Always check trail conditions and the weather!
Trek Safely Every Season of the Year!
Cold weather hiking: Exhilarating but please stay safe!
Recommended reading & viewing:
Drew Clymer, the Department of Public Safety Search and Rescue Coordinator for the State of Vermont was interviewed for this article that appeared in the Summer 2023 Long Trail News. He acknowledged that even experienced hikers don’t always take all the recommended safety precautions and that can substantially complicate rescue if it’s needed.
Everything you need to know about winter hiking in Vermont (Includes helpful info about what to wear and pack.)
Check out the GMC's new digital downloadable maps that don't require cell phone service: CLICK HERE. (Or choose GMC's 'Shop' menu item.) Once there, scroll down to view all available maps. Please note that GMC strongly recommends always having a paper map and compass in the backcountry. Digital devices may fail due to batteries dying, getting wet or broken, etc, and should only be used as an addition to paper maps.
Topics at the above link include black bears, moose, peregrine falcons (nesting), ticks (Lyme Disease) and rabies.
Weather Forecast Websites
Make sure you check an up-to-date online weather forecast before heading out!
Eye on the Sky (at Fairbanks Museum)
Mountain Point Forecast (at NOAA.gov) gives you real-time weather reports on Vermont Peaks!
Safety on the Trail: Reminders
All the land crossed by the Long Trail is open to hunting during regular hunting seasons and many other VT trails cross hunting land.
Always wear blaze orange that is visible from both front and back.
Be especially careful in valleys and near roads and trailheads.
Don’t wear clothing with patches of white that might be mistaken for a deer.
Be prepared for changeable weather.
Wear or carry a layer that wicks away moisture (not cotton) and a protective layer for wind and rain.
Bring gloves and a hat.
Pack a headlamp or flashlight just in case you come down the trail after sunset.
It's hunting season. Be aware of hiking safety reminders!
Check the VT Dept of Fish and Wildlife website for
HUNTING & TRAPPING SEASON DATES.
HUNTING & TRAPPING SEASON DATES.
Black bear hunting season started Sept 1 in Vermont, and deer, turkey, and other seasons start in October. Hunting is allowed with a license on all GMC owned and managed lands, including along the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail corridors in Vermont. Be alert when hiking, and wear blaze orange to keep yourself (and your dogs) visible on the trail.
(Above) GMC Director of Field Programs Keegan Tierney wearing his best safety gear as he heads into hunting season.
EVERY SEASON IS TICK SEASON:
Bringing increased risk of tick-borne illnesses.
Learn about Ticks in Vermont (from the Vermont Health Dept. website)
Especially useful are links from the above website, include:
Protect Yourself: Best way to protect disease is to prevent tick bites.
Ticks and Lyme Disease Fact Sheets and Educational Resources, including "Be Tick Smart" materials.
The Vermont Department of Health warns residents to be vigilant against the rise of the deer tick population. Deer ticks are carriers of Lyme disease. The following is a list of precautions to take when heading outdoors:
Wear light-colored clothing with tight weave to spot ticks easily.
Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
Tuck shirt into pants and pants into socks or boots.
The chemical permethrin kills ticks and can be applied to clothing, but not to exposed skin.
Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.
Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas.
Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stonewalls.
Bathe or shower promptly after exposure (preferably within 2 hours) and use the opportunity to check for ticks. If found remove promptly and watch for symptoms. Remember, tuck your pants into your socks and check for ticks after being outdoors.
Thank you for respecting seasonal habitat restrictions.
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.