Its seems that there is a lot of confusion as to how to get from and to the Long Trail’s northern terminus, either after you have finished your northbound thru hike, or at the beginning of your southbound thru hike.
At first I have to admit that it all seemed very confusing, what with Greyhound not offering any service north of either Montpelier or Burlington Vermont. It looked like you’d have to hitchhike the rest of the way up to North Troy or hire a shuttle. And with all the questions on Whiteblaze that sounded like an expensive option.
Jamie Compos, who thru hiked the Long Trail in 2007, told me that he, “…found it difficult to score a ride out of Burlington, though I was trying amid early morning weekday traffic. I ended up taking a taxi on the interstate east to the junction with Route 100. I don’t remember how much it cost, maybe $40 or $50. From there getting up 100 to North Troy was super easy. It took five separate rides, but I never had to wait very long at all.”
So with my Southbound Long Trail thruhike coming up I figured I’d better figure out the logistics and costs before it got too late.
Getting to Vermont from Boston is the easy part, as I mentioned Greyhound has bus service to both Montpelier and Burlington. On the one hand Montpelier is the capitol, and if you have to hitchhike it is 10 miles closer to North Troy with a fairly direct route. On the other hand, Burlington is the state’s largest city and was where Ben and Jerry’s ice cream was founded in a small gas station in 1978.
The deciding factor of which city to start from was price. I’m trying to hike the entire Long Trail for under $1 per mile. So when the price of an advance purchase ticket from Boston to Montpelier costs $47 and the same ticket to Burlington costs $15 the choice is a no brainer. Why the difference in price is beyond me esp. since you have to go through Montpelier to get to Burlington.
Once in Burlington it is easy enough to catch the 96 St. Albans LINK Express bus on the GMTA, or Green Mountain Transit Authority bus system. Then transfer to the 116 bus from St. Albans to Richford. That puts you only 19 miles away from North Troy, down Route 105 where they say you can hitch pretty easily.
At first I considered staying at the North Troy Inn which I had heard will pickup and shuttle hikers, and provide you with a full organic breakfast. The very friendly people there told me that it was possible to get picked up in Richford if I was coming in on a weekend, but that during the week I was better off getting a shuttle. They even provided me with someone’s name and contact info.
The other, simpler, far cheaper option is to simply hitchhike out of Richford down Route 105. Instead of going into North Troy it is only about 18 miles from Richford to Journey’s End Camp. Hitchhike out to North Jay Rd, from Route 105 take a left (going North) on North Jay Road and then a left on Journeys End. From the dropoff point at North Jay Rd, if your ride doesn’t want to drive you into the woods, it means 3 miles walking to the Journeys End Camp.
So basically if you are a northbound thruhiker you would do the opposite. Walk down Journeys End Rd take a right on North Jay Rd until you get to Route 105. From here you would hitchhike west to Richford where you would take the buses back to Burlington.
Sounds pretty damn easy.
I hope this information helps out any and all Long Trail hikers looking to get to, or from, the Long Trail’s Northern Terminus. Please share, or Tweet it or something if you found it helpful.