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  1. #1
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Default Vermont's Sherburne Pass Trail

    Not trying to ignite any purist vs not purist debate but thought I would share my experience with this "side" trail. As most know, Sherburne Pass Trail was originally the LT/AT. When heading north you come across this trail as you are descending from Killington. If you take the Sherburne Pass Trail it will lead you directly to the Inn at Long Trail. If you don't, it requires a 1 mile road walk to get to the Inn. Since I was staying at the Inn I planned on taking this side-trail. However during my actual LT hike I was talking to a couple of other LT hikers and they, in a completely friendly manner, teased me that I wouldn't have really hiked the LT end-to-end if I took this side trail. They were joking but it got me thinking man I would hate to have it even be called a little into question just to avoid a 1 mile road walk. So when I got to that intersection I actually tried to call the Green Mountain Club. No one picked up the phone. Oh well, so I hiked the "real" LT/AT and did the road walk to the Inn. Later while at the Inn I called the GMC again and this time got through to a real person. Now at this point I was just curious what they would say. The response made me laugh so I'm sharing it here.

    A woman answered the phone and I told her this was a strange question but I was hiking the trail and a couple of my hiking buddies and I were talking and would it count as an end-to-end hike if we took the Sherburne Pass Trail.

    She gave a friendly laugh and said "Well I sure hope it would count because I think that most LT end-to-enders use Sherburne Pass and in fact I used Sherburne Pass during my LT hike and I'm looking at my end-to-end patch right now!"

    Anyway that made me laugh. I later asked a few people if they know why the trail was rerouted off Sherburne Pass Trail and no one seemed to know. Anyone on whiteblaze know? Thanks!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 16/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

  2. #2
    Flip flop, flip flopping' LASHin' 2000 miler
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    I got the same response from GMC. When I do my LT E2E, I will most assuredly take Sherburne Pass, and summit Pico!

    I believe any concept of "purism" is strictly an AT thru-hiker culture thing, and should stay there.

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  3. #3
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    I don't know why the trail was rerouted but that pedestrian crosswalk over Rt 4 at the top of the hill sure felt pretty dangerous to me...

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    not going to weigh in on the pursim idea, and i myself have made posts on here asking the whys of certain relos only to come to a dead end.

    but i cant refrain from pointing out that there is, in spite of the relo, still a way to get to the inn at long trail without walking a mile on the road.

    this may be more out of the way for an LTer than an ATer, but i'm still calling "i wanted avoid the roadwalk to the inn" a flimsy reasoning.

  5. #5

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    The original LT route crosses private land from the top of the relo down to the pass. It belongs to Ski resort. The relo is on protected land. It also gave them a way to replace Pico Camp without taking Pico camp out of service. (I have fond memories of that old, beat up cabin.)In theory, the ski resort could choose to develop the land the original LT route uses, or close the trail, but the chances of those two events ever happening is extremely remote. Isn't there a sign at the junction which explains this?

    However, the official AT route uses the new relo, so if you want it to count for that, don't tell anyone you took a short cut
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    I feel the same way about that trail as I do about the old AT, now a blue blaze, into Monson Maine. I just don't get the reroute, taking the trail away from a resource that very few hikers would want to miss.

  7. #7

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    Les Otten, created the American Skiing Corporation (ASC)at one point with Wall Street money. They were snapping up ski areas right and left. A big buy was Killington. Pico was a separate struggling ski area possibly shut down at the time. The plan was to combine the two ski areas with heavy development along the ridge line. The AT was already "crowded" in some spots by ski development and the AT/LT right of way was marginal. ASC offered money to get the trail off the ridge line and I believe was a major contributor to the purchase of a large block of conservation land on the undeveloped side of the ridgeline which had some conservation value (I think for bear habitat). Soon after the deal was signed and finalized, ASC went bankrupt and grand plans for making Killington even larger went away. Therefore the big expansion along the ridge line didn't happen. Thus the relo becomes a PUD albeit through a "forever" corridor protected from development.

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    We took the Sherburne Pass trail and stopped at Pico Camp for a very pleasant lunch. It was quiet and cool, with a nice view sitting at the table in the shelter with the windows open. I had no qualms about taking the blue blaze to the Inn, but then I rarely have qualms about taking blue blaze trails.
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  9. #9
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Extremely interesting posts - thank you again whiteblaze!
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 16/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    not going to weigh in on the pursim idea, and i myself have made posts on here asking the whys of certain relos only to come to a dead end.

    but i cant refrain from pointing out that there is, in spite of the relo, still a way to get to the inn at long trail without walking a mile on the road.

    this may be more out of the way for an LTer than an ATer, but i'm still calling "i wanted avoid the roadwalk to the inn" a flimsy reasoning.

