FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 24, 2023
CONTACT: Chloe Miller, Communications Manager
[email protected], (802) 241-8324
Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Vermont’s Hiking Season
Vermont – The Friday of Memorial Day Weekend officially kicks off Vermont’s hiking season, and the Green Mountain Club, which manages and maintains 500 miles of trails in the state, wants to help hikers get outside and enjoy our wonderful natural spaces this season.
Mud season is coming to a close and most high-elevation trails around the state are relatively dry, though some patches of snow remain. Hikers can now consider all hiking trails “open,” and are advised to proceed with caution through muddy areas and be prepared for some snow and ice to remain on summits.
“We are so grateful to the hiking public for following mud season hiking guidance and sharing wisdom within the hiking community,” said Keegan Tierney, GMC’s Director of Field Programs. “The relatively dry spring gave our volunteers plenty of time to sweep the trail, clearing fallen trees and water drainages to prepare for the busy hiking season ahead.”
Hikers of all experience levels can take advantage of GMC’s Visitor Center and services, consulting in-house experts for custom hike recommendations and connections with hiker services such as shuttles and lodging. Visit us at the Route 100 headquarters in Waterbury Center, or weekends at the volunteer-staffed Barnes Camp Visitor Center, situated right on the Long Trail at the base on Mount Mansfield (Route 108 where it meets Smugglers’ Notch).
“GMC has the hiker in mind: whether it’s in town at our Visitor Center or on the top of a mountain with a GMC summit caretaker, hikers should take full advantage of the opportunities and resources to have a safer and more enjoyable hiking experience. Ask a caretaker to point out the rare alpine plants that grow along the Mansfield Ridgeline, or connect with regional GMC chapters to join a guided hike or outing,” said Alicia DiCocco, Deputy Director of the club.
Early hiking season is an exciting time, and here are just a few reminders for hikers as they get outside:
- Check GMC’s Trail Updates page, as well as TrailFinder and Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation news releases for the latest information about trail or parking lot closures.
- Early season conditions still exist. Pack plenty of extra layers for changing weather and chilly summits, and review the Ten Essentials and HikeSafe Responsibility Code to reduce the chance of emergency on your hike.
- GMC trail crews and other organizations will be working on improving trails and facilities around the state. Use caution if hiking near a trail crew.
- Hikers should be advised that the Marvin B. Gameroff Visitor Center on Route 100 will remain open throughout the summer, though construction may be taking place nearby.
- Reach out with hiking related questions via email ([email protected]), phone (802-244-7037), and social media message. Our trained professionals are here to help you.
- Join the Long Trail Hiking — GMC Community Facebook group to connect with fellow hikers.
- Follow GMC on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up for our email distribution list, to stay up to date on exciting events and ideas to have your best Vermont summer!
If you’re in need of new or gently used hiking gear ahead of the season, consider one of the members of GMC’s Outdoor Business Coalition, who are committed to supporting GMC’s work on the Long Trail System: The Mountain Goat in Manchester, Eastern Mountain Sports in South Burlington, Onion River Outdoors in Montpelier, and Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters in Brattleboro.
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 and protecting Vermont’s historic Long Trail, Appalachian Trail in Vermont, and the Kingdom Heritage Lands trails in the Northeast Kingdom. Every year more than 1,000 volunteers work so that current and 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.
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