Outing Information

Whether you are a hike leader or someone looking to explore on your own with a friend,
always be prepared for your outing and changing conditions!

Plan your activity! To research and get some ideas, go to the"Maps & Resources" on this website.

Also, review the list of "Considerations" below.

Mud Season Reminders

Mud Season Conditions Are Here!
Read GMC's page (updated March 24, 2021)

A reminder that spring mud season runs from snowmelt until the trails are dry, usually around Memorial Day weekend. With some extra warm days in late March this year, mud season conditions have certainly arrived in many parts of the state.

We ask all hikers to please stay off high-elevation trails, and any other trails with significant mud, in order to avoid erosion and damage to the vegetation.

Depending on conditions, State Forest trails may be closed by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, so please respect closure signs and avoid wet trails even if it is not posted closed. If you encounter a muddy section of trail, please turn around and find a dry trail.

Some roads and trails are usable in mud season, especially low elevation trails with southern exposure, which dry out faster.

Conditions are subject to change, but these are the local walks/hikes we recommend in our area:

Falls of Lana trail to Silver Lake, Salisbury and other trails in the Moosalamoo Recreation Area

Frost Road (gravel), Ripton (park at the Robert Frost Wayside)

Bristol Trail Network (map)

Button Bay, Vergennes (park outside the gate in the off-season)

Mt Philo, Charlotte

The Green Mountain Club has plenty of other spring hiking suggestions to keep you active and outdoors this mud season: https://www.greenmountainclub.org/hiking/day-hikes-spring/

We’re asking for your help, especially this year as trails are busier than ever and we’re all itching to get outside: can you spread the word about mud season and protecting high-elevation trails in your communities? Together we can protect the hiking trails we all love and have a great hiking season!

GMC Bread Loaf outing leaders

GMC Bread Loaf outing leaders are volunteers who are familiar with the terrain and difficulty level of their outings. A brief list of their responsibilities is published below. Leaders are available to answer questions prior to announced events. Some events have an educational theme (such as history, wildflowers, geology, etc.) at which time a knowledgeable guest guide will join the outing leader.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A LEADER? If you are not currently volunteering as a Bread Loaf outing leader but are looking a hike or paddle location, we suggest you go to the Maps & Resources page of this website.

For GMC Bread Loaf volunteer leaders:


1. Use pre-written descriptions (copy and modify your choice to reflect your activity) or submit a new one*.

2. Invite a GMC member as co-leader or co-sponsor (optional)

Consider leading a joint outing/event with an expert on geology, history, trees or wildlife.

3. Send an email to our Outings Manager with your choice(s), including the following information.

  • List the name of your activity and the date you choose to lead, usually Saturday or Sunday or a late weekday (Thursday or Friday are popular).

  • Provide a detailed description of your activity. For suggested format, refer to pre-written descriptions. (Link is above.)

  • The Outings manager will acknowledge your choice, then let you know when the new 3-month outing schedule is available to review.

*If you plan an outing location not listed in the pre-written descriptions, fill out and send an Outing Planning Worksheet.

LEADING - Print these documents to have on hand at your outing.


Thank you for leading!

We normally schedule outings four times a year...

Fall hike at Taconic Mountains Ramble, Hubbardton

Winter hike to Silent Cliff, Hancock.

Spring hike to Cooley Glen Shelter, Lincoln.

Summer hike to summit of Hurricane Mountain, Keene, NY.


Locations: There are many areas besides Addison County where Bread Loaf outings may be held, including:

  • Breadloaf Wilderness and Green Mountain National Forest

  • Long Trail and its many side trails

  • Moosalamoo Recreation Area

  • Vermont State Parks, Adirondack trails and trails near Lake Champlain

  • nearby Rutland and Chittenden Counties

Skill level: Easy (less than 500 feet of elevation change), Moderate (500-1,500 feet of elevation gain), or Strenuous (over 1,500 feet of elevation change). Consider pace and weather conditions.

Safety: Review on our Safety Reminders page.

  • Layers of weather appropriate clothing for warmth. Extra food and water. Helmets are required for cycling; PFDs for water sports (Personal Flotation Devices).


Access: Consider whether the area you are starting from has parking limitations. Also in the winter and early spring, check to make sure access gates are open and the parking area is plowed. Carpooling is encouraged!

Seasons of the year: Mud season, bird nesting seasons, hunting seasons.

Special equipment: May be needed for possible certain weather conditions, such as crampons, poles, rain gear.

Dogs: If a group leader allows dogs, outings will be designated as "dog friendly." All dogs on group outings will be kept on a leash at all times.


Many cliff trails are closed during peregrine falcon nesting season March 15-August 1st.


Raven Ridge cliff trail in Monkton is closed March 1- June 15th.