Appalachian Trail Town Spotlight: Manchester Center, VT

The Trail Town Spotlight series continues with Manchester Center, Vermont! This quaint hub sits off of Mile 1,651 going northbound.

Approximate NOBO mileages:

1592: Williamstown/North Adams, MA

1651: Manchester Center, VT

1704: Killington, VT

Overview

Manchester Center is about five miles off the AT, but you will be tempted by what this town has to offer. You’ll see a parking lot where the AT crosses VT-11, which makes it an easy spot to hitchhike. This parking lot serves local day hikers… just ask them to drop you off at the Price Chopper grocery store.

In town, you’ll be able to do a full grocery resupply, visit an Eastern Mountain Sports outfitter, and catch a movie at the Village Picture Show… all in the same complex. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Also worth noting: Ted’s Barbershop in the same complex offers haircuts and maple syrup. Zoom in on the street view image if you don’t believe me.

Aside from the Price Chopper complex, Manchester Center also has plenty of restaurants, a laundromat, and Mountain Goat Outfitter.

Places to stay

Like the resupply options, Manchester Center has an abundance of places to stay. Northbounders will notice prices gradually increasing as they get closer to ski towns, but you can still find a room for around $30/person if you share. Check out the Green Mountain House if you like local trail hostels. The Red Sled Motel offers free shuttles from the trail and is hiker-friendly, and there’s also an Econo Lodge between town and the trail.

Resupply

The Price Chopper is a full-service grocery store. You can get everything for the next 53-mile stretch to Killington, along with a pint of ice cream. The store appreciates if hikers don’t crowd the shopping cart/entrance area while sorting everything after purchasing.

Food

Getting dropped off at the Price Chopper puts you within easy walking distance of a lot of options. Manchester Center has Thai, Chinese, Mexican, ice cream, pizza, and fast food. If you’re up for breakfast, there is a breakfast diner place called Up For Breakfast.

Things to do

Manchester Center has every resource hikers need, and is a great place to spend a night. If you have some extra time, there’s a library and post office along with a Northshire Bookstore.

History buffs may already know that Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln had only one child survive into adulthood. Robert Todd Lincoln spent summers in Manchester Center. These days, their family home is open for tours.

However, Bromley Mountain is three miles further north on the AT. Whether you stay in Manchester Center or not, do yourself a favor and coordinate your plans so you spend the night on Bromley Mountain. The ski hut is kept open for hikers. The sunset view is incredible along with the stars if it’s a clear night.

Manchester Center is part of what makes the Appalachian Trail what it is. Don’t miss it.

Bromley Mountain Sunset

Previous Appalachian Trail Town Spotlights:

Mile 543: Atkins, VA

Featured image via Guthook Hikes

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Comments 2

  • Arnold "Bloodhound" Guzman : Feb 1st

    Hey man, I was also planning on featuring trail towns in my future Trek articles but my approach was going to be from the perspective of townspeople; their experiences with hikers, what they think of hikers, etc..Hope this doesn’t encroach on your series

    Reply
    • James Cape : Feb 1st

      Arnold, not at all – please do. If you feel inclined, feel free to add a link to my posts and I’ll do the same for you if we cover the same town. I was hoping eventually someone else might want to start covering PCT and other trail towns not on the AT as well. The more the merrier. I was planning to get perspectives from certain people who have made large impacts on certain towns eventually, but I don’t think it will overlap with your idea.

      Reply

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