On Saturday, October 7, the Green Mountain Club capped our season-long community fundraiser, Long Trail Day 2023, with a rainy yet cheerful celebration of the Long Trail and the funds raised for it. We are thrilled and so grateful for its success again this year.
By Saturday, fundraisers and donors had surpassed the original $60,000 goal, and had set their sights on raising an additional $6,000 to fund another week of trail crew time. And by Sunday night, that stretch goal was reached and you continue to surpass it as remaining donations come in.
Long Trail Day weekend embodied much of the spirit of hiking, even though no guided hikes were held, with celebrations by GMC staff, volunteer sections, and fundraising teams requiring flexibility, some rain resistance, and high spirits.
GMC at Barnes Camp
Green Mountain Club staff tabled at Barnes Camp during the busiest hours of the day, greeting hikers and leaf peepers with hot apple cider and treats from local Vermont businesses.
A big thank you to Athletic Brewing, Cabot Creamery, UnTapped, and Vermont Smoke and Cure for keeping our table stocked with snacks, and our Long Trail Day Corporate Sponsors, Widewail and Orvis, for giving to the trail and the Green Mountain Club’s work.
Celebrating with GMC’s Sections
GMC’s Bread Loaf Section held a variety of activities on August 19, this year’s original date for the fundraiser’s end. They led two hikes leaving north and south from Brandon Gap, a hike on the Trail Around Middlebury, trail magic at Appalachian Gap, and a post-hike celebration at Drop-In Brewing in Middlebury. Bread Loaf also planned to lead more hikes on October 7, which were canceled due to weather. They raised over $1,800 and fundraised this year to honor longtime members Jan and Harris Abbott.
The Burlington Section also had to pivot plans with Saturday’s wind and rain. Their hike to Butler Lodge was changed to a Monday hike to Skylight Pond, with lots of traffic getting to the trailhead but lovely hiking weather. They raised over $1,200 for the trail.
The Bennington Section also moved their hike, changing plans from Saturday to Sunday. Hike leader Steve Love reports, “We had four (and a pup) on our hike to the White Rocks overlook on the Bald Mountain trail. The weather was great for hiking (although sun came out just as we finished).” They raised over $300 for the trail.
The Northeast Kingdom Section unfortunately had to cancel their hike up Belvidere Mountain, but raised over $2,300 for the trail!
Hiking Your Own Hikes
Fundraising team, “Psyched to Hike,” braved the rain and still had a great hike on the Cooley Glen, Emily Proctor loop. “We had a blast!” says team leader Lauren Bierman.
Thank you for making Long Trail Day 2023 a Success!
Although this year was especially challenging with flooding that created extra damage and repairs needed on the trail, you all stepped up and really came through for Long Trail Day. With the funds raised, we will be able to complete routine trail improvement projects, continue repairing flooded sections of the trail, and ensure that more than 500 miles of hiking trails in Vermont are cared for. All because of you!
Thank you all for making this happen and for being such amazing members of Vermont’s hiking communities.