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The Long Trail turns 100

Posted by guest  May 28, 2010 07:09 AM

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On March 21, 1910, 23 avid hikers (or trampers as they were called at the time) sat in a room in Burlington, Vt., and had the wacky idea to create the first long-distance hiking trail in America. The Green Mountains had been largely unappreciated, so James P. Taylor (1872-1949) made a promise that his group would "make the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people.'' They called their organization the Green Mountain Club and remarkably finished a 273-mile long route that snakes through the Green Mountains the entire length of the state. The high-country trail is a narrow, unforgiving footpath in the wilderness that winds through the finest greenery of this sylvan state. A century later, as our leisure time becomes more and more diminished through overwork and lack of vacation time, the Long Trail seems too long for most of us. Only 120 hikers took a month out of their life in 2009 to complete the entire route and become certified "end-to-enders'' by the Green Mountain Club. If you ever wanted to take advantage of James P. Taylor's dream, the centennial celebration would be a good time.

Posted by Steve Jermanok, Globe correspondent. Steve blogs daily at www.ActiveTravels.com

1936 photo taken at the top of Lincoln Gap courtesy of Green Mountain Club

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