Welcome to our new “Vanish: To…” series: my film diaries of various escapes and attempts to vanish from the city for a few days in nature. The need for escape from crowds and urban environments has obviously risen during the pandemic. Major outdoor outlets are consistently out of stock as more and more people seek the outdoors for true social distancing and the (very welcomed) ability to walk around without a mask and take in some fresh air. In this series, I present some of my endeavors to do the same.
Last time, I took a short drive from NYC up to Harriman State Park for a close-to-home getaway. For this escape, I ventured slightly further north with some friends to Vermont’s Green Mountains.
The Green Mountain range spans around 250 miles and is an incredibly popular destination for every type of outdoor activity imaginable. For our trip, we decided to focus on the Bourn Pond and Stratton Pond loop sections of the Long and Appalachian Trails. The famous thru-hikes overlap quite a bit through the Greens, and so this region allows you to experience a bit of both.
The trailhead is near the quaint town of Manchester, VT. At around a 4-5 hour drive from NYC, it makes for a great or 3-4 day getaway.
The loops offer lakes for swimming, rivers for forging, some amazing wilderness, and if you opt to, as we did, mountains for climbing. There’s the Long Trail’s notorious mud to contend with, so it’s best to avoid the mud season. Summer can bring lots of flies as well, but we found neither to be too detrimental.
Wanting to push a little more down trail than the original loop entailed, we added an extension and went over famed ski resort, Stratton Mountain, before completing our route.
You can see the full route via AllTrails, here, and check it out yourself for your next adventure. Vermont’s hitting peak fall colors as I type, so no better time to take advantage of all the Greens have to offer!