What a year! This past field season was one of the busiest in recent memory with an extraordinary amount of work accomplished, thanks to your support: seven new privies; reconstruction of multiple shelters; bridge repairs; and major trail work on the northern Long Trail, around Stratton Pond, and at Bolton Mountain. I had the pleasure of seeing much of this work first-hand while completing my third End-to-End hike of the Long Trail this summer.
The investments made this year not only address current needs, such as the increased popularity of hiking, but are set to have lasting benefits for decades. As I visited the recently reconstructed Emily Proctor Shelter, I thought of all the hikers that will end their days here for the next 50 years. Each of the seven new privies will be in service for more than 30 years. And some of the new trail hardening infrastructure that I walked on, north of Route 242 on my way to Jay Peak, should last 20 years or more.
It takes careful, advanced planning for us to complete these projects, and we can’t do it without your support. In July, we airlifted more than 18 tons of construction material into five different backcountry sites to be turned into new privies, shelters, and tent platforms at Stratton Pond, Kid Gore, Melville Nauheim, and Seth Warner sites.
Currently, neat stacks of materials sit dormant in the woods, waiting for next year’s professional crews and volunteers to turn them into new backcountry facilities. A new, fully accessible privy in the back-country typically requires a combination of professional staff and volunteers to bring the materials to the site and build the structure over the course of several planned workdays.
As we move into 2022, we will continue investing in the future of the Long Trail: we have more work on the northern Long Trail to complete, a new shelter slated for Stratton Pond, and additional privies to convert. To make this happen, we need financial support from donors like you.
Today I ask you to make a year-end donation to support this important work in 2022. Your gift now will make a difference in what we can accomplish and have a lasting impact on the Long Trail. I know so many of you have already stepped up this year to support the Long Trail, so I thank you for considering a year-end gift to support our work for next year.