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The Northeast Kingdom Section of Vermont’s Green Mountain Club provides and preserves hiking opportunities and supports land and wildlife stewardship in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont.

NEK Section Green Mountain Club

Position Available!

Outings Coordinator – Looking for a person to coordinate, organize and entice volunteers to lead club activities. This is a new position for this section, but has a history with the club and other sections. Here is an excerpt from the Section Leaders Handbook Chapter 8

“The outings or activities coordinator is key to the success of a section. This person is responsible
for soliciting volunteer leaders and putting together an outings schedule which provides activities
for various interests and ability levels. Often the first experience a member has with a section is
when they attend a scheduled outing. Outings create interest in a section. They introduce new
members to the GMC. They allow members to get to know each other and build friendships.
They lead people to places they have never before explored. They give volunteers a chance to
develop and sharpen their leadership skills. They are a source for recruiting new section leaders.
They teach an appreciation for the outdoors. They showcase the beauty of Vermont. Best of all,
outings are fun.”

Upcoming Events!

Join us for a pre-meeting hike on the Golden Road in Victory, Vermont. This is an easy 5 mile hike with 660 feet elevation gain. Our goal will be the shelter, but time will dictate the distance. It is also the first day of Archery Season and Bear Season is ongoing; bright colors are recommended. Meet at East Burke Community Library prior to 12pm, that is when we leave the parking lot. RSVP NortheastKingdomSection@greenmountainclub.org to participate.

https://www.trailfinder.info/…/victory-state-forest-trails

  • GMC NEK Fall Meeting 4PM to 6PM

Later, join us at East Burke Community Library for our Fall Meeting to get updates on GMC club news and all the area happenings from Northwoods Stewardship and Vermont Forest Parks and Recreation. Bring your favorite dish for a potluck dinner during meeting!

  • At 6PM

Marty Podskoch will be the guest speaker. He is an expert on the CCC Camps.

Hadsel-Mares Cabin – 650 square feet downstairs with bunks for 6, sleeping loft for 2 upstairs (guests supply their own sleeping pads). Uninsulated.

RSVP NortheastKingdomSection@greenmountainclub.org if you are interested in staying overnight and helping with this woodstacking event.


Edmund Guest receives GMC President’s Award

Ed Guest was honored at the 112th GMC Annual Meeting as one of three outstanding volunteers of the year.  Following is a little bit about Ed that was shared at the meeting,  and I’d personally like to say that his shoes were big ones to fill and I offer him my heartfelt congratulations for all his tireless work on behalf of the NEK! ~ Beth Barnes
Ed Guest, a long time member of the NEK Section, has been a name we all know because we saw it on the masthead of every issue of “Ramblings,” the NEK Section’s newsletter. Through the newsletter, his editorial endeavors kept us informed and entertained. In the run up to 2019, there had been rumblings on introducing a new newsletter, to succeed the previously closed “Northeast Passages.” But, no one excitedly raised a hand to assume this task. We’ve all been there, right?  Ed volunteered to design a prototype issue, and as they say, the rest is history.  In the Summer of 2019, Ed launched the debut issue of the NEK’s second newsletter entitled “Ramblings.”   
He worked tirelessly to keep everyone informed, until stepping down from this post in 2021. Previously in his NEK tenure, Ed served as our dedicated Membership Coordinator, maintaining continuing communications with the Main Club and regularly updating the section on membership data. During the early years of the NEK Section’s history, Ed served as an energetic and effective lead liaison for the first GMC Annual Meeting the section hosted in 2004 at the Burke Mountain Ski Resort. Aside from these official roles, he enthusiastically participated in numerous wood stacking sessions at the Wheeler Pond Camps, always offered sage advice at the NEK Section’s Executive Committee meetings, and was a friendly and welcomed presence on NEK Section outings. Ed’s service to the section was invaluable. His fellow NEK’ers thank Ed for his many contributions to our section’s growth and vitality and wish him all the best.

*Ed was unable to make the meeting in Waterbury Center so Mike Debonis made the presentation at the NEK summer meeting.

GMC NEK Newsletter and Minutes

The newsletter and minutes have been added to this website.

