Trail Journal
Volume 2019:10
Trail Ahead
Within the next few days, we will be adding the Mt. Moosilauke section of the New Hampshire AT to Trail Connections. Make sure you visit the site, poke around and tell us what you think.

Now that we’ve officially arrived in the White Mountains, we plan on plowing ahead and to start working on the next section from Kinsman Notch to Franconia Notch including Mt. Wolf, the twin peaks of Mt. Kinsman and Lonesome Lake - the southernmost of the AMC huts. If all goes according to plan, that section will be online by the end of the year.

Leave No Trace
Principle of the Month Club

Store Food Securely

As the number of hikers using shelters increases, the dynamics of wild animal and hiker encounters is changing. Animals are more likely to become habituated to human activity and attracted to the foods that hikers store there. As a result, the way that hikers store food is now being reconsidered. Let’s talk about the options in order of preference:

Food Store Lockers: If a site has a locker for securely storing food, use it! Storing food outside the locker not only increases the chances that critters (bears, raccoons, mice, etc.) will get to your food but it also endangers yourself and your fellow hikers to having encounters with said critters.

Bear Canisters: For sites that don’t have a locker, store your food in an approved bear canister. Right now, it is required in some areas and highly-recommended elsewhere. It may soon be required everywhere. While hard-sided canisters add dreaded weight to your pack, they are probably the best solution. However, the Ursack is a bear resistant food sack that has been approved for use in the Green Mountains.

Hanging Food: For many generations, this has been the most common method for storing food; however, it is no longer recommended. The animals who want to get at your food are resilient and crafty. And once they’ve figured out how to get to someone’s food, they’re more likely to come back again and again to attempt to get someone else’s.

Sleeping with Your Food: This was never a good idea to begin with, and it’s even less so now. Smaller animals (mice, rats, etc.) are not afraid to try to get to your food while you’re asleep. And even bigger animals are increasingly more likely to confront humans to try to get to food stored in tents or shelters. There’s just too much at risk. Don’t!

Remember that while you may be only staying at a shelter for one night, the animals in that area will be close to it for their lifetimes. Obeying proper food storage strategies not only decreases the risk to yourself but also to all of the hikers who will come after you.
Two Tents Corner
Some of my more memorable hikes have been during the fall. Daytime temperatures are mild, bugs have finally given up for the season, and the number of other hikers has decreased. However, hiking during autumn months means that you may be sharing the trail with hunters. And while hikers and hunters have been sharing the AT ever since the trail was created, certain precautions should be taken. Here are some that are recommended on the ATC’s hunting safety website page.

Know Before You Go: In general, some form of hunting is allowed in most states from September through December. However, it’s best to know what specific types of hunting is allowed when and where. The ATC website links to a chart that provides that information for each state. The deer hunting by firearms period is the most popular among hunters, and may be time that hikers should consider hiking in an area where hunting is prohibited.

Wear Blaze Orange: Not only for yourself but for your dog as well. Make sure that the orange can be seen from all angles: front, back and sideways.

Use Extra Caution at Dawn & Dusk and Near Roads & Valleys: These are the times and places where hunters are most likely to be.

Don’t Interfere with Hunters: In every state, hunters have a legal right to be where hunting is permitted. It’s unlawful for you to interfere with their activities, just as it’s unlawful for them to interfere with yours.

Be Heard: If you believe that hunters may be nearby, make noise. Whistle, sing, talk, bear bells. You get the idea.

Wicked Cool Events
  • Sept. 15-Dec. 15: New Hampshire Deer Hunting Season
  • Oct. 5-Dec. 15: Vermont Deer Hunting Season
  • Oct. 21-Dec. 31: Massachusetts Deer Hunting Season
  • Nov. 2: GMC Smarts Mountain hike, Lyme NH
  • Nov. 9-10: Youth Deer Hunting Weekend
  • Nov. 24-Dec. 31: Manchester Merriment, Manchester, VT
  • Nov. 30: Our Hometown Holiday, Bennington VT

  • Dec. 15: Vermont Symphony Orchester, Rutland, VT
  • Dec. 21-23: Christmas Revels, Lebanon, NH
Trail Connections
Phone: (978) 530-6883.
P.O. Box 15, Hathorne, MA 01937