Life on the Long Trail: An Expedition through Vermont's Green Mountains

A 275 mile trek on America's oldest footpath, The Long Trail. Three good friends, a backpack filled with gear, and a good camera. Here are some photos I captured on our hike in October of 2017.

By: Aaron Ibey + Save to a List

History of the Long Trail 

Vermont is known for its rolling Green Mountains that span parallel thru the state like a spine. Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. 

It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with the Long Trail for 100 miles in the southern third of the state.The Long Trail traverses almost all of the Green Mountains' major summits, including (from south to north) Glastenbury Mountain, Stratton Mountain, Killington Peak, Mount Abraham, Mount Ellen, Camel's Hump, Mount Mansfield, and Jay Peak.

Life on the Long Trail 

On my Appalachian Trail thru hike last year I met two amazing photographers and now dear friends of mine, Nathan "Puma" Bauman and Scotty "Scooter" Hayden (Click their names to check out their work on Instagram). This year Puma hiked well over half of the Continental Divide Trail and Scooter hiked the Colorado Trail, Oregon Coast Trail and set the unsupported fastest known time on the Loyalstock Trail in Pennsylvania.

In late August of this year I received a text message from Scooter asking if I'd like to hike the Long Trail in October just in peak season for the fall foliage. With excitement I quickly replied and accepted his invite. Less than a week out from meeting up with him in Philadelphia, Puma got stuck in a wicked snow storm in Colorado and decided to cut his CDT thru hike short and join us. That is when the project "Life on the Long Trail" was born. When you combine three photographers, three different shooting styles and a lot of creativity, something special was going to come out of this hike. So we set off, full of nervous excitement. Not knowing what type of weather, people or terrain we were going to encounter. It's a project currently in the making, but I wanted to give the readers at the Outbound Collective a sneak peak...

Unfortunately, 70 miles into the trail I had received word from my family that my 90 year old grandmother's health was deteriorating quickly and she only had days to live. I was extremely close to her and I had to make the tough decision to leave the trail to see her. Just two days after I arrived back home she had passed away...This project and my photos are dedicated to her, she was born and raised in Vermont and so was the rest of my father's family. 

Here are just a few of the photos I captured on my hike on the Long Trail. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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