By PAM GILLIS
A plan to relocate a section of the Long Trail (LT) raises the question of what to do with the portion of trail no longer used.
Approximately 15 miles of the LT in the Jonesville / Bolton area (Bamforth Ridge to Bolton Mountain) will be relocated. The Bolton Notc h area is undergoing increasing land development, and the GMC has been unable to purchase land necessary to protect the Long Trail in its present location.
Trails Up for Adoption
Trail adopters are key to maintaining the Long Trail and its side trails. They clear trails, paint blazes, and report problems they are unable to handle alone. Some adopters work alone, some with family and friends.
Side trail adopters get out in the spring to check if their trails are open for the hiking season and to report large downed trees requiring assistance to remove. They should plan at least one trip in summer to clear growing brush and to blaze, if needed. A fall trip to clear leaves from water bars rounds out the work. Sometimes, when additional work is needed, another trip will be part of the job. Adopters receive a trail maintenance manual and can borrow section tools if they are not otherwise in use.
If you're interested, please contact me at 64 Hirams Crossing, Jericho, VT 05465, or e-mail email@example.com. Include your address and a first, second, and third choice of trails. I'll send an adoption sign-up form.
Added impetus for planning the relocation is the scheduled removal and replacement of the Jonesville Bridge in 2002 or 2003. To provide hikers with a means of crossing the Winooski River, the GMC is considering a ferry (and eventually a footbridge) at the site of the relocated LT. One benefit of the trail relocation is that it will eliminate a road hike to reach the bridge crossing.
The relocation creates the possibility of turning a section of the current LT into a side trail. The pros and cons of a potential side trail are being weighed. Maintenance of the trail would fall to the Burlington Section. I am very interested in hearing how members feel about this question.
Should we keep the entire trail as a side trail? Or create two trails: a modest side trail from the LT leading to Harrington's View; and a second trail from Route 2 to a point near the Bolton Notch Road that avoids the area adjacent to the road. Housing continues to increase near the road, and we've relocated the trail here twice already. Another question is the future of the two shelters Duck Brook and Buchanan on this section.
The trail is easily reached from the Burlington area, and I find it has many interesting features. Duck Brook Shelter is located near a beautiful stream with a view of Camels Hump. From Jonesville to the Bolton Notch Road I enjoy the nice views, rock faces, and pleasant woods. The trail to Harrington's View has views, and the deep woods above the Bolton cross-country ski trails are peaceful. When I have only an hour to spare, the one-mile section from Route 2 up to the view across the valley is a nice walk.
The opinions of the Burlington Section will influence the decision about the future of this section of trail, whether it is abandoned or maintained as either a side trail or a local trail. Other options are also possible.