The pandemic is now under better control. Group Outings are once again permitted, starting in June. For our Summer trip schedule, see our Activities Calendar Page
Bear Alert – PLEASE READ!
We have had a number of bear issues crop up this year and there have been a couple of actions that were elevated in priority due to the density of bear-human interactions. The largest areas of bear activity reported this year have been Glastenbury Mountain and near Stony Brook Shelter
- Bear boxes have been installed, in consultation with the Forest Service and partners at Goddard and Stratton Pond shelters. We are currently working to get boxes into Stony Brook and Tucker Johnson shelters
- Field staff have put together a rapid assessment of the GMC shelter system to determine suitability of each site for the following food storage options that could be provided and managed by GMC: bear box, fixed hang, pole hang, or no-action. We will be working with this assessment to develop a plan that includes expenses, implementation timeline, and management considerations for each site. This will be a deliberate process that will likely be discussed, reviewed, and finalized over the next 12 months.
- We are actively messaging bear awareness information and news through our website, social media, and traditional media avenues.
- Temporary informational signage has been placed at shelters and trailheads on an as needed basis in consultation with our partners.
Additionally, our partners at the Forest Service have taken the action of drafting and finalizing a food storage order for the Green Mountain National Forest. The full text of the food storage order can be found on our website, the GMNF website (link below). The basic message is that appropriate food storage precautions must be taken system wide. Forest Service staff are working to determine the details of the order (i.e. what canisters or other commercially available storage systems qualify under this order) and that information will be forthcoming.
Our job, as we see it, is to educate the hiking public about the importance of proper food storage etiquette. The USFS doesn’t expect that every thru-hiker currently out on the trail will have seen this order prior to their entry into Vermont and the messaging about this order will roll out over the course of the next year.
A copy of the USFS order and additional background information can be found on our website by following the links below:
- Food storage blog: https://www.greenmountainclub.org/protecting-food-bears/
- Bear aware blog: https://www.greenmountainclub.org/be-bear-aware/
- Food storage order press release: https://www.greenmountainclub.org/press-releases/
Thanks for visiting the Upper Valley Ottaquechee Section (“O” Section) of the Green Mountain Club.After much reflection, we have added Upper Valley” to our name, to clarify our geographic location straddling the Connecticut River from Springfield to Bradford, VT.
On this website you’ll find information on outdoor activities in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River, as well as long distance hiking on the Long Trail (LT) in Vermont, and the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine.
The Green Mountain Club (GMC), with over 10,000 members, is the largest outdoors organization in Vermont. It was founded in 1909 to “make the Vermont Mountains play a larger part in the life of the people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail System and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains” (Mission Statement). The GMC maintains the 273 miles of the Long Trail from Massachusetts to the Canadian border including 77 shelters, and 175 miles of side trails.The club also maintains the 46 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Maine Junction in Killington to the Connecticut River, as well as many other trails in Vermont.
In 2016 the Green Mountain Club received the National Park Service Arrowhead Award, in Appreciation of the work the Club does for the Appalachian Trail, as well as for helping with NPS Centenary events at Marsh-Billings Rockefeller NHP in Woodstock. The Club also was this year’s recipient of the Woodstock Trails award.
The Upper Valley Ottauquechee Section, one of 14 chapters of the GMC, is located around the Connecticut Upper Valley in Vermont and New Hampshire. At well over 300 members, we are one of the largest and most active GMC sections in the State. We maintain the AT from Killington to the Connecticut River.
We schedule outdoor activities of various length and difficulties all year round, and try to accommodate people of different ages and physical ability. Our calendar is also published in the “FOOTNOTES”, our quarterly newsletter, and the GMC website. It contains scheduled hikes, bike trips, road walks, paddle outings and ski or snowshoe trips. All group activities are indefinitely suspended, due to the corona virus outbreak.
The “O” Section supports a group of hiking and outdoors organizations in the Upper Valley, which are represented by the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA)
We would especially like to attract families with kids. Some other GMC Sections have Young Adventurers Clubs, and that is a future goal for us as well. In the meantime, here is a useful link: Hiking with Kids.
