Mountain School Students Perform Long Trail Maintenance

Mountain School Students Perform Long Trail Maintenance

Mountain School Students Perform Long Trail Maintenance

Eighth grade students at the Mountain School at Winhall are prepped and ready to hit the trail for their semi-annual Long Trail maintenance.

Eighth grade students at the Mountain School at Winhall are prepped and ready to hit the trail for their semi-annual Long Trail maintenance.

The Mountain School at Winhall’s Middle School students have once again begun their fall maintenance on the school’s adopted, 1.6-mile stretch of the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the U.S. The school has maintained this stretch twice a year, in fall and spring, since June of 2009.

Because the school’s section of the trail is designated as wilderness, only hand tools can be used for trail work; blowdowns must be removed with handsaws, not chainsaws, in other words. It’s rigorous work but with the increased size of the current Middle School, the classes are able to tend to the trail over
several days.

“Many of our Middle School students have been working on this patch of trail for several years. They are very familiar with the landscape and have learned firsthand how the seasons and our New England weather can wreak havoc on the trail in only a few months. It’s great watching them feel a sense of pride and ownership as they come back twice a year to take care of their stretch,” said eighth grade teacher and athletic director, Tony Kasulinous.

Begun in 1910 and completed in 1930, the Long Trail is 272 miles long with 185 miles of side trails, 99 percent of which is maintained by volunteers. Most years there are about 800 volunteers working on the trail, and the Mountain School students – ably assisted by teachers, staff members, parents and community volunteers -– are proud to be among this elite group of outdoors men and women who “pay it forward” with sweat equity.

For more information on the Mountain School, call the office at 802-297-2662, or visit themountainschool.org.

Editor’s note: The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in America, at 272 miles long. It is marked by white blazes, with an additional 170 miles of side trails marked in blue. It is maintained and protected by the efforts of seasonal staffers, members and volunteers of the Green Mountain Club, who work in partnership with public and private landowners. For the full story on its history, programs and the myriad of volunteer opportunities, visit greenmountainclub.org.

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