The 273-mile Long Trail tracing the spine of Vermont's Green Mountains has a well-deserved reputation for bringing the pain—to your quads. It shoots straight up and over peaks, instead of switchbacking. This 15-mile section—known as the Monroe Skyline—is a prime example. Expect 8,000 feet of ups and downs, challenging routefinding around blowdowns, hand-over-hand scrambles up steep granite slabs, and thin sidehill traverses. No pain, no gain, right?
You'll enjoy wicked multi-state views from the tips of the 'Dacks all the way down to the surface of Lake Champlain. The bald, 4,083-foot summit of Camel's Hump, which is this section's crux, features rare (for this latitude) alpine vegetation and a stone lodge for weary hikers. You'll also find pure solitude on seldom-traveled Mounts Ira Allen and Ethan Allen, and then finish up by descending one of the Long Trail's few long, rocky ridgewalks.
INFO: No permits required. (802) 244-5867; greenmountainclub.org.
-Mapped by Berne Broudy
TO TRAILHEAD: From Montpelier, VT, take US 2 W to Vermont 100B S (becomes Main St.). In 13.3 miles, turn right at VT 17 W. In 0.1 mile, turn right at Mill Brook Rd./VT 17 W. Go 6 miles to Appalachian Gap.