4-1 Ramblings Newsletter

Summer Meeting Minutes

Cathi and I hiked from the Moose Mountain Trail to the Herbert Hawkes Trailhead on Wednesday in support of the Westmore Challenge hosted by Northwoods Stewardship Center . We  flagged the trail and inspected for obstacles. This hike is 6.5 miles long with 2058 feet of elevation gain. Then on Saturday Geoff Commons and I hiked the same route extending it to the Pisgah East Trailhead, 11.3 miles with 3622 feet elevation gain.

 

Trailfinder Map: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/willoughby-state-forest-hiking-trails

We celebrated Long Trail Day by hiking from Rte 105 north to the Canadian Border, then out the Journey’s End Trail. It was a beautiful day with a fun group of happy hikers.

The hike started with a 1.2 mile climb to the summit of Mt. Carleton, an elevation gain of 520 feet. From there we descended 1.4 miles (about the same elevation drop) to the Canadian Border. After some photos at the border we hiked 1.3 miles out the Journey’s End Trail.

The NEK Section of the Green Mountain Club hosted an Eat and Greet and (optional) Hike on Saturday, August 27. We hiked Brousseau Mountain in Norton.   This short hike to summit cliffs provides a panoramic view of this remote region of Vermont.   After the hike we had lunch at Chez Pidgeon not far from the trailhead. Several newcomers attended and a great day was had by all. Trailfinder Map: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/brousseau-mountain

A short notice hike happened on Wednesday with Paul, Tom, Mary, Julie and John up the Averill Mountain Trail.

Haystack Mountain Hike – July 23rd

Haystack Mountain (2,712 ft.) in Westmore, VT. Trip Leader-Gordon DuBois

5 of us met at the Haystack trailhead where parking is a real premium.  Gordon Dubois, hike leader did the pre-hike talk to make sure everyone knew what to expect, including the option to spend some time bushwhacking after the Haystack hike.  It’s a beautiful trail but steep right off the bat and very steep toward the top.  Even though Trailfinder says it is easy/moderate, I would say it is more moderate/challenging due to steepness and some rocks.  We were treated to good company, wonderful views and a surprise Greater Purple Fringed Orchid.  A few of us ended with a well-deserved swim in the pond before leaving the magic of that very special gem of a road!

Haystack Hiking Map: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/haystack-mountain-westmore

Wood Relocation at Hadsel Mares Camp – July 19th

The supply of wood at the lower wood shed at Hadsel Mares was empty. Paul, Bart and I moved a cord of wood from the upper shed to the lower shed. Ready for cold nights and campfires.

Summer Hike and Meeting – July 17th

The day started at Lenny’s Camp on Holland Pond at 11AM with a hike to Round Pond and back, then a potluck lunch and meeting. Mike Debonis, Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club presented Edmund Guest with the Presidents Volunteer Award (President Howard VanBenthuysen was unable to attend). We continued with GMC NEK business then wrapped up with Lenny’s famous cheesecake! Lenny’s to Round Pond Map

S.L.O.T.H. Victory Hike – July 9th

S.L.O.T.H. “Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes“. These no pressure hikes are for ladies of all ages who desire to make the journey their destination. Sweet saunter in the Victory Basin on the Multi-use trail. Excellent weather for sauntering, excellent group as well. So sad that the lean-to destination is abused by others.

Victory Multi-use Trail: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/victory-state-forest-trails

Bluff Ridge Summit Hike – July 9th

We started at the Bluff Community Trail, hiked to Lookout Junction, then took the Lookout Trail to Bluff South Summit. From there, we hiked the Bluff Ridge Trail (KHT) to the summit of Bluff Mountain. On the return we used the Bluff Community Trail. Total miles: 9.2 out and back.

Bluff Mountain Trail Map: https://fpr.vermont.gov/sites/fpr/files/Recreation/Activities/Library/hiking/KHT%20map_2-sided_apr2019.pdf

S.L.O.T.H. Bill Sladyk WMA Hike – July 6th

S.L.O.T.H. “Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes“. These no pressure hikes are for ladies of all ages who desire to make the journey their destination. We had a sweet saunter in the Bill Sladyk Wildlife Management Area in Holland, Vermont. We explored three (Holland Pond, Beaver Pond and Round Pond) out of the four ponds but plan to sometime explore the fourth (Turtle Pond). Also explored and un-named pond! Wonderful day with great sauntering ladies!

