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Viewpoints: The Fate of a Trail (1/00)

A planned Long Trail relocation will replace the present 15-mile stretch of the LT between Bamforth Ridge and Bolton Mtn. Two readers views about the future of the old LT follow. Contact Pam Gillis with your opinions at

We saw Pam Gillis' article The Fate of a Trail and wanted to respond. We live at the bottom of the Bolton Valley Access Road in Bolton, are Burlington Section members, completed the Long Trail in 1993, and consider the piece of Long Trail in question our little stomping ground.

We feel that trying to keep the whole section of trail as a side trail would be difficult because of the issue that Pam addressed in the article: increased building on the Notch Road. If it has been difficult to keep the Long Trail there, it would seem that keeping a side trail would be even more difficult.

However, we love hiking into Duck Brook shelter! Our son is three, and we have a six-month old baby, and we have hiked in numerous times this summer. Just the right length for our little guy with the reward of ending at the little house for our snack and being able to go down to the brook.

We also love Harrington's View and would hate for that area to be lost.

Consequently, our vote would be to maintain the section in question as two trails, at least in as far as Duck Brook shelter. We wonder how much farther a side trail would be used?

We hope that as our kids get a little older well be able to volunteer more and give something back to the Green Mountain Club besides our membership dues. Maybe next time well be on the roofing crew headed to Duck Brook!


We read with interest Pam Gillis' piece on the future of a section of the Long Trail. It is difficult to comment on this without knowing more. If we cannot avoid the houses so that there is access north and south from Bolton Notch Road, if we cannot park on Bolton Notch Road, then we should abandon these trails.

On the other hand, there are not enough trails in the greater Burlington area for people to hike on, so more trails are needed, and I'd hate to see the number of trails decreased. But it sounds like we will be getting more trail with the new relocation of the Long Trail and perhaps there are opportunities for a side trail so that will fill the gap.

As for the two shelters, I'd say abandon Duck Brook (nice location but interstate highway noise is a negative) and let Bolton cross-country maintain and/or be responsible for Buchanan. From new Long Trail to Buchanan and Harrington's View would be a good side trail to keep.