Bennington was Vermont’s first town and the home of Ethan Allen’s famed Green Mountain Boys

Bennington, Vt.

Connecting Town and Trail

Bennington, Vermont (population approx. 15,700) is fortunate to have the Long Trail (L.T.) and Appalachian Trail (A.T.) co-aligned and just five miles east of historic Downtown Bennington. The A.T./L.T. crosses Vermont Route 9 just east of the village of Woodford, VT (population 424). Bennington is the first community with a variety of amenities and resources that northbound Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and Long Trail (L.T.) hikers in Vermont will encounter.

The A.T./L.T. in the Bennington area aligns with the Green Mountain National Forest, and here it also enters the federally designated Glastenbury Wilderness. The Green Mountain Club (GMC) and its volunteers steward the A.T./L.T. in Vermont. The Bennington Section of the GMC is a vigorous group of volunteers, outdoor enthusiasts, and hikers who conscientiously maintain 14.4 miles of the A.T./L.T. from Harmon Hill just south of Route 9 east of Bennington to Glastenbury Mountain, as well as maintaining two shelters.

The GMC Bennington section also maintains an equal number of miles of blue-blazed side trails, 6 miles on Bald Mountain just outside Bennington and 9 miles on West Ridge. The Harmon Hill section of the A.T./L.T. with its views of Bennington, Mt. Anthony and into New York State, as well as the Bald Mountain Trail, to the White Rocks vista, are the most popular day hikes in Bennington within the Long Trail System.

Plan Your Visit

Stop by the Downtown Welcome (215 South St, Bennington) to plan your visit, access Wi-Fi and learn more about hiker resources in Bennington. Wi-Fi can also be found at the Bennington Free Library, the Bennington Recreation Center, and several eateries. More information can also be found at the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center (100 Veterans Memorial Dr, Bennington) and the Vermont Welcome Center (accessible from VT-7 South or VT 279).

Though Bennington does not currently have an outfitter downtown, you will find a few markets, including the Bennington Farmer’s Market (Saturdays) close to downtown. A short walk from downtown, the Bennington Recreation Center (655 Gage Street) offers showers, a lap pool, is host to the bear can loaner program.

The local bus system, the Green Mountain Express, provides services from the trailhead to Downtown Bennington, and along the business district, as well as offering connectors to other nearby towns such as Wilmington, VT, Brattleboro, VT, Williamstown, MA and Manchester, VT.  Check their schedule for details on fees and services.

Bennington Four Corners is the center of downtown and the crossroads of U.S. Route 7 and Vermont Route 9. Downtown you’ll find several restaurants, micro-breweries, the year-round Bennington Farmer’s Market (held Saturdays), and more distinctive places to see, stay, and experience.

If you are traveling to Bennington and looking to stay for more than a short-resupply, then Bennington has no shortage of activities for you. Bennington is the crossroads of rich cultural history, a vibrant downtown and arts scene, innovative industries, an acclaimed healthcare center, and many one-of-a- kind enterprises. The SMU National Center for Arts Research has consistently hailed Bennington in its top-ten most vibrant arts communities. While you are here, check out the village of Old Bennington, home of Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys. Stop by the Bennington Museum and the Old First Church Cemetery, or take in the views from the 306-foot-tall Bennington Battle Monument. Then head to North Bennington via single-laned covered bridges to check out Bennington College, and the village of North Bennington, Lake Paran, or the Robert Frost Stone House Museum.

Outdoor recreation opportunities on and off the A.T./L.T. abound with options for exploration, including Willow Park, the Bennington Recreation Center, Bennington Area Trail System, Greenberg Headwaters Park, Lake Paran, Woodford State Park, Lake Shaftsbury State Park, the Robert Frost Stone House Museum and trails, Prospect Mountain Ski Area, world-class golf, endless miles of stream or lake fishing, and more!

Local Services for Hikers

Recreational Opportunities in Bennington and the Region

SHIRES OUTDOOR ADVENTURE & RECREATION GROUP

Get Involved

Green Mountain Club

The mission of the Green Mountain Club is to make the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail System and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains. Learn more and become a member today at greenmountainclub.org.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

ATC Volunteer Program

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is always looking for dedicated volunteers to help maintain the A.T. and assist in our visitor center and headquarters. Opportunities range from greeting visitors and providing information about local hikes to joining a Trail crew for week-long maintenance trips, gaining first-hand experience in what it takes to keep the A.T. open and enjoyable for millions each year. Learn more at appalachiantrail.org/volunteer.