The Long Enough Trail

Feb 20, 2020

Stories from those who founded, hiked, and loved Vermont’s Long Trail, including the first women to through-hike the “footpath in the wilderness” in 1927.

This Episode’s Featured Object:

Reports Filed by Long Trail Hikers 

Paul Carnahan: We actually have 13 boxes of end-to-end reports. And I just learned the other day that there are over 1000 reports at the offices of the Green Mountain Club.

Paul: So there are approximately 5,877 people who’ve completed the Long Trail from end-to-end and have chosen to write about it and deposit a report .

Images: In 1927, the “Three Musketeers” became the first women to through-hike the Long Trail. Left to right: Catherine Robbins, Kathleen Norris, and Hilda Kurth.

(Vertical photo, by cabin): James P. Taylor, an early visionary and promoter for what the Long Trail could be.

Episode Transcript

Ben Rose: I used to say that the Appalachian Trail takes five or six months to hike and it’s a couple thousand miles of forced march, and that the Long Trail could really be called the Long Enough Trail because two or three weeks is long enough to have a psychological imprint on a life.

For many, hiking Vermont’s Long Trail is a lifelong goal.

Ben Rose: My mom drove me down to Williamstown with my big Kelty Pack, which weighed about 70 pounds I think. It had fishing tackle and a harmonica holder and the books I was going to read on the trail and jars of peanut butter and jelly. I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Ben: Certainly the times that I’ve hiked the Long Trail end-to-end, it’s been a meaningful marker in my life and helped me to clarify what I was really thinking about at that point in my life.

Read the full transcript.

Episode Credits

Before Your Time is presented by Vermont Humanities and the Vermont Historical Society. This episode was produced by Amanda Gustin and Ryan Newswanger.

Thanks to our guests: Ben Rose, Wendy Turner, and Paul Carnahan. Thanks also to Marjorie Strong at the Vermont Historical Society and the staff of the Green Mountain Club for additional research support.

Music is by Michael Chapman and the Woodpiles, Asher Lee, the Heftone Banjo Orchestra, Hemlock, and Northwestern.