Moosalamoo area to mark ‘National Trails Day’ June 5

GOSHEN — This Saturday, June 5, people across Addison County will take to the woods in celebration of National Trails Day.
In the 20,000-acre Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, visitors will find events designed to educate the public about the options available to them on the nearby trails, including bird-watching, hiking, biking and trail maintenance.
The celebration will be based at Blueberry Hill Inn and Cross Country Ski Center in Goshen. From there, groups will walk, caravan or carpool to trailheads for the day’s organized hikes and trail maintenance walks.
A crew of five park educators from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) will participate in festivities, lead  trail maintenance outings and hold a “Leave No Trace” workshop focusing on camping and outdoor use ethics.
Jason Rhoades, a park educator field assistant for the VYCC, said that the organization was happy to pitch in. The VYCC has several groups working in the area this summer, some of which are doing maintenance on trails. The park educator crew is living on the Blueberry Hill Inn property in Goshen, and will lead environmental education programs in the area all season.
To Samantha Rush, who is entering her second summer as a VYCC park educator, National Trails Day gives her and her coworkers an opportunity to speak with many of those who use the area and to show people how to maintain and preserve trails.
“We know that the people that will come to an event like this are going to be people who are using these trails a lot, and even seasoned (hikers) can learn ways to reduce their impact,” said Rush.
The day will begin with a bird-watching walk at 7 a.m., and events will continue throughout the day.
Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at [email protected].
National Trails Day events in Goshen
All events begin at Blueberry Hill Ski Touring Center.
• 7-8:30 a.m.: Early Bird bird-watching walk around Hogback Meadow. See hawks and many species of grassland songbirds.
• 9-10:30 a.m.: History tour of Hogback Nob (about 3 miles). Go to the very top of the nob along an easy footpath. Learn about one of the original Vermont ski areas developed here many years ago and now covered with trees and wildflowers. Some artifacts of the ski lift apparatus remain.
• 9-11:30 a.m.: Nature hike to Silver Lake. Hike out from the trailhead in Goshen to the lake and as far around on the lake trail as Rocky Point. Along the way, look for wildflowers and wildlife; and talk about the history of the area including early 1900’s tourism to the grand lake hotel.
• 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Bike ride (easy to moderate).
• 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Leave No Trace Workshop to be held in the ski center loft conference room. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to camp and hike in the National Recreation Area with a minimal impact on the environment.
• 1-2:30 p.m.: Wildflower walk. Explore the gentle terrain and groomed trails east from Blueberry Hill Inn. See spring flowers including Lady’s Slipper orchids. We will also be looking for signs of moose.
• 1-2:30 p.m.: Bike ride  (easy to moderate).
• 1-3:30 p.m.: Lend a hand for Moosalamoo’s trails. Work with the VYCC on completing trail maintenance or helping to improve the Moosalamoo Campground. Bring gloves, shovels, and clippers and wear sturdy shoes or boots.
• 3:30-5:00 p.m. Bike ride (easy to moderate)
• On-going, all day: Customized individually guided short walks and hands-on nature exploration activities geared to families with children 8 years old and younger.

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