We here at the Green Mountain Club are so pleased to be able to reopen our Visitor Center to the public this summer. Stop by Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays at our headquarters on Route 100 in Waterbury Center to review and buy guidebooks and maps, learn about the history of the Long Trail, and find the perfect hike for you. This summer, we have three excellent Hiking Information Specialists who know the Long Trail backwards and forwards, and are ready to help make your Green Mountain excursion perfect. Below, meet the Visitor Center staff and be sure to say hello when you are passing through!
Can’t make it? Call 802-244-7037 or email [email protected] for hiking advice and answers.
Amy Potter, Visitor Center Manager
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hiking/outdoors background: Amy is an avid hiker and backpacker; some of her accomplishments include completing all of NH and VT’s 4000’ mountains and a thru-hike of the Long Trail in 2015. Amy’s passion for the outdoors is what brought her to the Green Mountain Club. Here she is able to share her knowledge of and passion for the Long Trail with the community. When she is not at work discussing hiking, she is out exploring with her husband, Dan, three-year-old son Quinn, and their two adventure dogs, Mika and Lucy. She can also be found riding horses, reading fantasy novels, catching live music, and eating good food.
Favorite Hike and/or overnight in the GMC trail systems? My favorite stretch of trail for a day hike is the Monroe Skyline, which traverses over the summits of Abe and Ellen. It is a long hike with some difficult terrain, but it is extremely scenic. My favorite overnight hike is to Little Rock Pond because you can jump off rocks into the water and swim after a hot day hiking.
Outside of Vermont, my husband and I have taken a couple trips to the North Cascades in Washington. I feel like we could visit there every year and never get bored.
Favorite trail food or snack? I like to have fruit snacks on hand for a quick burst of sugar to get me through a difficult section of trail. They also work well to keep your toddler moving on a hike.
Piece of hiking or camping gear you can’t live without? A buff. They are lightweight and serve so many purposes; warmth, headband, handkerchief for wiping sweat or blowing your nose, etc.
Maggie Mae Anderson, Hiking Information Specialist
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hiking/outdoors background: I am a very happy resident of Waterbury, VT. I am a recently retired massage therapist and am currently re-creating myself.
I worked as a GMC caretaker for three seasons back in the day, so I feel like my life is coming full circle with my new job here at the Visitor Center this season.
I also worked for the Adirondack Mountain Club for two seasons in the mid-90s and have thru-hiked the Long Trail twice and section hiked it a third time.
I am an avid hiker, gravel grinder biker, swimmer, cross-country skier and teach yoga, meditation and mindfulness.
Favorite hike or overnight in the GMC trail systems? Mt. Worcester to Mt. Hunger via the Skyline Trail (a total of 11.3 miles with 3,270 ft of elevation gain). I personally prefer to hike it this direction, Worcester to Hunger.
I’d rather go steadily uphill all day than down, that’s just how my knees work. Granted, finishing down Hunger is a significant amount of elevation loss but by then I’m tired and going slowly anyhow. The Skyline trail itself is my favorite part of this hike.
Though used more often these days, it’s still not a heavily traveled trail and it really feels like I’m getting away from it all when I’m out there. Mild elevation gain pretty much the whole way makes me feel like I’m doing something without it being too hard.
Either way you hike it, you’ll have to drive back through Montpelier to fetch the other car and there are many good restaurants in Montpelier to refuel at post hike. Royal Orchid on Elm Street is one of my favorites.
Outside of Vermont, I love hiking in the Adirondacks and the Grand Tetons.
Favorite trail food or snack? Dried mango is the bee’s knees in my opinion!
Piece of hiking or camping gear you can’t live without? My trekking poles! I’ve been hiking since I was 8 and my knees and ankles fully appreciate the extra support that trekking poles give.
Maggie Twitchell, Hiking Information Specialist
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hiking background: I live in Waterbury Center, about a mile through the woods behind GMC’s headquarters, with my main squeeze, Dave, and a bunch of animals. I run a hiker hostel/ski dorm from our home and I am a backpack guide when I am not working here.
I joined the GMC as a member last year, when I went Gap to Gap through the Monroe Skyline and vowed to pay back the marvelous work the trail crews did.
Ultimately, that summer of hiking led me to thru hike the trail NOBO last September and upon landing back down into civilization, I vowed to find a way to stay submerged in the hiking community. I made a big career change, ditching my 25 years of Office Management and HR and learning new skills to support become a backpack guide.
Part of that was earning my Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certificate, part of that was being able to take the incredible opportunity sharing my excitement and knowledge of our local trails and the LT here at the Visitor Center. I was lucky they were hiring when I was looking!
Favorite hike or overnight in the GMC trail systems? My favorite place to overnight on the Long Trail is my “local” shelter, Taylor Lodge, and the Lake Mansfield Trail that leads to it from Nebraska Valley is my favorite way to get there. It’s a short one, but it brings you right up to access the LT, and was where I chatted with a thru-hiker for the first time and realized that “normal” people could hike the Long Trail too. She’ll never know how pivotal she was for me!
My next goal, before another thru hike, is to traverse the Presidentials in New Hampshire. My WFR course was there in Conway, and I was able to do a few afternoon hikes in the area, introducing me to the vast beauty of that range.
Piece of hiking or camping gear you can’t live without? Probably my ancient external frame. It earned me a trail name “Old School.” As I shift my gear to Ultralight, I cannot let this go. It’s like like packing a VW bus, and it freestands in the shelter as though I’ve brought a chest of drawers! Some of the things you’ll always find in there: my Kula cloth, a small bottle of essential oil, and my new streamlined bespoke first aid kit.
Favorite trail food or snack? My go-to snacks are pretty standard: fun size snickers bars, jerky, VT cheddar, electrolytes. And I can’t get enough of Sapporo Ichibans Momosan Ramen… so much more delicious and healthy then the one we all know.
Rick Hopkins, Hiking Information Specialist
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your hiking background: I live in a slice of paradise called East Montpelier, and familiarity with hiking, the Long Trail, Central Vermont area and Vermont’s natural resources have given me a unique understanding of all things outdoorsy.
Before college I worked four summers for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire. After college, I moved to Vermont and fell in love with the Green Mountains. After years and years of day hiking, I finally thru-hiked the Long Trail in September 2015.
I joined the Visitor Center as an Information Specialist in 2016 after retiring from the VT Department of Environmental Conservation. When not at the visitor center, I enjoy retirement by being outside whenever I can hiking, mountain biking, alpine skiing, and boating.
I am also a board member with the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, the East Montpelier Trails Committee, the Montpelier Mountain Bike Association and the Cross Vermont Trail Association.
Favorite hike or overnight in the GMC trail systems? Hard to pick just one as my 28-day thru-hike of the LT was so memorable, from having 25 nice weather days to meeting other hikers to carrying too heavy a pack. It’s hard to say what was my most favorite but certainly the overnight at Little Rock Pond was almost as special as whacking my head on the door frame at Taft Lodge.
Favorite trail food or snack? Dinner offerings by Knorr supplemented with tuna, cholula, roasted corn kernels with Bourbon palette cleanse. Heavenly.
Piece of hiking or camping gear you can’t live without? My Big Agnes sleeping bag – it comes with a sleeve that holds two sleeping pads!