In June 2018 our Section hosted the Annual Meeting of the Green Mt. Club at the Hulbert Outdoor Center on Lake Morey in Fairlee, VT. We arranged the wonderful venue, were very involved with planning and and helping with the event. We also led many local outings for the attendees.
At a GMC Volunteer Picnica few years ago several of our members received awards; Heinz Trebitz, Bob Hagen and Nick Krembs for organizing maintenance of the AT from Maine Junction to the Connecticut River, and Peter Hope for helping publicize all our efforts.
2016 was the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Green Mt. Club, and specifically our O-Section, has worked with our two Upper Valley National Parks (Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller and St .Gaudens) to celebrate this centennial. We focused on the Appalachian Trail in our region, which itself is very long if narrow national Park. We have co-sponsored hikes on our section of trail (see below), as well as work trips and events. Sadly Covid-19 prevented these in 2020 and 2021. We look forward to another successful season in the future working with the National Park Service!
Our section is responsible for the maintenance of 46 miles of Appalachian Trail between Maine Junction at Willard Pass near Killington and the Connecticut River at Norwich, VT, including four trail shelters. With our trail adopters and as a group we conduct trail maintenance 2 times per year or more, depending on trail conditions. We have reorganized our Trails and Shelters Committee. Now Debbie Marcus, Bob Hagen and Nick Krembs each coordinate work on a specific stretch of the AT in eastern Vermont. We also thank Heinz Trebitz for all the trail work he has been doing for so many years.s been doing for so many years! are welcome to help our trails!
In recent years we have scheduled 3 work trips, on which all were welcome to help with trimming bushes, picking up debris,cleaning out water bars, removing blow downs, blazing, or whatever may be needed. We thank all who volunteered to help in this vital work.
Planning sessions take place every three months to discuss and reach consensus on our activities for the following quarter and to conduct other Section business. All are welcome! Our next meeting, to plan Winter Outings, will be on Wednesdayday October 20 on Zoom.. Link will be sent on request. If you can’t be there, let Kathy Astrauckas know details of any Outings you would like to lead, at (802)785-4311.
Following a pot luck supper, the Section’s Annual Meeting is held on an evening in the fall.. In 2019 it took place at Damon Hall in Hartland, VT, starting with a social hour at 5:30 pm, followed by a potluck supper shared with Hartland Winter Trails Association, and concluding with our business meeting. Each year all members are invited – it is a great opportunity to meet new and old friends!
Because of the pandemic our 2020 Annual Meeting was held virtually, on Friday October 30. We enjoyed a social hour from 5:30 until 6 pm. The formal meeting followed. We were joined by the GMC’s President and by the GM’s Executive Director. The meeting was a success, but we do hope we can have a more social live Annual Meeting and Potluck in 2021!.
Our Annual Meeting this year will be held on Friday October 29. Social hour starts at 5:30 pm, dinner (we hope) at 6:30 pm. Watch for notification of venue: physical or via Zoom.
The Taylor Series
Every Spring, the “O”-Section hosts a presentation as part of the GMC educational and outdoor adventure Taylor Series. These are slide shows and talks about interesting and memorable outdoor activities from all over the world. These are free events, and all are invited!
Because of the corona virus outbreak this event was cancelled for 2020 and 2021.
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve we enjoy a meal, an outdoor activity, and good company. In 2019 on Saturday Dec. 31 we had a potluck supper in Wilder, followed by an outdoor excursion and good fellowship. We thank our hostess, Inge Brown! Sadly the pandemic prevented this event in 2020.
Here are some photos of our 2016 New Year’s Eve party:
Mud Season Social
Each Spring we get together at 5:30 pm at Tall Timbers Clubhouse, Quechee(VT), to enjoy a pot luck supper, show slides, report on recent activities, and enjoy a gear swap. As always, we hope for a good turnout and a great time, and we are not disappointed.
Because of the corona virus outbreak this event was held on Zoon in 2021.
Links to other Trail Organizations
Appalachian Trail Conservancy – ATC
Upper Valley Trails Alliance – UVTA