Hiking in Vermont is something different and meaningful to us all, and we can’t wait to celebrate that reason with you! Join Green Mountain Club’s Long Trail Day, a summer-long fundraiser that invites you to be a part of the future maintenance and protection of the trail. To join, commit to raising $272, or $1 for every mile, from your friends, family, and community; you can fundraise solo or join a team. Below, hear from Long Trail Day ambassadors on what the trail means to them, and how they find meaning in giving back and supporting the work of GMC.
The fundraiser culminates with a hiking celebration for everyone — complete with guided hikes and trail magic around the state — on Saturday, September 10.
Long Trail Day Stories
Lorelei Suehrstedt, Section Hiker
Ohio resident Lorelei Suehrstedt first learned of the Long Trail from a hiking buddy, Renee Slembarski. Renee had thru-hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails and was searching for a hike she and Lorelei could do together. “I asked her which trail was next on her bucket list, and she said it was the Long Trail. I knew nothing at all about it, but with a smile and an enthusiastic nod, I agreed,” recounts Lorelei, now a Long Trail Day ambassador.
In September 2021, the pair started at Appalachian Gap and headed south to Battelle. This year will be Lorelei’s second year doing a section; she plans to start at the southern terminus and head north for a week. “All the planning and training did not prepare me for how madly in love I’d fall with the Long Trail. When I am not section hiking it, I am dreaming about my next section hike on it,” she says.
While Lorelei says the Long Trail chose her, she’s choosing to fundraise for its care this summer. “I believe in how much good this trail does for the world: the camaraderie, the love and respect for Mother Nature — it’s like a fueling station for the soul,” she says. “Without the work to maintain it, we simply wouldn’t have the access to all that it has to offer.”
Lorelei says fundraising is as easy as telling your friends and family how important the trail is to you, and that contributing to the Long Trail Day fundraiser is a way to pass on the gift of adventure. Donate to Lorelei’s personal fundraising page here.
Liz Derstine, FKT Record Setter
Liz Derstine’s connection to the Long Trail began on her 2020 northbound hike on the Appalachian Trail, which shares the first 105 miles of the Long Trail. As she hiked up and over Killington, huffing and puffing most of the way, Liz couldn’t get over how gorgeous, lush, and green it was. “I felt like I was in a magical fairy forest,” she recalls. “When the trail split off with the LT to the left and AT to the right, my curiosity was piqued, and I vowed to return one day to see what lay north on the Long Trail.”
Liz returned many times, completing the remaining miles of the Long Trail the next summer, and going on to set a women’s self-supported record on the trail this July. Her adventures inspired her to fundraise for GMC in honor of Long Trail Day, with a goal of reaching $2,720, or $10 for each mile of the trail.
“Seeing the trail in its entirety gave me a newfound appreciation for just how much work — seen and unseen — the Green Mountain Club does to maintain, preserve, and protect the Long Trail. The trail is a treasure, and something I hope that many people will be able to continue enjoying and appreciating for generations to come,” says Liz.
With a clear fundraising goal and a unique connection to the Long Trail, Liz is already about halfway to her goal. Donate to Liz’s personal fundraising page here to help her set another record.
Get Started with Long Trail Day
Want to join Lorelei, Liz, and our dozens of other participants to contribute toward the Long Trail Day fundraiser? It’s simple!
- Register solo or with a team at www.greenmountainclub.org/longtrailday. You’ll receive an email with a link to download a free digital Long Trail map, as well as a registration packet in the mail with a custom-print GMC Buff and a Long Trail Day sticker.
- Customize your personal fundraising page with your name, a photo, and a little bit about what the trail means to you.
- Share your story! Talk about why you support the Long Trail and the work of the GMC with your friends, family, and local communities.
- Connect with us! Sometimes fundraising can be tricky, or the website can act up. Email [email protected] to connect with one of our staff members. We’re here to help!
- JOIN US FOR A HIKE on September 10! We’re pairing up with wonderful members of our community to lead hikes of varying difficulty in the Barnes Camp/Stowe area. We’ll have ADA-accessible hikes, nature walk-and-talks, and more. Details to come.
- If you’re not local to Stowe, check out what our Sections have planned around the state. Many section volunteers will host hikes or hand out goodies at trail crossings.
- It doesn’t matter where you hike or if you can’t hike that day at all! Join us in collectively celebrating our love for the mountains.
- Celebrate! Everyone who achieves their $272 goal will receive a custom Long Trail Day sport-cap water bottle. The top solo and team fundraisers will also receive grand prizes: a custom Vermont-made Thuja hoodie and/or a free overnight stay at one of GMC’s rental cabins for the 2023 season.
What are you waiting for? Register now!