For many Vermonters, the start of summer is marked by a return to the routine of a daily walk. It’s so nice to stretch our legs and breathe in the fresh air after months of being cooped up indoors. We live in a picturesque place, so there is plenty of beauty to behold on our strolls through town and down country roads.
Those with heartier constitutions may appreciate more of a challenge. They will find plenty to love about hiking The Long Trail, which runs 273 miles across the entire length of Vermont. The Long Trail was the dream of John Taylor who wanted to find a way to connect Vermont’s many mountaintops, so people could hike from one to another, camping along the way. You can learn more about The Long Trail and Taylor’s legacy at www.greenmountainclub.org.
Thousands of people hike The Long Trail each summer, most hiking one section at a time, completing the journey over the course of a few summers, and gaining satisfaction in this impressive accomplishment. A handful of determined souls do it all in one go—it takes about three weeks if you carry your own supplies. A few extremists have even run The Long Trail—running it takes about five days, and you need a support team.
Regardless of your fitness level, there is much to be gained by taking in the outdoors regularly in the warm weather. Without realizing it, your walks—or hikes—get longer as you “bloom” along with the season. One mile stretches into two and soon your daily walk becomes less about logging minutes and more about renewing your spirit. Let’s all remember that life is in the journey, not the destination. Summer must be savored lest it is wasted and gone before we have had a chance to enjoy its sweetness.