5/30 Trail work – Long Trail (Taylor Lodge to Puffer)
Clipped and cleared branches and encroaching saplings. Improved drainages in a few places. Removed blowdowns and some dead leaners. Scott used the chainsaw six or seven times starting south of the beaver pond as we worked our way south, and continuing to just north of the low point between Mayo and Puffer. The trail just south of the crossing of the beaver pond appears to have migrated down from its original location onto a slope. We clipped and cut extensively there to make the original treadway, which is now mossy, accessible again. We put up a new “LT SOUTH” sign behind Puffer. There was still an old sign that was faded, hard to read, and attached to a snag, but we didn’t think we had a tool to remove the lag screws, so we left it to remove at a later date. We put up a new “BOLTON MT” sign at the Bolton summit, and discovered that we did have a tool that we could use to remove the lag screws, so we brought that sign back with us. (If the sign is worth hundreds of dollars, maybe we can get twenty bucks for the Official Bolton Mountain Summit Sign Lag Screws, which we also brought back, along with their classic washers.) Volunteers: Scott Albertson, Paul Beliveau, David McColgin.
5/28 Trail work – Lake Mansfield Trail from Winter Lot to Taylor Lodge
Clipped branches, removed debris, and cleared drainages. Used the chainsaw to clear two large blowdowns. One was a large beech between the winter lot and the Trout Club that had been reported as leaning over the trail last year, and another was just before the cascade that is visible below the beaver pond. We also cleared a large crown from the trail using handsaws and loppers. Volunteers: Scott Albertson, Paul Beliveau, Jonathan Breen, Clayton Cameron, Jill George, David McColgin.
5/21 Trail work – Long Trail, Bolton Mountain (Raven’s Wind to Puffer Shelter)
Removed debris, clipped branches, improved drainage. The trail was mostly clear. We cut one stepover blowdown about a quarter-mile south of Puffer with the chainsaw, and it was the only time we used it. We saw a little snow on the north-facing slope of Bolton Mt. Volunteers: Jonathan Breen, Ian Pylvainen, Jill Gagne, Paul Beliveau
5/14 Trail work
Four different groups did trail work from the Stevenville Road trailhead in Underhill:
Butler Lodge, Wallace Cutoff, and LT to Overland ski trail
Clipped branches and new growth, removed debris, cleared blowdowns, cleared water bars (except on Butler Lodge Trail). Used the chainsaw more than ten times. Lorne asked that the Butler Lodge trail waterbars be left for a work trip that he will lead. Participants: Rob Gordon, Tim Welsh, Phil Hazen, Paul Beliveau.
Rock Garden, Maple Ridge (middle part), Frost
We hiked up to Butler Lodge with that group, then split off. It was pretty dry so drainage issues were not easy to see, but we did a little drainage work in a couple spots on Rock Garden. We found no blowdowns needing a saw. We did a fair amount of clipping, including pulling down and breaking off a number of high branches that were within arms reach, and removed some small dead trees and branches on the trails. Overall the trails looked in pretty good shape. There was still a little snow in patches near Rock Garden, but the trail was very dry, and only one spot had some ice on the trail. Participants: Clayton Cameron, David Hathaway.
LT from Overland ski trail to Nebraska Notch, Twin Brooks tent site
Hiked up ski trail to reach the Long Trail. Once on the LT, we clipped back growth, cleared water bars, cleared blown down sticks and branches from the tread way. Used the chain saw a half dozen times. including removing a tree that fell on a tent platform at Twin Brooks, taking down a large tree from prior years that was now hanging by a tread ~6 feet above the LT, and cutting through several big step overs. Checked Twin Brook platforms, privy and other amenities. After removal of the blow down and some clipping of trails, all are in good shape and ready for the season. No snow was encountered. Trail was mostly very dry. Enjoyed some nice spring flowers and a curious garter snake. Participants: Scott Albertson, Leanne Shulman, Ben Feldman, Dan Dickinson.
