize erosion. This blue-blazed trail crosses several old logging roads. At about 4 miles the trail junctions with the Appalachian/Long Trail. The route follows the A/LT north to the pond where there are tenting sites and a shelter. The Stratton Pond is the largest body of water on the Long Trail.

      Length: 7.8 miles round trip
      Average Hiking Time: 5-6         hours
      Hiking Level: Easy-Moderate

Stratton Pond Trail Map

*Tent sites and a shelter are available at the pond, on a first come first serve basis. There is a $6 per person/night fee paid to the Green Mountain Club Caretaker.

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