S.L.O.T.H. Golden Road Hike – July 3rd

S.L.O.T.H. “Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes“ is a group developed for ladies of all ages who desire to make the journey the destination. We headed out on the Golden Road Trail to the secluded lean-to. They made it and back!!!! Despite the many ups and downs of the trail, which were challenging for some, everyone came back smiling. Even the puppy that joined us!

Golden Road Map: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/victory-state-forest-trails

S.L.O.T. Hike to Peacham Bog – June 29th

“S.L.O.T.H.” (Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes) hikes for ladies only who would like to hike with less pressure on the destination and more emphasis on the journey. Excellent saunter into the the Peacham Bog from Martin’s Pond in Peacham. Photo credit to Susan Esons.


 
Peacham Bog Trail Map: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/groton-state-forest-nature-center-hiking-trails

S.L.O.T.H. Hike the South Shore Trail – June 26th

“S.L.O.T.H.” (Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes) hikes for ladies only who would like to hike with less pressure on the destination and more emphasis on the journey.Yes, it was hot, but the sauntering ladies made their way around the loop and even went to the “cave” and ‘Jurassic Park” on the way to the cliffs. Cooling off in Lake Willoughby made the day complete. Thank you, Jill Lillis, for some of the photos!

South Shore Trail: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/willoughby-state-forest-south-shore-south-beach-trails

Brighton Trails Day – June 25th

Brighton Trails Day 2nd Annual and 3rd Anniversary of the opening of the Kingdom Heritage is complete. We met at the pavilion in the center of town at 8:30am to signup from a list of hikes, by 9:10am we were headed for the trailheads. Surprisingly, nobody signed up for the Bluff Ridge Hike (11 miles), which was full last year. We covered around 28 miles on 5 hikes.

 

 

S.L.O.T.H. Hike to Kettle Pond – June 22nd

Another “S.L.O.T.H.” (Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes) hike for ladies only is complete. The rain in the morning did not deter the Sauntering Ladies from hiking the Kettle Pond Loop. This sweet 3 mile+ loop circles a beautiful glacial pond passing by numerous primitive camping areas and lean-tos. All in all, an easy hike with boulders and a deep forest canopy.

Kettle Pond Loop: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/groton-state-forest-kettle-pond

“One Cut” Williamson on the KHT – June 21st

There was a report of trees down on the Kingdom Heritage Trail. Trail Maintenance Leader Kevin Williamson (One Cut) was quick to grab his axe and head out to Bluff Ridge. I spent 11 hours doing trail work on Bluff Mountain yesterday. Wished I could say it was done, but that’s never really the case.”

S.L.O.T.H. Hike #1: Paul Moffatt Trail and Newark Conservation Trail – June 15th

Our first Sauntering Ladies On Therapeutic Hikes was a great success. Eight participants sauntered through the Westmore Forest and bog, taking time to share knowledge and enjoy the amazing variety of flora, fauna and bird songs.

 

National Trails Day, Owls Head Mountain – June 4th

Five of us were able to coordinate and navigate our way to the Owls Head Mountain Trail in Groton State Forest for a 3 mile round trip hike to the summit of Owls Head. It was a perfect day and the views were spectaclar!

Trail Work Day, Cow Mountain – May 1st

Led by our infamous “One Cut” Williamson 10 hearty volunteers met Bruce Berryman at the trailhead for a day of clearing trails at Cow Mountain Forest. Along the walk to the junction of the loop Bruce provided us with a history of the Cow Mountain Legacy. We split the group at the junction and with axe, saw, brush-cutters and physical labor we removed debris and fallen trees along the entire trail, and spur trails. There was some fun and laughter to be had along the way.

Annual Meeting and Hike – April 3rd

We started out in Westmore at the CCC road trailhead. More than a dozen attended with a few new faces included. Everyone brought micro-spikes or spiked footwear; it was a good thing because the CCC road was icy and snowy. The original plan was to do a 5 mile loop but once we reached the Herbert Hawkes Trailhead we realized we did not have time to do the loop and get to the meeting on time. The majority of people from the hike made the meeting as well. It was a great day of conversations!

