Take that, COVID-19! Despite the setbacks of 2020, we were able to move forward with a trail project that has been years in the making. Stratton Pond is a popular hiking destination for so many that it’s even in our HikeVT recommendations, but it is also a fragile pond ecosystem that requires special consideration.
The Lye Brook Trail previously ran along the south shore of Stratton Pond all the way from the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail to the Stratton View Tent Site. This is a fragile shoreline area that is vulnerable to disturbance from hikers who stray off the trail to access the pond. Therefore, in the most sensitive section, we relocated the trail uphill, away from the shoreline.
The goal is to concentrate pond access at Willis Ross Clearing on the east end and Stratton View Tent Site on the west end while allowing the rest of the shoreline habitat to rehabilitate. Last year the Long Trail Patrol (Green Mountain Club’s professional trail crew), with help from several college community service groups, cut most of the new section of the Lye Brook Trail, but it didn’t open for use.
Last week our southern caretakers officially opened the reroute by blazing (painting marks on the trees to show the trail), installing new directional signage, and covering up the old trail with brush. They also replaced broken pieces of the bridge across the pond outlet.
What we love about this photo is how excited they are to complete this part of the project and the pride they take in their work.
The east end of the Lye Brook Trail now intersects with the Stratton Pond Trail approx. .25 mi south of Stratton Pond Shelter. It no longer connects directly to Willis Ross Clearing. The west end intersection has not changed.
Thanks to all of you for your support to make this project happen! We hope you enjoy the new section of trail.