Trails & Trail Work

At this time there are no COVID-19 restrictions related to Section Outings. GMC will continue to monitor COVID-19 caseloads and risk and may re-issue guidance if public health conditions change.

Ellen Cronan is our section's Trails & Shelters Manager.

If you're interested in learning about trail work in our Section, read our Trail Work Procedures. Ellen will send out email alerts a few weeks prior to each workday. Weather permitting, there are always volunteer opportunities which can be done individually or in a group!

If you have questions about trail maintenance in our section or to volunteer, please contact Ellen: There is work for all abilities. Thank you!

2022 Trail Work

On Saturday June 4, Ellen led an energetic work crew of six from Midd Gap up toward Worth Mountain to clear blowdowns and water bars and clip back vegetation. Our Fall trail work in October was to a day spent clearing trees and waterbars in the Wilderness area. Wrapping up the season, a small work group made improvements on the Sucker Brook trail in early November.

David Morrissey has moved up Bread Loaf Section's president as of January 2022, after having volunteered as Bread Loaf's Trail Manager during the 2015-2021 field seasons. Thank you, David!

This page contains David's Trail Work reports from 2017 -2020. To learn what Bread Loaf Section's dedicated trail work crews' efforts have been focused on, we encourage you to scroll down and keep reading!

NOTE: David's summary of 2021 Trail Work is also available on our Annual Reports & Bylaws page.

Trail Work was held on Sat. May 15, 2021.

Thank you to the 20 volunteers who participated! VIEW PHOTOS HERE.

Upcoming trail work days will be announced and posted on our calendar.The Spring 2021 Bread Loaf Section work days were a great success this year. We had 17 trail crew members out for the day on May 15th and two other trips over the last couple of weeks that brought the total to 20 volunteers and partners getting the trail ready for the summer hiking season. The trail crew performed maintenance on the sections of trail from the Sucker Brook Trail to the top of Worth Mountain, the Burnt Hill Trail to the Long Trail and down Skylight Pond Trail, and the Long Trail from Route 125 at Middlebury Gap to the top of the Middlebury Snow Bowl. One group was also able to begin the material haul for the new privy that is going in at Boyce Shelter. The trail is in great shape with the exception of a couple larger blowdowns that will be removed in the coming weeks.

The Breadloaf Section has quite a bit of activity this year from privy replacements, shelter rehabilitation projects, and regular maintenance trips so other opportunities to volunteer will be available. If you are on the trail crew email list, please keep an eye out. If you are not on the list and would like to be, please email David Morrissey ( and we will get you on the list.
Thanks to everyone who participated and Happy Trails!
David Morrissey, Trails & Shelters Manager (2021)

In 2020, Trail Work was completed by small, experienced teams.

In order to comply with restrictions due to COVID-19, during the spring, summer and fall this year, small teams of Bread Loaf trail crew and dedicated trail adopters were out to clear trails, brush and clear water bars.

Special thanks to all who kept the trail in great shape! We received many compliments about trail conditions, not in just our section but the entire LT, as more than the usual number of day hikers and End-to-Enders took advantage of unexpected free time and decided to spend it safely outdoors.

October 6, 2019 Trail Work Report by David Morrissey, Trail Manager

The Fall work day had 12 volunteers including some young members of the section who are in elementary and middle school. It is great to have a variety of experience on these trips and this one really reinforced that as the enthusiasm for both learning and teaching trail work is energizing. All in, it was over 60 hours of volunteer time for the day.

The group split into three groups. Two volunteers cleared the water bars up on the Cooley Glen Trail. A group went south on the Long Trail from Route 125 over the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Finally a group went south from Sucker Brook to Route 73.

Sucker Brook to Route 73 was in particularly tough shape. Over 35 trees were removed from the trail, social trails were brushed in, and a small reroute was established.

Some other notes on trail work:

  • On October 26th, four Bread Loaf members took a crosscut certification course. Thanks to Larry Walter who led the crosscut certification course for us. We really appreciate his time and knowledge. This will allow for the section to have our own certified sawyers working in the wilderness areas with crosscuts with volunteers. In the past we relied on two or our members or the USFS or GMC to provide certified sawyers for our workdays or to take out the larger trees that had fallen on the trail. This gives us quite a bit more flexibility. As a reminder, motorized tools (chainsaws) cannot be used in the wilderness areas so this type of experience is extremely helpful. The group spent the day in the woods near Texas Falls learning about felling and bucking trees with ax and crosscut. It was a great day!

  • On October 27th, a section member went up to Cooley Glen shelter and installed a tarp on the roof as it was leaking. This will hopefully help the shelter make it through the winter until a longer term solution for the roof repair/replacement can be completed next year.

