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, no chainsaws, in other words). “The trail is more rugged than some of the non-wilderness areas, with fewer trail markers and a narrower footpath,” said Marge Fish, board member at the Green Mountain Club. “The work the students have been doing with cleaning the drainage – waterbars and curtain drains – is critical to preventing serious erosion of the treadway.”
Begun in 1910 and completed in 1930, the Long Trail is 272 miles long with 185 miles of side trails, 99 % 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 outdoorsmen and -women who “pay it forward” with sweat equity.
The Mountain School at Winhall is an accredited pre-K-8 independent community school. For information on the school or its programs call Daren Houck at (802) 297-2662.