Nebraska Notch to Clara Bow to Taylor Lodge
This group of four covered all of the Nebraska Notch trail, and the LT south from junction of Nebraska Notch to Taylor Lodge; also all of the Clara Bow trail where we saw large chunks of ice in the ‘caves’. Cleared many water bars on Nebraska Notch trail,clipping and one large rotten birch blow-down on Nebraska Notch Trail. More clipping and one more small blow down on Clara Bow. Otherwise trails in good shape. Heading south, I stashed the chain saw on the side of the Clara Bow trail at the junction where it meets the LT south, as through hikers told us there was no more chain saw work needed on Clara Bow or on the section of the LT from Taylor Lodge to the Clara Bow / LT junction – which was a good as we didn’t have a pack to carry the saw. We did not cover the LT south from Taylor Lodge. No urgent maintenance but several larger water bars on Nebraska Notch trail could be dug out perhaps on a separate work trip as they are gradually filling in. Ted Albers, Nancy McClellan, Mike Arthur, David McColgin
5/8 Green River Reservoir Paddle
We had one late cancellation due to a date confusion and a no-show, but three of us met at the Green River Reservoir State park at 10 AM, and were in the water by a little before 10:30. It was sunny and pleasant, but cool enough for jackets and for one of us to be comfortable and not too hot in a drysuit. We took a very leisurely pace, first heading to the island opposite the boat launch and wandering around to the little island behind it to look for lady slippers which had been seen there in past years (it was too early). We wandered over to the east shore and followed it up to and under a little bridge that leads to a marshy section with some beaver dams, where we saw an osprey. This area is sometimes close until late summer to protect nesting birds, but we saw no closure sign this day. We returned and headed up the northern neck of the reservoir, spotting some mallards, and stopping for lunch at campsite 13, We continued to the northernmost channel leading to a beaver dam, then wandered back, spotting loons and checking out various campsites, and got back to the boat launch around 4 PM. A beautiful day for a paddle! Participants: Mary Elizabeth Latch, Geri, David Hathaway (leader)
5/7 Trail work
18 people met at the Richmond park & ride and divided into three groups. We spotted cars, then all went to West Bolton Notch.
Upper Duck Brook and LT north to Buchanan
Cleared debris from trail, trimmed branches and new growth in treadway, cleared waterbars and improved drainage in stream crossings, removed downed trees from the trail. The trail was unusually dry and there was no snow, just one five-pound chunk of ice. There were blowdowns and broken trees on all three trails (upper Duck Brook, Long Trail, Buchanan spur). I used the chainsaw over a dozen times. Future Maintenance Required: A viewpoint between the height of land on the ridge north of the Duck Brook junction and the Buchanan access trail has become overgrown and its sign is missing. We cleared the spur trail and some of the trees blocking the view, but some larger trees need to be taken down to restore the view. Participants: Paul Beliveau, Mike Arthur, Dan Dickinson, Ian Pylvainen, Laura Place, Nancy McClellan.
Upper Duck Brook and LT south to Rt 2
Our group of 6 doing the LT down from the Duck Brook trail finished at Rte 2 around 3:00. There were more blow downs on that section of the trail than I’ve ever encountered before and I used the chain saw about 10 times including on one tree hanging over the trail that was the full length of the bar and then some. I went through 2 fuel fills of the chainsaw tank but still had some left over in the refill bottle. John Rankin, Hana Behn, Catherine Ott, Kristin Dearborn, Jonathan Sands, Scott Albertson (leader).
Lower Duck Brook to Jonesville
Removed blowdowns, clipped branches and some brush, cleared water bars. Cleared about 7 blowdowns with chainsaw. Most could be stepped over. David notched out one log as it made for a good water bar, but it was a big step without the notch. We did leave a couple blowdowns that could be stepped over as we were running low on fuel. Going back for them is not needed. We placed a few rocks in muddy areas or placed logs as make shift puncheon. These were short sections of trail. A couple brooks had become clogged below trail crossings which had caused swampy spots. These were cleared of debris to dry them out. Trails conditions were dry overall. Participants: Tim Welsh, Adrienne Goggin, Rob Gordon, Ted Albers, Jonathan Breen, and David Hathaway.
5/1 (Sun) Lewis Creek to Little Otter Creek to Lake Champlain (almost)
Four paddlers in two canoes took advantage of high waters in Lewis Creek and were able to paddle through grasslands and woodlands as well as Lewis Creek. Lewis Creek was blocked by some major felled trees about 1/2 mile upstream from the put-in on Long Point Road (off of Greenbush Road in Ferrisburgh). We attempted to paddle southwest through the marsh to get to Little Otter Creek but could not plough through the reeds. We did not want to risk paddling westward into the open waters of Lake Champlain as we would be far from shore should we dump, and the water was still quite cold. The weather was perfect and we saw birds galore including osprey and an eagle and a heron. No turtles yet. Lots of beaver activity but no beavers greeted us. Ted Albers trip leader with Gaige (a new paddler who did great in the bow) and John and bowman Dan.