    This is correct, there's a blue blaze from "Maine Junction" to the inn if you're SOBO, or continuing north from the inn as a NOBO. "Maine Junction" is where the AT diverges from the LT, just north of the Inn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    This is correct, there's a blue blaze from "Maine Junction" to the inn if you're SOBO, or continuing north from the inn as a NOBO. "Maine Junction" is where the AT diverges from the LT, just north of the Inn.
    isnt that trail basically the old AT just as the sherburne pass trail is? thats what i always assumed. its also the trail you would use to get back on the LT after you stayed at the inn if you decided to be non purist and go that way.

    it involves some doubling back and, in the case of an LTer, walking down the AT a bit past maine junction, but its not hard hiking and not terribly far.

    i think "i took the sherburne pass trail because it made for a better and more interesting hike" is a much more defensible and respectable position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    isnt that trail basically the old AT just as the sherburne pass trail is? thats what i always assumed. its also the trail you would use to get back on the LT after you stayed at the inn if you decided to be non purist and go that way.

    it involves some doubling back and, in the case of an LTer, walking down the AT a bit past maine junction, but its not hard hiking and not terribly far.

    i think "i took the sherburne pass trail because it made for a better and more interesting hike" is a much more defensible and respectable position.
    Heck I'm not even sure when the reroute was completed. I went thru that section first in 2002, southbound, so it may have been before the reroute. Years later I made a day-hike loop of the old and new trails, while my wife and I were staying at the inn.

    I do recall that one of the better views from that loop is where the Sherbourne trail crosses a slope on Pico.pico_pano.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Heck I'm not even sure when the reroute was completed. I went thru that section first in 2002, southbound, so it may have been before the reroute. Years later I made a day-hike loop of the old and new trails, while my wife and I were staying at the inn.

    I do recall that one of the better views from that loop is where the Sherbourne trail crosses a slope on Pico.pico_pano.jpg
    doing that loop has been on my to do list for awhile. that view certainly looks better than anything on what is now the AT north of cooper lodge

  14. #14
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    I hiked Vermont last month. Here's that sign at the split of the "Old AT" from the "New AT."

    I don't care what someone hikes, as long as they don't claim to have hiked something they didn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    I hiked Vermont last month. Here's that sign at the split of the "Old AT" from the "New AT."

    I don't care what someone hikes, as long as they don't claim to have hiked something they didn't.
    and this is where purism becomes, unintentionally and inadvertently i am sure, a problem.

    no one wants to say "i hiked the LT, but..." or "i did a 3 week hike in VT mostly following the LT" or something to that effect

    so people hike it the "right way" just cause its easier.

    i'm no different, i didnt take the sherburne pass trail either because at the end of the day i dont want to have to explain it lol

    and this, perhaps, is the best case for why there are a number of relos that should never have been done.

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    According to Wingfoot's 2000 guidebook the trail was relocated in 1999. The trail from the split on the South side of Sherburne Pass to the Inn and then to Maine Junction is the old AT. My AT Trail Guide from 1998 uses this route and states that a relo will take place in 1999.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    and this is where purism becomes, unintentionally and inadvertently i am sure, a problem.

    no one wants to say "i hiked the LT, but..." or "i did a 3 week hike in VT mostly following the LT" or something to that effect

    so people hike it the "right way" just cause its easier.

    i'm no different, i didnt take the sherburne pass trail either because at the end of the day i dont want to have to explain it lol

    and this, perhaps, is the best case for why there are a number of relos that should never have been done.
    Completely agree with your post here tdoczi. Note - I took the relo/current LT/AT and did the 1 mile roadwalk in this scenario! Without a "ruling" in time I went the "safest" way to avoid having to add an explanation when I say I end-to-end hiked the LT. Although I guess I should add in my mind if the GMC says it counts, it counts.

    Not sure in your other posts why you seem to want to differentiate someone who says "I took the Sherburne pass trail to avoid a 1 mile roadwalk" and "I took the Sherburne pass trail because it made for a better and more interesting hike". That's essentially the same thing. Although of course you are right as others have pointed out its not a far side trail from the north side if you are doing the AT NOBO and want to hit the Inn after passing Maine junction.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 16/48
    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in." - Isaac Asimov

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    It was a pleasure to stay in a four sided shelter during a huge storm years ago when passing thru.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    Completely agree with your post here tdoczi. Note - I took the relo/current LT/AT and did the 1 mile roadwalk in this scenario! Without a "ruling" in time I went the "safest" way to avoid having to add an explanation when I say I end-to-end hiked the LT. Although I guess I should add in my mind if the GMC says it counts, it counts.

    Not sure in your other posts why you seem to want to differentiate someone who says "I took the Sherburne pass trail to avoid a 1 mile roadwalk" and "I took the Sherburne pass trail because it made for a better and more interesting hike". That's essentially the same thing. Although of course you are right as others have pointed out its not a far side trail from the north side if you are doing the AT NOBO and want to hit the Inn after passing Maine junction.
    the difference is the one mile road walk is not, in either version, part of the hike.

    a comparison to illuminate what i mean- lets say in some hypothetical town somewhere the AT is blazed right through town on the road. you find and take a different route that circumvents town on the trail. that is taking a different trail to avoid a roadwalk and also making a hike better.

    its not quite the same as leaving the trail. ok sure, what happens when you leave the trail makes your "hike" better or worse, but you are no longer hiking when you set foot off of any trail.

    actually its for that very reason that i, without qualm, will skip all roadwalks if i have the opportunity to do so. that isnt hiking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    "If you take the Sherburne Pass Trail it will lead you directly to the Inn at Long Trail. If you don't, it requires a 1 mile road walk to get to the Inn."
    So, I'm an old phart, and memory sucks. I did the official reroute as part of my AT section hike. Not sure what road walk you're talking about.

    I got to the Inn by dropping down from Maine Junction on the blue blaze that goes right to the Inn, and got back on the trail by going back up it.

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    Last edited by LDog; 08-17-2017 at 00:36.
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