Minutes: nekgmc.org/nekgmc-minutes

Spring Newsletter: Ramblings Volume 3 – 4

Have you considered being a Trail Adopter? – March 15th

It’s almost time for another season of trail work to begin. Here in the Northeast Kingdom we have at least three trails that are still eligible for adoption. An online application process must be successfully completed before any new assignments become official. Please note: These volunteer positions require a commitment of at least three or four days during the snow-free months, and the work of removing blowdowns and cleaning out waterbars can be physically demanding. Training for new recruits is available. If you have any interest in joining our trail adoption program, please contact Kevin Williamson at overmtn@charter.net . Thank you!

The following trails are currently available:
1) East Trail on Mount Pisgah in Westmore (1.9 miles)
2) Cow Mountain Forest Trails in Granby (approx. 6 miles, enough for two adopters)
3) Bluff Mountain Ridge Trail in Averys Gore and Brighton – middle section from Pine Brook Road to main summit (approx. 3 miles of trail, with an equally long access and egress on gated road).

Emergency Wood Relocation – March 10th

The word went out that the wood pile was getting low at Hadsel Mares Camp on Wheeler Pond. Paul, Bart, Cathi and John headed over to relocated wood from the upper wood shed to the lower. Within a few hours we had a bay filled.

The Northeast Kingdom meets the American Southwest – March 3rd

Three of our NEK Members shared their experience visiting National Parks during a Taylor Series Event.

Hike & Eat & Greet #4 – February 27th

Our 4th Eat & Greet and hike was a huge success! Around a dozen hikers showed up at 8:30AM to hike the Bluff Community Trail to the overlook near the Bluff South Summit. After we all headed to Hobo’s Cafe to meet more people and enjoy a delicious meal.

Winter 2022 Newsletter – January 30th

Check out our latest Rambling 3-3!

Winter Meeting – January 23rd

Northwoods Stewardship Center hosted our GMC NEK quarterly meeting, which we also held via Zoom. Executive Director Maria Young gave us a tour of the trails prior to the meeting, then gave an excellent presentation about all that Northwoods Stewardship does. Follow this link for Meeting Minutes

Observatory Knob – January 16th

Bart Selle led one of his favorite hikes to Observatory Knob. A great day was had by all.

First Day Hike – January 1, 2022

In cooperation with Vermont State Parks Cathi Brooks volunteered to lead a hike on CCC road up Mt. Hor. Freezing rain threatened the day but several hearty souls attended.

Clearing trails on Burke Mountain – December 13th

Trail Adopter Cathi with help from Bart out on the trail late in the season clearing these blowdowns on Burke.

East Trail Hike up Mt. Pisgah – December 12th

This hike was originally scheduled for Saturday December 11th; the weather forecast changed the plans to Sunday. Bart, Beth, Paul and John headed out on a slippery path. Just above the junction with the North Trail we turned back because of icy conditions.

Eat & Greet # 3 – December 5th

Beth organized another event at The Gap Pub and Grill in Westmore,  Members and non-members were welcome, the more the merrier! Members Paul, Bart, Kevin and Beth attended.

Wood stacking day at Hadsel Mares Camp – November 16th

Paul led us at another wood stacking day at Wheeler Pond. Together we stacked 2 cords of wood and enjoyed whoopie pies after.

Hike on the Golden Road – November 6th

Paul led what has become an annual hike on the Golden Road. The weather was great and lots of conversation and laughing could be heard. This hike was about a 7 mile out and back. We paused and shared memories of Jean Haigh along the way.

Hadsel Mares Wood Stacking – November 4th

A nice group of volunteers showed up for wood stacking at Wheeler Pond. Mollie arrived from headquarters with 2 wheelbarrows and we transported all the seasoned wood to the shed by the cabin while others stacked the rest of the wood at the upper shed. Local Donut opened on their day off to provide us with a delicious treat at break time. Paul also provided a scrumptious homemade pizza.

