FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 27, 2021
CONTACT: Keegan Tierney, Director of Field Programs, (802) 241-8320; [email protected]
Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Vermont’s Hiking Season
Vermont — After a long year of social distancing followed by mud season, hiking season is finally upon us. Last year, the Green Mountain Club experienced a 35 percent average increase in use on the Long Trail and an 80 percent increase in use of overnight shelters, and we anticipate another busy season ahead. GMC asks hikers to help protect natural resources by being good trail stewards and responsible members of the hiking community. This involves planning ahead for your hike, respecting other hikers, and packing out what you pack in for your hike.
“I get asked every day when the trails are going to be open, and I am excited to tell folks that they can now get out and hike. That said, it’s important for all of us to take care of the trails, especially with the high level of use they got last year and will likely get this year. If we all do our part to stay on the trail and practice Leave No Trace principles, we can make sure the Long Trail stays in good shape in the future,” said Keegan Tierney, Director of Field Programs for the Green Mountain Club.
Vermont is home to hundreds of miles of hiking opportunities. This is a wonderful time of year to get outside and enjoy a favorite hike or explore a new trail. Higher elevations may still have snow and lower elevations may still have muddy conditions, so be prepared to walk through puddles and mud to avoid damaging the surrounding vegetation.
GMC urges hikers to plan ahead, with special early season tips:
- Let someone know where you will be hiking and when you plan to return.
- Carry a map and know which trailhead you need to return to.
- Bring a warm extra layer as mountain tops are chilly year-round and Vermont’s weather can quickly change.
- Bring rain gear; even an emergency poncho or garbage bag will help in a pinch.
- Carry out what you carry in and help protect Vermont’s special places.
GMC is also excited to announce that we will be reopening our visitor center for in-person visits on weekends starting June 4. Stop by the headquarters on Route 100 in Waterbury Center, VT, from 10am – 4 pm Friday – Monday to meet our hiking specialists and get personalized hiking recommendations.
Vermont outdoor retailers are stepping up to give back to the trails by donating to the Green Mountain Club. GMC encourages hikers to gear up at their local outdoor retailer, especially The Mountain Goat in Manchester, Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, MountainOps in Stowe, Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier, and Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters in Brattleboro.
About the Green Mountain Club: Established in 1910 to build the Long Trail, the Green Mountain Club is a private non-profit organization with over 9,800 members. The GMC is dedicated to maintaining, managing, and protecting Vermont’s historic Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and the Kingdom Heritage Trails in the Northeast Kingdom, and advocating for hiking opportunities in Vermont. Every year more than 1,000 volunteers work so that future generations will enjoy the 500-mile Long Trail System. Contact the Green Mountain Club to learn more about the GMC or to become a member.