Mud season. It’s a time that many Vermonters are familiar with, that trail maintainers dread, and that disappoints many hikers and bikers as we are instructed to avoid wet and muddy trails. But mud season doesn’t have to be so brutal. What underlies the obvious eyesore and how can you plan for an active, outdoorsy spring? Keep reading https://www.greenmountainclub.org/hiking/mud-season/
National Trail Day Hike, Owls Head Mountain – June 4th
Hike with us! up Owls Head Mountain in Groton State Forest. Hike is limited to 12 people so an RSVP is required at NortheastKingdomSection@greenmountainclub.org. The hike is about 3.8 miles round trip. Bring water, snacks and bug repellent. More details for this hike can be found at trailfinder/groton-state-forest-owls-head . RSVP for start time and car pool info.
Map & Compass Workshop – June 12th
Sign up for Map & Compass workshop with GMC NEK member Gordon Dubois that will be held at Northwoods Stewardship Center. This event is free for Green Mountain Club members. Follow this link for signup northwoodscenter.org/event/map-and-compass-workshop/
Knowing how to use a map and compass are crucial skills for any hiker. If you don’t know how to use a map and compass, then you are not only missing an essential skill when taking to mountains, but you could also be putting your life in danger.
This workshop will help you understand the information provided on a topographical map, the proper use of a compass, and how to put the two together. You’ll learn about magnetic north, true north, magnetic declination, and pairing a compass to a map. After covering these fundamentals, you’ll get an opportunity to practice orienteering skills in the woods around the Stewardship Center. This interactive workshop is a great introduction to navigation and map reading which are essential skills for anyone hiking trails or heading into the woods off-trail (bushwhacking).
Gore Mountain Hike – June 12th
Join hike leader Michael Chernick on this 8 mile round trip hike to the summit of Gore Mountain in Norton, VT. The Gore Mountain Trail is a gradual ascent for about 2 miles before increasing to a moderate climb for about 2 miles; the total elevation climb is 2049 feet. Distance and a stream crossing with what lists this hike as advanced. Bring plenty of water, lunch and insect repellent. Hike is limited to 10 people so RSVP is required to learn start time and meeting place at NortheastKingdomSection@greenmountainclub.org . More trail information can be found at trailfinder/trail/gore-mountain
Brighton Trails Day – June 25th
Join us for the 2nd Annual Brighton Trails Day and 3rd Anniversary of the opening of the Kingdom Heritage Trail. This is a free event sponsored by the town of Brighton, VT (Island Pond) and the Northeast Kingdom Section of the Green Mountain Club. We will be meeting at the pavilion in the center of town at 8:30am to signup from a list of hikes. Hike will vary in length and difficulty and pets will not be allowed. From there, carpool to trailheads where hike leaders will introduce hikers to sections of the Kingdom Heritage Trail and side trails. More details to come as we define hikes and volunteers. For more information https://www.nekgmc.org/brighton-trails-day/
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
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.
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.
On Sunday, we met at the new Mad Brook Trailhead (1/4 mile above the old trailhead) to snowshoe to the summit of Bald Mountain. Beth Barnes, Cathi Brooks, Paul Trojano and John Predom (me) were in high spirits to see each other and hike together. The trail had not been broken in a while and in places there was no evidence of a trail. We made it to the summit in good time.
Our Volunteer Membership Coordinator Beth Barnes did an interview on NEK VT Rocks. Watch the full interview here.
December 29th Mt. Hor Hike in Willoughby State Forest
Tuesday John Predom led a spontaneous group hike to the summit of Mt. Hor with side hikes to the overlooks. The turnout was good with just one short of the maximum hike number of 10. We were all happy to see each other and though spread out there was lots of conversations along the way. This hike required a large parking area as we had to meet at the trailhead. We hiked the CCC road to the Herbert Hawkes Trail with a round trip total of 6.8 miles.
October 31st Golden Road Hike in Victory, VT
Saturday Paul Trojano led a hike on the Golden Road Trail. This hike was dedicated to the memory of Jean Haigh who passed one year ago on this same hike. Memories of her filled the day.
October 18th Hike to Headwaters Camp
Sunday Michael Chernick led an official section group hike on the Unknown Pond Trail to Headwaters Camp. A wet and snowy hike up Middle Mountain with Michael Chernick, Bart Selle , Hope Crifo, Paul Trojano, and Fred Raymond.