Vt. Hiking Season Starts This Weekend

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Hikers who head out over this long holiday weekend to the Long Trail will find some sections rerouted around Tropical Storm Irene damage.

The storm’s floods washed out sections of the trail and also destroyed bridges.

Dave Hardy is trails program director for the Green Mountain Club. He says hikers will still be able to make their way along the entire length of the Long Trail.

"You can do the end-to-end from Massachusetts to Canada," Hardy said. "There are walk-arounds for all the closures. The two bridges we lost, there are short walk-arounds. The Thundering Falls boardwalk, which is currently closed, there’s a walk-around on a local road. And then up in Shrewsbury, in the Cold River area, there’s about a four-mile road walk that bypasses all the slides that crossed the trail."

The Long Trail is typically closed through Memorial Day. So this weekend is the first opportunity for most enthusiasts to get back out on the trail and its side paths.

Hardy says the Green Mountain Club also has opened a new section of side trail this year.

The Kingdom Heritage Trail crosses the former Champion Lands. A one-mile section opens this year off the Gore Mountain Trail.

Eventually, it will stretch 14 miles between Route 114 in Avery’s Gore and Island Pond.

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