Events and Outings are always open to everyone. (You do not have to be a Club member.)
Sterling Section on FACEBOOK: Go to facebook page for latest notices and photos.
Read our newsletter (pdf): Sterling Stomper Spring 2020.
And remember, the other GMC Sections have outings, too. Go to the "links" page to connect to their calendars. Between all the Sections, there is something happening pretty much every weekend of the year!
Covid-19 has put a pause on outings scheduling, but stay tuned for updates - outings and work parties will resume as it is appropriate.
Pandemic or no pandemic, it's time to start planning the spring walkthrough of the Long Trail in Sterling Section. Thanks to all of you who have expressed interest in helping out! See the Sterling Stomper Spring 2020 for information on how to sign up for email updates about upcoming outings.
Current guidelines for trail work on state land in light of COVID-19 are going to make this year's walkthrough look a little different than years past, but it will hopefully still be fun and definitely still be productive.
For what are probably obvious reasons, we won't be having one big group walkthrough this year. Instead, I'm looking for people interested in hiking and 'clearing' specific trail sections and structures. There's no set schedule or date for this - just a time period that your contribution will be most helpful.
We have to balance social distancing with more traditional hiking safety. No one should hike a section alone, but don't use this as an opportunity to put a group hike together - convince another member of your household to hike with you, or connect with one or two others and meet at the trailhead.
For the time being, volunteers are not cleared to use chainsaws on state forest. We'll limb blowdowns to ease passage using hand saws, and start a list of chainsaw-worthy blowdowns to revisit later.
Take a look at the list of trail sections and tasks below, and let me know if you're interested in helping out. Please let me know before you go out to clear a section - I've got a little extra paperwork for you that will help with assessing trail and shelter conditions.
Phase 1: 5/17-5/31:
- Rail Trail at West Settlement Rd to south bank of Lamoille River: walk the trail, clear or document blowdowns, remove trash at Rt 15 parking lot
- The 'island' on the Lamoille: pull knotweed, check the suspension bridge for damage and graffiti, remove trash from Hogback Rd parking lot
Phase 2: 5/23 - 6/7
- Beaver Meadow Trail: walk the trail, clear or document blowdowns, remove trash and check conditions at Beaver Meadow Lodge
- Bear Hollow Shelter to VAST (Bucket Junction): walk the trail, clear or document blowdowns, remove trash and check conditions at Bear Hollow Shelter
Phase 3: 5/30-6/14
- Chilcoot Trail to LT over Morse to Whiteface Trail: walk the trail, clear or document blowdowns, remove trash and check conditions at Whiteface Shelter
- LT from Whiteface Shelter to Bear Hollow Shelter: walk the trail, clear or document blowdowns. This is a pretty long trip as an out-and-back, and may need a car drop. If you're interested in taking this on, talk to me and we'll figure out the details.
Guidelines for safely recreating and working in groups during COVID-19 are constantly changing. Please visit the GMC's website for updated information, contact me, or contact Keegan Tierney, GMC's Director of Field Programs with any questions. It's important that we continue working on our section this year, but it's more important that we all stay safe. Take it easy, use more caution hiking and with hand tools than you would normally, and have fun.