Trail users up and down the state were out to celebrate the Long Trail, along with the success of raising more than $70,000 for its long-term protection, on August 28. The celebration, Long Trail Day, concluded a months-long fundraising effort led by community members.
We at the Green Mountain Club are simply overwhelmed by the generosity shown for Long Trail Day. The day was a culmination of spreading the word about the Green Mountain Club and encouraging others to participate or donate.
I got to visit with Vermonters and visitors alike at Barnes Camp, sharing snacks and hearing what the Long Trail System means to you. Hikes varied from attempting a fastest known time of the Long Trail to using the trail for the first time, and everything in between.
Long Trail Day was a crucial component of the Long Trail Legacy Campaign, which is all about investments in the future of Green Mountain Club and the Long Trail:
- investing in our future by growing the endowment,
- investing in our people by rehabilitating GMC’s headquarters,
- investing in our trails by improving the northern section of the Long Trail,
- and investing in our lands by rebuilding Beaver Dam Cabin at Wheeler Pond and permanently protecting more of the Long Trail.
These investments are in addition to our regular annual work of maintaining and protecting the Long Trail System. I am so grateful to those of you who have already stepped up to support the Long Trail Legacy Campaign. If you haven’t donated yet, please consider making a contribution. We have raised $2.5 million of the $4 million goal, and a gift of $272, one dollar for each mile of the trail, will really go a long way.
Several of GMC’s section volunteers hosted trail magic along the Long Trail to both guide and greet hikers, as well as hand out goodies. Here’s what they had to say:
“It was a fun recreational hike on a day that seemed to have a hint of autumn in it! We started from Middlebury Gap, dallied along the way and finished up at Sucker Brook Trail. We greeted several hikers along the way, including four solo northbound hikers and two Middlebury College seniors who were section hiking/backpacking northbound as well.” — Ruth Penfield, Bread Loaf Section President
“Thank you very much to the Northern Frontier Section for the outstanding Long Trail Day preparation and display you put on! Great job and it was nice to be a tiny part of your great effort! While I was there, I talked to a number of hikers, mostly day hikers, despite the marginal weather in the morning! But thanks to your great work I think it was very well received!” — Howard VanBenthuysen, GMC President
“It was a rough and rugged day but we all achieved our goals. Thank you everyone for coming out and participating.” — John Predom, Northeast Kingdom Section President
“I was at the Rt 11/30 trailhead from 11 am-3 pm. I talked with and gave cards to more than 30 sets of hikers. There were a lot of thru-hikers, both northbound and southbound. It was worth hanging out there. Simultaneously, there was a father doing trail magic for the same timeframe I was out there.” — Marge Fish, Manchester Section President
“We had a slower day than I would have expected with the cool weather but it was fun anyway. We had maybe 30 hikers, day and thru [hikers], pass by our location. The stickers were a hit. It was fun and I expect that if a Trail Magic Day is planned for next year the Killington Section will participate again.” — Wayne Krevetski, Killington Section President
“What a fun event it is! We all bring cold drinks (Gatorade, soda, flavored coffees), chips, fruit, veggies, baked goods — anything a hiker might like for a ‘treat’ on a long (or short), hot, hike day. We set up some canopies and folding tables and chairs at a point where the trail crosses a road, and welcome the sweaty tired ‘travelers.'” — Linda Hagstrom, Connecticut Section Volunteer
Thank you to the following businesses for providing snacks and prizes for hikers: The Mountain Goat, Outdoor Gear Exchange, MountainOps, Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co., Vermont State Parks, Cabot Cheese, Laughing Moon Chocolates, Athletic Brewing Company, Wildgood, Kula Cloth, and Good To Go.