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  1. #1
    Registered User Purposeful Wandering's Avatar
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    Default Section Hiking in VT - June

    I've been section hiking the AT for the last few years. So far, I've made it through CT and MA. I'll be starting Vermont in the next few weeks. This will be my first hike out on my own. In previous years my dad or a friend have made the trek with me. I'm admittedly a little nervous about it.

    Has anyone hiked Vermont in June?

    What's the traffic like on the trail that time of year?

    Any shelters or campsites to avoid for any reason?

    I'll also just take any words of encouragement!

    Thanks,
    Jamie

  2. #2
    illabelle's Avatar
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    We've only done the southern half of VT, and I think it was in October. I'm guessing June could be a little buggy.
    The parts of Vermont we saw were quite beautiful. I remember sweating up a hill and reaching the level of the spruce. It was like walking into a refrigerator, cool and refreshing.
    I think you'll really enjoy this state. Good luck with your hike!

  3. #3

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    Yes, I've hiked Vermont in June. I will not again. It will be muddy and buggy. Since you will be starting in "a few weeks", you will be on the soggy end of June rather then the drier end of June. Hopefully, the weather will finally clear up and this cold, wet spell (which apparently we will be suffering through for at least another week) will finally go away. But it will take a while for the trail to dry out. Getting through the traditional knee deep muddy areas, crossing flooded beaver pond outlets and crossing the bogs will be "interesting".

    Traffic should be light. Only a few of the very fastest thru hikers will be in the area and most people will wait for better conditions in July to hike in Vermont.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
    Registered User Purposeful Wandering's Avatar
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    Thank you for the insights. I wasn't fully aware of the conditions in Vermont when I plotted out this next section. It's the time of year I've previously hiked the other sections, because I like the cooler weather, but I think you've convinced me to wait until the drier end of June.

    I really appreciate the feedback.

    Thank you!

  5. #5
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Unhappy Funny you ask

    > Has anyone hiked Vermont in June?

    My worst week on The Trail was in Vermont before the mud & muck dried out -- and this was in JULY. I can't recommend going in June at all.

    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/ent...o-buggy-Part-1

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    > Has anyone hiked Vermont in June?

    My worst week on The Trail was in Vermont before the mud & muck dried out -- and this was in JULY. I can't recommend going in June at all.

    https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/ent...o-buggy-Part-1
    Goldenbear, what year did you hike this section?

    I did the LT in 2013, which was an extremely wet year. It rained all of June and the first two weeks of July. I do believe that was very unusual though, and normally is dried out by the end of June.

  7. #7
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    Hi, since you posted in the female hiking forum I'm thinking you might want some feedback from a female!

    I hiked Vermont from Williamstown in MA to Hanover, NH by myself last summer, but I did go in July also (July 12-24). It wasn't so much propelled by the weather conditions as it was my schedule.

    Even in July, it seemed awfully muddy. I'd say that I probably did what pretty much everybody else does, tried to cut around the mud bogs and slides for the first couple of days, and then gave up and slopped through. Fortunately, there were still a lot of running streams and brooks where you could at least rinse off the mud. But that was a real experience! I guess they don't call them the Green Mountains for no reason.

    Compared to MA and CT, I definitely thought VT was harder. I myself was not used to climbing mountains at all, but the fun of it was getting to the top and sometimes going up in a fire tower or other amazing views. It's also more isolated than MA or CT hiking; you cross many fewer roads and there are several stretches where you don't cross one for a couple of days. That can be kind of eerie depending on your comfort level with alone-time.

    Are you going north or south? I was glad I went in the direction I did because I definitely thought that VT saved the "best for last." I had done a little bit of hiking outside Woodstock several years previous, and come to find out it was (IMO) the nicest part of the whole state. The last 2.5 days were absolutely the most charming and loveliest, not that the earlier sections didn't have their appeal but the Vermont I was expecting appeared right at the end.

    In terms of when I went, I had company (and sometimes a whole lot of it) at each shelter. Especially on the part that coincides with the LT, there were always a lot of people. Almost everybody I met was super-nice, though. In the first part, where the LT hikers also were, there were definitely friendlier people, once it was mainly thru-hikers and myself then there were fewer people to talk to for sure. The one shelter I would absolutely plan to avoid is Cooper Lodge at the top of Mt. Killington. It is a hang-out spot for people boarding and skiing during the winter and I found it run-down, dirty, and uber-creepy. There seem to be some tent platforms around and maybe if you tented it wouldn't be so bad, but there are also tons of day-hikers all around there and it was not my cup of tea.

    If you want to PM me, I can send you my itinerary and trip notes although as we know planning is half the fun! Have a great time!

    Jane

  8. #8
    Registered User Purposeful Wandering's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jane! I'm starting, it sounds, at a similar spot to you. I'll be hiking from Williamstown, MA and heading North. Based on the feedback here and in some other threads I've found, I did decide to postpone my start to the end of June. I know it won't be completely dry, but if it's true I'll find knee deep mud this time of year, I think I'd rather wait. Ha!

  9. #9

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    Oops, sorry. Didn't realize this was the female group. My apologies.

  10. #10

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    Helpful hint: when trying to cross a really mucky section of trail, probe ahead with your hiking poles to find something solid to step on. There is often a rock or log hidden just under the surface. But if you miss that solid spot, who knows how far you'll sink in.

    Up near the northern terminus, I teetered on a log in a mud hole and to save myself, stuck my poles into the mud in front of me. They sunk down nearly to the handle, with me now bent over in half. Getting out of that situation was not easy, with my partner behind me laughing his head off and me about to fall head first into that bottomless mud pit.

    The problem with Vermont is the glaciers scored shallow pockets into the rock. These pockets filled up with dirt and organic matter, but they don't drain so they stay muddy for a very long time.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  11. #11
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    Unhappy Since you asked

    > what year did you hike this section?

    The date of my blog post is 2013 July 19.
    Right from the start of this blog I noted, "May and June of 2013 have been the wettest back to back months IN VERMONT HISTORY."
    So, yes, we hiked during an unusually wet time for the Vermont part of The Trail.

    Mud Season for Vermont usually continues into June, so I can't recommend hiking there at that time.

  12. #12

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    Hiked a section in VT last weekend. Not very muddy going uphill for in the valley, it is, but not bad. The bugs were an issue. Black flies. Could not stop or they get you. Saw only 2 others on the trail.
    Just ignore it

  13. #13

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    Hiked a section in VT last weekend. Not very muddy going uphill, but in the valley, it is, but not bad. The bugs were an issue. Black flies. Could not stop or they get you. Saw only 2 others on the trail.
    Just ignore it

  14. #14

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    Oh and the ticks were very very bad. All over my dogs and us.
    Just ignore it

  15. #15
    Registered User Purposeful Wandering's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update! I ended up pushing my hike back to late June. Hoping it's a bit better then!

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