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Get Active: Two Ways to Get Ready for the Summer Hiking Season (4/06

First – Join one of the Burlington Section trail work outings.

Every spring, there’s a lot of work to be done to repair winter’s damage and get the trails ready for hikers. This year, the Burlington Section trail work dates are May 7, May 13, May 21, and May 27. We need volunteers to do several different chores, from clipping branches that have grown across the trail to cleaning out the water bars and drainage ditches that keep the trails from turning into roaring waterfalls during spring rains. On each hike, we’ll have one or two people who have experience with a chain saw and can deal with larger blow-downs. Other volunteers will pull and roll the cut branches and logs away from the trail.

All the tools are provided, but feel free to bring your own favorites if you want. We’ll also provide instruction in how to use the tools, as needed. This is your chance to get up close and personal with Hazel hoes, crow bars, loppers, folding handsaws and come-alongs. At the same time, you’ll be talking and laughing with your co-workers, enjoying spring wildflowers, smelling fresh air, listening to birds, checking out tracks from moose and deer, and in general spending a day that’s both fun and useful.

Generally, trail work outings require moderate hiking (5-8 miles, not over 2400’ elevation gain). We’re usually done by mid-afternoon. Most outings have an early turn-around option for folks who might not be able to go the whole distance or who need to be back earlier than the rest of us.

The more workers that show up, the easier and more fun it is for everyone – and more miles of trails get cleared and ready for visitors. Please consider coming on one or more of this spring’s outings. We’ll meet at 8:00 AM at the UVM visitors’ lot off of East Ave. in Burlington or at 8:30am at the Park and Ride by the Richmond exit of I-89 (Exit 11). Contact either Pam Gillis, 879-1457, or John Sharp, 862-3941 for more information.

Second - Get yourself prepared with this Summer Hiking Safety Refresher.

Ever been caught on the top of a mountain in a summer thunderstorm? Has the weather ever changed and trapped you far from the trailhead, underdressed, cold and wet? Have you worried about slipping and spraining your ankle, cutting yourself while hiking, or breaking a bone on the side of some mountain? Green Mountain Club Educator Pete Antos-Ketcham will review Summer Hiking Safety tips, including what to do in the event of lightning, how to recognize and treat hypothermia, what to pack for a day’s hiking trip to stay safe, and tips on a basic first aid kit. This valuable workshop will be held from 6:30 – 9:00 PM on Wednesday, May 10. The location hasn’t yet been determined, so check in as the date gets closer. Call GMC at 244-7370 or go to Or you can contact Phil Hazen, 355-7181 or