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Watch Your Step: Start Of Vermont's Hiking Season Doesn't Mean End Of Slippery Trails

There's still plenty of mud, and even some snow and ice, left on Vermont's hiking trails. The Green Mountain Club asks that hikers head into the woods prepared.
Amy Kolb Noyes

It's officially hiking season, but that doesn’t mean Vermont’s wooded trails are clear of all traces of winter.

Warmer weather is finally here, and that has many people lacing up their hiking boots. But Green Mountain Club spokesperson Kristin McLane cautioned that hikers should be prepared for changing conditions, especially at high elevations.

"Traditionally hiking season opens up the Friday of Memorial Day weekend," McLane said. "This year, there’s been a lot of snowpack hanging around 'cause we had some late storms."

McLane said hikers should make sure they have footwear with good traction, as well as extra layers, rain gear, food and water. She advised hikers carry a trail map, especially in places like Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump that have a network of trails.

More from Vermont Edition — Be Prepared: Essential Advice For Safe Hiking And Backpacking In Vermont[June 7, 2016]  

This new boardwalk traverses a wetland beside the Barns Camp Visitor's Center, on the Stowe side of Smugglers' Notch.
Credit Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR
This new boardwalk traverses a wetland beside the Barnes Camp Visitor's Center, on the Stowe side of Smugglers' Notch.

If you'd prefer to stay out of the snow and mud, Green Mountain Club Field Supervisor Ilana Copel said there are many low-elevation hikes where the trails are in good shape.

"Smugglers’ Notch, especially on fall weekends, is extremely popular," Copel suggested. "Folks want to do a little bit of a loop, with a little bit of a view — this is the perfect option for them."

A portion of the new Barnes Camp loop, on the Stowe side of Smugglers’ Notch, now includes a wheelchair and stroller accessible boardwalk that offers a unique view of the notch.

More from VPR — Long Trail Relocation Brings New Accessible Boardwalk To Smugglers' Notch [May 24]

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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