Skip to main content

Journeys End, North Troy Vermont


Time is growing closer and yet it seems so far away. Today, I drove over 3 hours to the Journeys End Trail in North Troy Vermont. This is the approach trail for the Northern Terminus of the Long Trail. I wanted to check out the road conditions for when my ride meets me up there. But I also couldn't not hike something so, I had planned on going to the shelter. I put my pack, now full with a weeks worth of provisions and gear, in the car and I was off. Straight up 91 and past my first college. 


The road is easy to find and relatively easy to travel to start with. Once you leave the population though it's a bit rutted and takes some care to maneuver down. I took it slow and made it in my Ford Focus but I believe that lower clearance vehicles will have a problem. I stopped at the first turn out but I realized that I could probably drive right to the trail. Either way, it's a .1 walk to the actual trail from the first turn out.


It's a very short trip up to the Journeys end shelter, .8 miles. The road eventually goes down to a trail and in places there is water running on it now. There's the stereotypical mud of the long trail here too. The black flies are out but if you keep moving and use a little Ben's 30%, they do no bother you. Isis and I crossed one stream with a high water rope across it. Didn't need it today but I was happy to see the water flowing. The leaves are slick on the trail as I climb with Isis. Our first stop is to check out the water supply for the shelter and it is flowing really well. For those that start at this end, you will have plenty to fill up at the start. For me, it won't matter too much for my exit.


The shelter is relatively new looking. Small but enough room for a night. Four walls and a door are always a welcome site. If no one else shows up, I will sleep in here for my last night in June. If other hikers are on trail, I will use my tent. Since I have the dog, this is only fair for the other hikers who may not like dogs or are allergic. I checked around and there are places to put a tent. There's also a fire pit too. As I was walking around, checking things out, I thought about the boundary. It's only .5 up the trail. It's barely 10:30 at this point. I can't really turn around and go back to the car. I was going to save the boundary for when I officially end, thinking that it would preserve the feelings and emotions. But then I realized that after walking the last 64.5 miles, NOTHING will stop those emotions. So, we walked up to the boundary.



The trail to the boundary is easy and a gradual climb with switchbacks. There's mud and leaves to deal with as well as some water. The trillium are out and lining the trail. I have missed spring! I walked out to the clearing and onto some rocks before looking down at the boundary marker. I had some fun walking from the US to Canada, took some pictures, and admired the view. Looking around, I spotted a white blaze. At first I was not going to set foot on the trail but, I had too. Four steps in put me at the Northern Terminus. It felt really good to be on trail.


The walk back to the car was easy and probably under an hour. At least from the cabin to the car it was 20 minutes. I carried a full pack today and while it was harder on the up trails, I eventually felt like I was just carrying a pack. The downs seem to fly by and I felt balanced with he weight. While I can't say I am looking forward to seeing the end again, I am looking forward to being on trail and waking these last miles. I hopped onto 93 South and drove through the Whites on the way home. Things are getting busy there again as the trails melt, with cars already parking on the highway through Franconia Notch. I believe that the Whites are becoming too over populated and too busy. I stopped for coffee at my usual spot at Exit 28, which was why I got on 93 in the first place. A regular thing when I hike and much looked forward too. Otherwise, I might not have gotten it until I was almost home, had I stuck with 91.


All the supplies have been bought and packed. Except for my home made jerky that I will make the week before. I've cut as much weight as I can. What remains now is the mental prep. I'm not pulling any big mile hikes to lead up to this final section. I think given what I've experienced in the past year, being rested and relaxed is more important. My medication has finally started to really maintain my symptoms so, I'm in a great spot. I just have one more doctors appointment the Tuesday before I leave to make sure I am all set and I know that I won't have any issues. I've been watching the weather too and it looks good so far. A little rain of course but it appears to be on the right days of the trip. I'll have two more hikes before I go, as of right now I can say that they'll be smaller peaks for short miles to not stress out my system. I can feel trail life creeping back again... I am so excited to take a walk. 

Popular posts from this blog

A Year's Worth of Planning for the Long Trail

It's amazing how quickly time flies. Last year when I got off the trail at Lincoln Gap, my mind automatically shifted to planning my final Thru Hike of the Long Trail where I would essentially pick up where I left off and walk to Canada, the northern terminus, with my dog Isis (Lil' Nugget on the trail). First and foremost, I wanted my gear to be lighter and I wanted my food to taste better. All throughout the year, I changed things around and I proudly managed to shave off 10lbs from my gear.  It's still heavy at 45lbs but that is also because I am a solo hiker, carrying all her gear, and her dogs gear and food too. I also researched foods that I could make in my dehydrator that might have a little more flavor than instant white rice and some meats and also had plenty of calories. This is what works for me, you might find that something different works for you. In my opinion, gear should be tailored to the hiker. I try and keep it really simple when I hit the trail while…

Mount Moosilauke

So, I lasted all of 2 weeks off the trails from when I left VT. This weekend, I got tired of waiting for that all day soaking rain (that we need) and hiked Moosilauke via Glencliff. A new trail for me and another small section of the AT. It's a 7.8 mile day today, round trip. It's HUMID and as my history would tell, I do not do well in humidity. But the other thing I am known for is my stubbornness. I'm no quitter. I may stumble but I am not known for quitting.


Glenciff trail starts off easy enough. I walked down from the parking area and entered the woods which quickly transitioned to a field of milkweed. It looked as though some people had chosen to camp here as some areas were tramped down. The trail continues into the woods and over a small well flowing stream. I can feel the humidity in the air and start to take it slow. Even the tree cover is not helping today. Isis and I continue and start to climb but there are very few large rocks to deal with so, the trail is a …

Franconia Falls

This morning, I had my sights set on Mt. Waumbek. I figured it would be a good one as I continue to get my legs under me from being sick last month and I had not visited it in a long time. I parked at the winter lot since the residents on the road leading to the trail head love to tow cars that park on the side of the road (believe me, do not tempt fate). Secure my snowshoes to my pack and got Isis all ready. In-spite of colder than cold temps, I really wanted to summit. As I walked up the road, I felt the tightness in my ankle and hoped that it would go away and loosen up and maybe I'd stop sucking wind too. I kept going up the trail and got to the well for a reluctant Pup picture. The trail itself is good and packed. I did not wear microspikes and had no need for snowshoes. I was hopeful that I might use them later in the day. Waumbek starts out with not a great deal of elevation gain but today, it was just enough to make me question... Things in my joints have not been quite r…