Wood is a sustainable resource that we use to build puncheon (boardwalk), shelters, privies (outhouses), and bridges. These structures make it possible for hikers to use and enjoy the 272-mile Long Trail. Eventually though, the wood components rot, and our trail and construction crews need to perform maintenance before it becomes problematic or hazardous.
Thankfully, we have you and your support to maintain the infrastructure of the Long Trail. Just this summer, our construction crew replaced planks of rotting wood on the 30-foot suspension bridge on the Long Trail in Clarendon, making it possible for hikers to safely cross over Clarendon Gorge. This was highly technical work. GMC professionals set up multiple rigging systems to safely suspend workers and materials over the gorge in a steel basket. The basket travels by pulley along a wire rope, allowing safe access to the rotten, outer lying bridge components.
Clarendon Gorge Bridge was built in 1974 to replace a similar bridge that was swept away in a flood the year prior. It was last repaired in 2008; the work done this summer should last at least 20 years. Suspension bridges like this are less common on the Long Trail System because they are a more complex design, generally requiring a higher degree of engineering.
Thanks to your membership dues and donations, we were able to make this project happen. Now hikers will enjoy crossing Clarendon Gorge Bridge for decades.
If you want to cross the Clarendon Gorge Bridge and check out the work you made possible, we recommend this two-mile, roundtrip hike to the Swinging Bridge swim hole. It’s perfect for stretching your legs, admiring the bridge, and even taking a quick dip.