A few folks have recently asked for a list of the hiking resources I use when planning a new hike. I'm a big map lover and am pretty analog in my desire to have resources literally at my fingertips. While I do use trail finder apps and online resources, it's usually just a starting point. I then pull out all my books, maps, and guides, and figure out what else is in the area, and what else we can explore.
I've compiled a list of resources that I routinely use to explore our Green Mountain State.
First and foremost I suggest any and all publications put out by the Green Mountain Club. My copy of the Long Trail Guide is all dog eared and marked up, and most nights it's on my bedside table. In addition to their LT Guide, I also use their pocket maps, and other books like the 360 degrees: A Guide to Vermont's Fire and Observation Towers.
Our National and State forests offer a myriad of opportunities to get into the woods and explore. The Green Mountain National Forest covers over 400,000 acres in south and central Vermont. I was able to explore in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area a bit last summer, and am looking forward to continuing my exploration this year. Here is a wonderful map of the area. Vermont's Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation maintain state land, and provide trail maps and guides for all of Vermont's State Parks. We had a wonderful time exploring the Slate History Trail located near Bomoseen State Park this summer. Trail Finder also seems like a great resource for hikes in both Vermont and New Hampshire, though I haven't spent much time exploring on their site.
Jared Gange of Huntington Graphics has put together a a great guide, Guide to Vermont's Day Hikes, which I tend to look at when planning to explore a new area of the state. They also publish and distribute other Vermont guides like Take the Plunge: An Explorer's Guide to Swimming Holes in Vermont, by David Hajdasz. Their offerings are available at many local booksellers, or it looks like you can contact them to purchase from them directly thru their website.
There are so many town forest spaces with trail networks, I loved hiking the TAM trail in the spring, when the high peaks were still in mud season. See if your town has trails for you to explore.
Finally, I do utilize the Alltrails app on my phone. As I mentioned above, I mostly use it as a starting out point, and tend to try to find the organization who maintains the trail network for the most up to date trail information. I used it several years ago, when looking for trails on a trip to Arizona, and found it to be a wonderful resource. That being said, I always look for a second resource, as I have found that their difficulty rating and some mileages to be a bit wonky.
In addition to the guides and maps I've recommended above, I highly suggest purchasing a Vermont map like DeLorme's Gazetteer to keep in your car. When driving the back roads trying to locate a trailhead, it's always nice to have a backup just in case there isn't cell phone coverage.
Got more resources you think I should check out? Let me know!
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