  • Also at the end of October, a section member hiked the Skylight Pond trail and cleared a tree that recently fell, max diameter 4" with a couple of large limbs. There is also a new tree about 8 - 10 " diameter about 30 feet from the Skylight lodge. It also seems fairly recent but there's a path around. This will be cleared later this fall or next spring.

Photos are from the 10/26/19 crosscut certification class. (photo credit: D. Morrissey)

July 2019 Trail Work by LT Crew

A Green Mountain Club trail crew was hard at work earlier this summer repairing major erosion on the Long Trail in the Breadloaf Wilderness. They worked for four (4) weeks out of Middlebury Gap installing 22 steps and cutting almost 200 feet of new trail to repair the well used section of the Long Trail between the Gap and the junction to Silent Cliff. The new section provides a switchback around a steep area creating a more sustainable trail. The crew also spent two weeks just inside the northern boundary of the bread loaf wilderness at Lincoln gap doing gardening work. THANK YOU, LT Crew!

Spring Trail Work on June 1, 2019 completed by "best crew ever" of Bread Loaf Section volunteers!

We had one of the best crews ever and it showed as we tackled almost the whole Bread Loaf section! A total of 19 people showed up for the June trail work day and cleared more than 15 miles of trails to support the Green Mountain Club and the Long Trail. !

  • Our crew cleared the trail from Middlebury Gap heading south through to the Sucker Brook parking lot.

  • Our crew also cleared from Middlebury Gap heading north and down the Burnt Hill Trail.

  • AND...we cleared Skyline Pond Trail to the top of Bread Loaf Mountain.

Amazing! And everyone had fun doing it. A win, win for sure. Thanks, Trail Crew!

Photo album of reroute and rock steps (LT to Silent Cliff trail junction.)

Photos of Trail Work

Volunteer trail work is a rewarding experience and a great way to give back to the trails. Take a look at some photos of recent trail work parties.

Trail Notes/Updates in the Bread Loaf area

Our section of the Long Trail is an 11.4 mile section from Sucker Brook Shelter northward through Middlebury Gap (Vt. route 125) to Emily Proctor Shelter.

Please check the GMC Headquarters website's Long Trail Updates for notices about trail conditions along the entire Long Trail.

Weather Reports of Vermont Peaks

Mountain Point Forecast gives you real-time weather reports on Vermont Peaks!

Safety Tips & Hunting Seasons

Before heading out to enjoy outdoor treks or paddles, please check:

A good day's work!

2018 (and 2017) Trail Reports (David Morrissey, manager)

Fall 2018 work was canceled due to early snowfall.

Summer 2018 Trail Report (7/29/2018)

We had 6 volunteers remove 20+ trees up near the summit of Worth Mountain. All told between this trip and the early June work day, over forty trees were removed from the stretch of trail between Route 125 at the Middlebury Gap and the Sucker Brook Shelter.

This stretch of trail is now clear of blow downs from the storms late last year! (Photos.) There will definitely be one more work day scheduled in October for regular maintenance.

Spring 2018 Trail Report (6/9/2018)

The Bread Loaf Section trail crew spent Saturday, June 9th working on the trail between Middlebury Gap and the Sucker Brook Trail. We had twelve folks join us including three first time attendees. The trail was in tough shape after the winter due to a couple of powerful wind storms that came through our area. There were multiple blowdowns to contend with in addition to the regular maintenance work of clearing waterbars and removing debris from the trail. Luckily we had enough volunteers to break into three groups including one with two cross-cut saws and the sole mission to remove blowdowns! Additional clean up from those storms will likely continue into the summer. Many thanks to all who participated.

Fall 2017 Trail Report

On October 14th, seven volunteers spent the good part of the day cleaning water bars, removing debris, and pruning back overgrowth. Part of the group worked on the Long Trail heading south from Route 125 at the Middlebury Gap. The other group worked on the Sucker Brook Trail and then north on the Long Trail. The trail was in great shape as we all hiked back out that day. Thank you to all those who were able to participate.

Looking ahead, the unorthodox fall weather seemingly left a large amount of leaves on the trees through late October. That coupled with the powerful wind storm a few weeks later should leave plenty of fun for trail maintainers come the spring!

Spring 2017 Trail work/walk through

On June 3rd, eleven trail crew workers walked through 6+ miles in 2 groups from Middlebury Gap to Sucker Brook Shelter. After arriving back at the cars, David Morrissey’s family treated some of the crew to an awesome surprise “tailgate style” cook-out at the Chatfield parking area on Brooks Road, complete with salads and chocolate chip cookies. Thanks to all the Morrissey family!

"Remember that anyone who can hike 3-5 miles and wield a rake, hoe or clippers can do trail maintenance. We love to have new folks on the crew. And sometimes there are even cookies! "

Chip Morgan (Trail Manager 2007-2012)

Raking out