Fall Newsletter – Ramblings

Check out our Newsletter! Beth did a great job with her first newsletter! Ramblings 3-2

Fall Meeting – October 24th

We took a pre-meeting hike on some of the local bicycle trails in a 3 mile loop. We had a good turnout for the meeting with 3 guest speakers including GMC Executive Director Mike Debonis, Northwoods Stewardship Conservation Corp Director Dusty May, and Forest, Parks and Recreation Specialist Luke O’Brien. Great information was shared by all.

You can find the Minutes here: Meeting Minutes

Greet and Eat – October 16th

Beth and Kenn held a successful Greet and Eat at Chez Pidgeon in Norton, VT. We met current members and gained some new members and friends while there.

Wilderness First Aid – October 14th & 15th

Julie and John participated in two day training with Andrea at Train NEK and were certified in both wilderness first aid and CPR.

Victory Hike – September 7th

Paul, Susan and Cathi went for a hike in Victory. Our two resident foraging experts were able to describe many of the local flora along the way.

Meet and Eat at Parker Pie – September 5th

Beth Barnes our Membership Coordinator says the Meet and Eat at Parker Pie was a big success! So much so, the Parker Pie would like to do it again. We also have other Meet and Eat’s planned on our event calendar! Come on out and meet us!

Long Trail Day 2021 – August 28th

Our team Kingdom Express had a great day hiking Jay Peak. With intermittent showers at the summit we decided not to continue to Rte 105 and instead we all hiked a one of the ski trails down to the base where Paul had left his truck. We also were able to introduce ourselves to the Northern Frontier Section who were set up for Trail Magic at the junction of Rte 242 and the Long Trail.

August 9th

It was a short notice call to ride instead of hike. Two members (Barb and Gordon) met me (John Predom) at the train station in Island Pond where we admired the new bicycle repair stations. Then we drove to a parking area on South America Pond Road and rode our bicycles to South America Pond and beyond. The whole trip was only 6 or 7 miles.

July 31st

Brighton Trail Day was a huge success! Not counting volunteers (which there were many) we had 26 hikers sign up for hikes. Below are a few of the moments captured.

June 28th – Announcement!
We are excited to announce a BIG event happening Saturday July 31st in Island Pond, Vermont. The Green Mountain Club Northeast Kingdom Section along with the Town of Brighton are hosting a day of hiking on the local trails.
Meet at the pavilion in town at 8 AM and sign up for one of the 6 offered hikes. The hikes vary in distance and difficulty; the longest 11 miles and the shortest is 1.5 miles. Be sure to have plenty of water, snacks, and insect repellent for the hike you choose. The 11 mile hike will be taking a lunch break along the trail; others might too. Or wait and enjoy some of the local restaurants in town after.Brighton Trails Day
July 14th
Andrea Kane and John Predom assisted Northwoods Stewardship Conservation Corp. Back Country Youth Crew with trail work on the Cow Mountain Trail System. We were taught how to use a fire rake to clear the top layer of earth from the trail.
Northwoods Back Country Youth Crew
Northwoods Back Country Youth Crew
June 12th
Beth Barnes led a group of 5 on a hike in Holbrook State Park in Sheffield, Vermont. This was Beth’s first time leading a hike and received positive comments from those participating.
June 5th
John Predom led a group of 6 people on a hike up Burke Mountain. We followed the Red Trail to the shelter, then took the Blue Trail to the summit. The views were spectacular! We saw several different types of wildflowers along the way. Only 3 braved the tower at the summit!
June 2nd
Thank you to our friends at Burke Mountain Academy, who volunteered at Wheeler Pond Camps on June 2.
These students spent half the day removing the invasive yellow flag iris from the shoreline, alongside our conservation team. These plants are native to Europe, and outcompete native Vermont plants because they’re pretty resistant to heavy drought. They also easily spread as seeds move downstream.
The students then went above and beyond by also stacking about a cord and half of firewood. We’re so thankful for all their hard work! Burke Mountain Academy students with the removed iris.
Photo courtesy: Mollie Flanigan
May 22nd
Our Membership Coordinator Beth Barnes has been out and about holding tabling events. Perhaps you’ve seen her? If you do, stop and say hello!
Beth Barnes and Stephanie, an adopter at Jay tabling at a farmers market.

Link to History of Past Events