Trail Journal
Volume 2020:02
Trail Ahead
Trail Connections welcomes Alex Leavitt to our tramily. Alex is our new Social Media Marketing Coordinator and started working with us in mid-January. He is a senior at Merrimack College finishing up a dual degree in marketing and sports management. His marketing talents, interest in outdoor activities and overall enthusiasm make him a perfect fit for the work he will be doing to expand our social media presence.

Already, Alex has developed our Instagram page and will continue to engage visitors through that site. He has also worked on increasing the visitors to our Facebook page, and is exploring other ways in which we can increase Trail Connections’ social media presence. We look forward to Alex’s contributions to our work. If you want to reach him, send him a message through either Instagram or Facebook or else his email:
Leave No Trace
Principle of the Month Club
Use a Map and Compass

A key principle of Leave No Trace is to only disturb those areas that have previously been walked on by others. Simply put, stay on the trail. Both carrying and knowing how to use a trail map and compass will help you from inadvertently getting off the trail and disturbing areas that should remain unspoiled.

We believe you should carry a trail guide and map, as opposed to only a trail guide. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and some of the maintaining clubs publish maps and guides.

Yes, yes, we know. Weight. The weight will be well worth it if you need to orient yourself if you’ve gotten off the trail. If you're really concerned about weight, the ATC website has an online interactive map of the trail and we know of at least one commercially available app-based trail map.

A compass is used in conjunction with a trail map. Understanding how to orient yourself using the map and compass will enable you to locate the trail should you get off it. You may want to consider taking a wilderness orientation class to develop that skill.
Two Tents Corner
I once had a conversation with another hiker who told me that he had thru-hiked the AT. When I asked him when, he replied back that his hike spanned two consecutive calendar years. Putting on my best AT lingo geekdom, I politely told him that that meant he had section-hiked the trail. That a thru-hike technically had to completed within one year. He replied that, no, he had thru-hiked the trail. He had started at Katahdin in September and proceeded south finishing up at Springer in April. Point. Match. I stood corrected.

That conversation reminded me that the AT doesn’t disappear during the winter. If you want to experience the trail in a different season when you’ll probably have the shelter to yourself, then hiking during winter months is something you should consider. That said, hiking during the winter has its own challenges and you should be prepared for them if you choose to do so.

The winter edition of AMC Outdoors has a good article about how you should prepare for your first winter hike. Here are the main points:

Stay cool. Layering your clothing enables you to take off and put clothing back on so that you are never soaking your clothing with sweat. What you want to avoid is getting your clothes wet and then having them freeze when you stop.

Break trail with caution. It’s better to follow a trail that’s already been broken rather than breaking a trail through fresh snow. If you do have to break trail, do it with a team. It's safer and less exhausting.

Eat. Snack all day to replenish the calories you’re burning. While you're burning more calories than you normally would during warmer months, you're less likely to stop for a full meal. Keep your energy levels up.

Protect your feet. Make sure your boots are adequately insulated, waterproof and work with the crampons or snowshoes you’ll be using.

Be outdoors. The only way to get comfortable with winter hiking is to get out and do it. While it's important to take the necessary precautions, don't let the weather intimidate you. Enjoy!

Wicked Cool Events
  • Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Women's Lodge to Hut (AMC), Carroll, NH
  • Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Skiing Indoor, Overnight (GMC), Woodstock, NH
  • Feb. 1: Snowshoe or Ski (GMC), Hartland, VT
  • Feb. 6-9: Dartmouth Winter Carnival, Hanover, NH
  • Feb. 7-9: Snowshoe & Spa (AMC), Carroll, NH
  • Feb. 8: Grout Pond Skiing (GMC), Stratton, VT
  • Feb. 9: Moonlight Walk (GMC), Thetford, VT
  • Feb. 11: Snowshoe (GMC), Killington, VT
  • Feb. 15-22: President's Week Winterfest (Mt. Snow), Dover, VT
  • Feb. 15-16: Harris Hill Ski Jump (Mt. Snow), Dover, VT
  • Feb. 15: Snowshoe & Creepers (GMC), Etna & Lyme, NH
  • Feb. 16: XC-Ski (GMC), Etna, NH
  • Feb. 17: Snowshoe (GMC), Woodstock, VT
  • Feb. 20-23: End of School Vacation Ski Weekend (AMC), Franconia, NH
  • Feb. 22: XC-Ski (GMC), Strafford, VT
  • Feb. 22: Catamount Trail Section 4 (GMC), Shaftsbury, VT
  • Feb. 23: Snowshoe (GMC), Glencliff, NH
  • Feb. 28-Mar. 1: Women's Lodge to Hut (AMC), Carroll, NH
  • Feb. 29-Mar. 1: Mystery Cabin Overnight (GMC), Stratton, VT
  • Mar. 1: Jack Jump World Championships (Mt. Snow), Dover, VT
  • Mar. 4: Ski Trip (GMC), Bennington, VT
  • Mar. 6-8: Boston Family Fun in the Snowbelt (AMC), Londonderry, VT
  • Mar. 9: Full Moon Backcountry Ski (GMC), Winhall, VT
  • Mar. 10: Easy Full Moon Snowshoe (GMC), Manchester, VT
  • Mar. 13-15: Vermont Open (Stratton Mtn.), Stratton, VT
  • Mar. 17: Ridge Trail (GMC), Dover, VT
  • Mar. 20-22: Bud Light Reggaefest (Mt. Snow), Dover, VT
  • Mar. 21-22: Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (various locations)
  • Mar. 21: 50 Years of Caretaking on Stratton Mtn. (GMC), Manchester, VT
  • Mar. 22: Mt. Moosilauke (GMC), Benton, NH
  • Mar. 22: Snowshoe to Lye Brook Falls (GMC), Manchester, VT
  • Mar. 28: Winter Brewer's Festival (Mt. Snow), Dover, VT
  • Mar. 29: Spring Pot Luck (GMC), Londonderry, VT

AMC: Appalachian Mountain Club,;
GMC: Green Mountain Club,;
Mt. Snow:;
Stratton Mtn.:
Trail Connections
Phone: (978) 530-6883.
P.O. Box 15, Hathorne, MA 01937