Thanks for visiting the Ottaquechee Section (“O” Section) of the Green Mountain Club.
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.
It is with great sorrow that I share the news of the loss of our friend and coworker Dave Hardy. Dave passed away peacefully this morning, surrounded by family and friends, after a year-long battle with cancer.
Dave grew up hiking with his family, so the trail was in his blood from an early age. He referred to his job as GMC’s Director of Trail Programs as the greatest job in the world. To him, it wasn’t really a job at all. It was a special opportunity to connect people with the natural world.
It is hard to think of anyone whose identity is more interwoven with the Long Trail and the community of trail stewards throughout New England than Dave’s. Every mile of tread, shelter, bridge, privy, and waterbar on the 500-mile trail system is imprinted with his vision and unwavering passion.
Today, the Long Trail lost one of its greatest champions. Tomorrow, people will be able to get up, go hiking, and explore the natural world because of Dave’s twenty-five-year legacy at the Green Mountain Club.
We will all miss his wisdom, knowledge, sense of humor, and unique ways.
Our hearts are with his family and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
We hope that each of you will find the time to take a walk on the Trail in his memory.
Michael DeBonis Executive Director The Green Mountain club
The 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.
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.
At the recent GMC Volunteer Picnic 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.
BOOTS TO BOATS
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.
Boots to Boats continues in 2017. We have been having another successful season working with the National Park Service! In addition to jointly led hikes on the Appalachian Trail, we will co-sponsored a Trail Work Day.
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 Heinz Trebitz, Bob Hagen and Nick Krembs each coordinate work on a specific stretch of the AT in eastern Vermont. All are welcome to help our trails!
In 2016 and in 2017 as well we 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 Planning Meeting will be in April, when we will plan our summer activities (June through August). All are welcome! We need new ideas and new Leaders!
Following a pot luck supper, the Section’s Annual Meeting is held on a Friday in the fall.. This year it was held on Saturday November 11 at Damon Hall in Hartland, VT. We welcomed new members, and heard reports of the chairpersons, and elected officers.We began with a social hour, followed by a potluck supper shared with Hartland Winter Trails Association. Our business meeting concluded the evening. We voted to change the name of our Section to the Upper Valley Ottaquechee Section, to better identify our geographic location. This name change will take effect when approved by the GMC Board of directors.
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! On April 21st of 2017, at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich(VT), we sponsored a screening of the film “Trail Magic”, the story of Granny Gatewood, the first woman to through hike the Appalachian Trail (in 1955). A discussion of O-Section and GMC activities on the AT in eastern Vermont followed Taylor Series Poster – 2017
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve we enjoy a meal, an outdoor activity, and good company. This year on Saturday Dec. 31 we had a potluck supper in Thetford, followed by an outdoor excursion and good fellowship. We thank our hosts, Heinz and Inge Trebitz!
Here are some photos of our 2016 New Year’s Eve party:
Mud Season Social
On an evening in March we get together to enjoy a pot luck supper, show slides, report on recent activities, and enjoy a gear swap. We always have a good turnout and a great time!
Links to other Trail Organizations
Appalachian Trail Conservancy – ATC
Upper Valley Trails Alliance – UVTA