View Full Version : Advice Planning Long Trail Hike

2004-11-23, 09:24
I went to hike the Long Trail, VT, last summer. I made it only half way do to circumstances beyond my controll. I left on June 30th. It was great. This summer I want to re-do and finish the hike with some friends. They can go from May 20th to June 20th. I am wondering how bad are the bugs this early in the year. Blackflies, and mosquitos. Last time in July there were almost none and the hiking was GREAT! Also will I need to bring heavier clothes going a month earlier? I do not know how the weather in VT is in the mountains in May and June as opposed to July. My main concern is the mosquitos and blackflies. I hate to sound like a wimp, but they have made for miserable weekends before, I would hate to set my self up for a miserable month. Any advice from those that have been there would be very helpful and greatly appreciated! Thank you.

2005-01-02, 07:50
Depending on how far north you're going, hiking pre-memorial day has problems - lingering snow pack, mud, blowdown, and closed (officially) trails. Much will depend on the weather both at the time you're hiking and over the prior winter. As of today, 1/2/05, there is very little snow in much of VT, but who knows if it will remain so, or if we'll get mountains of white stuff in April? At any rate, with the caveat that conditions vary greatly from year to year, and from south to north, and from day to day, early June is usually great with cool weather, and the bugs should be tolerable. Worst area for bugs would probably be south of Wallingford , but they can hatch anywhere, anytime.

Here are some quotes from journal my father & I have kept:
May 29, 1971, Lincoln Gap to Middlebury Gap: "many patches of snow and many trees down, flies are out in good force", "breakfast in bed and off through the snow", "black flies really fierce"
May 27, 1972, Bennington to Mass Border & return:"black flies really bad when we stop, so had to keep walking"
I made the same hike Memorial Day weekend 2004 and it was beautiful - hardly a fly to be found.

Northern New England weather is notoriously unpredictable, and so are the flies.

2005-01-28, 19:58
My wife and I thru-hiked the Long Trail in the summer of 2003 (July 21-September 9). We went south to north and encountered rain 15 of the 1st 22 days. Very few black flies but hordes of mosquitoes in many of the low areas (Griffith Lake was torture).

We live near Appalachian Gap from June thru September and hike often on the Long Trail from Middlebury Gap north to River Road. Even in early June black flies are seldom a problem.

On our thru-hike we used headnets during the day when needed and had a bug net that we slept under in shelters. Except for trying to eat dinner one evening at Griffith Lake we had few problems.

Our Trail Journal and photos are posted at http://www.trailjournals.com/roughandtumble/

Best of luck and enjoy your hike!