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  1. #1

    Default Eastern Vermont Trail Difficulty

    What is the level of difficulty of the trail from Kent Pond east to the New Hampshire border? Looking to plan a section hike for this summer/fall. When does the temp start to drop at night in the fall? Donít want to camp if itís too cold/chance of snow? Thanks!

  2. #2

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    The hike itself from Kent Pond to Norwich VT (NH Border) is approximately 45 miles with an elevation gain of around 13,500 feet. The level of difficult varies along the way and is highly subjective to ones age, condition, what they are carrying and if traveling alone or with others. For me, that section would be high moderate to strenuous however I don't know your specifics. You can look at the topographic map on the ATC VT Section book and map to get a more solid idea of difficulty level.

    VT trails are typically closed for "Mud Season" as the ice and snow melts off and won't open for public use until Memorial Day (sometimes sooner). Black flies generally are a nuisance from Mothers Day to Fathers Day, altitude will vary the timing of swarms so a broad brimmed hat with a head net and long pants/shirt will probably be a useful addition to bring along.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    The weather can be hot or cold depending on the luck of the draw.

    Below is the data book from postholer.com. You will need to scroll down to the trail section box and change it to section 19. A weather box lists the minimum and maximum average lows for the section by month. It also shows average rainfall and snowfall. The snowfall is essentially zero until November which is low. It is still possible in late October but rare, maybe a little more likely at elevation.

    https://www.postholer.com/databook/Appalachian-Trail/3

    You can look at actual highs and lows along with averages and probability percentiles for Hanover (500') for the last 20 years at Weatherspark.com. The link below is for August 2013. It is easy to click on a few years/months to see the variations. The max trail elevation is about 2500' so subtract about 3.5 degrees per 1000'. Scroll down for other weather data.

    https://weatherspark.com/h/m/25673/2...es-Temperature.

  4. #4
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    I did the eastern VT section (plus western NH) at the end of September last year. Temperatures were ideal (highs 60s, lows 40s) and the trail was very quiet as nearly all the thru-hikers (NOBO and SOBO) had already passed this section. The trail itself wasn't overly difficult - there were some steep-ish climbs and descents, but they were fairly short (largest was around 1000', I think). The only memorable climb for me was coming up from Pomfrett Rd (after eating a big lunch at Teago General Store), and that one had a bench at the top. The leaves were starting to turn but not at peak yet. Unlike the Green Mtns to the west, a lot of this section goes through farm fields with many good views. Overall a pretty chill and enjoyable section.

  5. #5
    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
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    I hiked from Rutland to Hanover NH three Septembers ago. Not only did I find it easy (by New England standards), it was the best part of Vermont. I carried a 35f bag, slept in shelters, and wished sometimes saw 28f in the morning. I'm 60-something, by the way.

    I did the other part you ask about in 2007, and I don't remember well enough to offer an opinion.
    Give me a mile of trail and I can show you the forest. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
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  6. #6

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    As Traveler points out this is a bit subjective. I did it at age 58, SOBO. I’d say it’s about median difficulty for the AT. Not as tough as the Whites and Maine, not as easy as Great Barrington to Harpers Ferry. The trail bed is dirt, which is nice when dry and not nice when wet. I recall the peak NOBO bubble thru there late July-early Aug

  7. #7

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    With climate change, (yes its already impacting the local climate), snow really is not an issue until November except 50 mile east in the whites. Cold nights and shorter days still are an issue from Mid September on. That means hauling more gear.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    With climate change, (yes its already impacting the local climate), snow really is not an issue until November except 50 mile east in the whites. Cold nights and shorter days still are an issue from Mid September on. That means hauling more gear.
    Or almost November. Snow (and rain) are not really an issues until they are. Boston is 2 F warmer on average just in last twenty years and that will continue to rise. Climate change is also making the weather more variable. OP should not expect snow but should check the weather report before actually heading out. Boston had 4" of snow just 3 winters ago on Oct 30 2020 setting records. Boston only got 1" from the Oct 29-30 2011 storm with peaks of 32" in western MA and 16" in VT. When hurricane remnants come through or a Nor'easter hits the weather in New England can be much harsher than averages or personal experience suggest.

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