News Release — Green Mountain Club
May 24, 2013
WATERBURY CENTER – The Green Mountain Club today welcomed the start of Vermont’s hiking season. The 10,000-member club which maintains more than 500 miles of Vermont hiking trails looks forward to a number of major projects this summer and fall.
Despite this weekend’s forecast, mud season officially ends in time for the holiday weekend. With more than 200,000 people estimated to use the Long Trail system each year, hiking is a major economic driver for the state.
“We are excited for another great summer and fall of hiking on the Long Trail and all across Vermont,” said Will Wiquist, executive director. “This is the season we expect to see our crews finally breaking ground on a Long Trail footbridge over the Winooski River. It does not get much more exciting than that for Vermont hiking.”
This season, the club’s seasonal trail crew, the Long Trail Patrol, expects to spend much of the summer working on two major Long Trail relocation projects: the Winooski River Valley bridge and relocation in Bolton and Smugglers Notch relocation as part of the renovations to historic Barnes Camp. In Shrewsbury, the club expects to repair the last major stretch of the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail closed due to Tropical Storm Irene damage.
In addition, club caretakers will welcome visitors to such Long Trail treasures as Mt. Mansfield, Stratton Pond, Mt. Abraham, Camels Hump, and the Coolidge Range. Caretakers help protect fragile environments, work on the trails near their sites, and lead the important waste management work necessary at busy shelter sites.
The 103-year old Green Mountain Club built and maintains the Long Trail, America’s oldest long-distance hiking trail. Through the work of about 1,000 volunteers annually and up to 50 seasonal staff, the club maintains more than the Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Northeast Kingdom trails.
The club works with its public and private partners including Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation; the U.S. Forest Service; and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.