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.
Interested in learning about trail work in our Section?
Read our Trail Work Procedures. Our Trails Manager Ellen Cronan 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is work for all abilities. Thank you!
Annoucing the 2023 Spring Trail Work Schedule
Trail crew members: Watch for emails about regular spring maintenance with details from our Trail Manager, Ellen Cronan. If you have time and ability to participate on the trail crew and are not currently on the email list, please contact Ellen at email@example.com.
Spring Work Trips are planned for the following dates:
May 12th & 13th, May 21st and June 3rd
2022 Trail Work Summary
In June, 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 on October 1st was a day spent with crosscut saws (5 sec. video) clearing trees and also clearing waterbars in the Wilderness area.
Wrapping up the season, a small work group made improvements on the Sucker Brook trail in early November.
After having volunteered as Bread Loaf's Trail Manager during the 2015-2021 field seasons, David Morrissey is Bread Loaf Section's president as of January 2022. Thank you, David!
David's Trail Work reports from 2019 -2021: Scroll down and keep reading! Learn what Bread Loaf Section's dedicated trail work crews' efforts have been focused on in past years.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will get you on the list.
Thanks to everyone who participated and Happy Trails!
David Morrissey, Trails & Shelters Manager (2021)
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:
our Section's page of Safety Reminders including tips to protect yourself from tick bites and dates of Vermont's hunting seasons.
VT Fish & Wildlife website for their hunting season calendar
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!
Photos of Trail Work
Volunteering for trail work is a rewarding experience and a great way to give back to the trails. For a glimpse of work challenges, take a look at our photos page.
"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)