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Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Supermap is now available

View from Mount Sunapee looking south toward Mount Monadnock, in the far distance to the right, and showing the Sunapee Ridge and Lovewell Mountain (center-left).

View from Mount Sunapee looking south toward Mount Monadnock, in the far distance to the right, and showing the Sunapee Ridge and Lovewell Mountain (left of center).

A new Greenway Super Map is now available from the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club. Price: $10.00. The full color map (18 x 24 in size) includes all trail highlights of the Greenway, from Mount Monadnock to Pitcher Mountain on side one, and Pitcher Mountain to Mount Sunapee on the other side. All feeder trails on Mount Monadnock, Mount Sunapee and in Pillsbury State Park are included, as are section mileages, shelter locations, trail history, water source locations, GPS coordinates for all points of interest, and more.

For ordering information, visit the trail club website store at www.msgtc.org/store

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club (MSGTC) is a non-profit organization that formed in 1994. It’s mission includes trail maintenance efforts along the 48-mile hiking trail and to provide support for their volunteers and trail adopters, and to promote awareness of  the natural beauty of  The Greenway. 

Forest Society working to buy popular trailhead for Mt. Sunapee hike to Lake Solitude

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A hiker ascends the Andrew Brook Trail in Newbury. Courtesy photo.

When the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (Forest Society) posted on Facebook a plan to buy a property in Newbury that hosts the trailhead of a hiking route to Lake Solitude on Mt. Sunapee, hikers who know the Andrew Brook Trail responded quickly.

They posted phrases like “Love this hike,” “One of my favorite spots” and “Best way to hike Sunapee.”

“Those posts told us we were working on a project that would make a lot of people very happy,” said Jane Difley, the Forest Society’s president/forester.

There are three major hiking trails on Mt. Sunapee, but only one, the Summit Trail, is entirely within Mt. Sunapee State Park. The Andrew Brook Trail is one of two others that cross private land before entering permanently protected land in the state park. Access to the trailhead has been at the generosity of the landowner and could be denied by any future landowner.

AndrewBrook_MailingMapv5-1

Click on map to enlarge.

The Forest Society offered to buy the land, 33 acres off of Mountain Road in Newbury, when it came up for sale recently, and has a purchase-and-sales agreement with the landowner. First, however, the organization must raise $110,000 to cover the purchase, legal fees and future stewardship costs.

“We are reaching out to the hiking community and friends and neighbors in the Newbury area to ask for their support of our plan to protect the trailhead,” Difley said.

The Andrew Brook Trail ascends along Andrew Brook and climbs through a beech, birch and maple forest for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then connects to the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway’s 75-mile trail system and continues to the scenic cliffs of the  White Ledges area and Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

“Most hikers of these heavily used trails have no idea that only the generosity of a private landowner allows access to the State Park,” said Gerry Gold, of the Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway Coalition. “Thus it is a rare opportunity when the hikers and the hiking community have an opportunity to help purchase such important access and permanently protect that access for themselves and future generations of hikers.”

In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee. This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a collaboration celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mount Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway.

In 2010 the Goubert family of Sunapee donated 75 acres of land next to the 33-acre property the Forest Society now seeks to buy.

Difley said the property’s value for hiking is the most obvious reason to protect it, but it also contains hardwood forest that protects water quality of Andrew Brook and several feeder streams, and it provides excellent wildlife habitat. She said the organization is seeking to raise the money necessary to complete the project by Jan. 20.

More information about the project and how to donate, visit www.forestsociety.org.

Campaign underway to protect Andrew Brook trailhead

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Overlooking Lake Solitude at Mt. Sunapee State Park. Photo credit: Jack Savage, courtesy of Forest Society.

The Forest Society is seeking your help to permanently protect the trailhead of the Andrew Brook Trail, a favorite hiking trail to Lake Solitude and the White Ledges at Mt. Sunapee State Park.

See Current Forest Society projects.

Download/view Andrew Brook Trailhead flyer 12-14-15 (2MB)

“The owner of a 33-acre property that hosts the trailhead, off Newbury’s Mountain Road, has agreed to sell it to the Forest Society. Now we must raise the $110,000 needed to acquire the land, cover transaction costs, improve the trailhead and steward the property, and we hope you will give a donation to help,” the society release states.

Map courtesy of the Forest Society. Click on map to enlarge.

Map provided by the Forest Society.

The Andrew Brook Trail is beloved by many hikers as a sweet ascent along a babbling brook that you rock hop across as you climb through a beech, birch and maple forest. It climbs for two miles before reaching Lake Solitude, a pristine pond surrounded by conifers. It then continues to the White Ledges area on the way to Mt. Sunapee’s summit.

Additionally, conserving this parcel will help protect water quality of Andrew Brook and feeder streams in the area, provide high-quality wildlife habitat and enlarge the surrounding block of conserved land including the Andrew Brook Forest and Sunapee and Pillsbury state parks.

“In 2006, the Forest Society led a campaign to purchase a conservation easement on 1,100 acres of land on the eastern slope of Mt. Sunapee,” states the Forest Society. “This easement protects the middle section of the Andrew Brook Trail and was a huge collaborative success celebrated by partners including the Newbury Conservation Commission, Highlanders, the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Friends of Mt. Sunapee and the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. The trailhead, however, remained in private ownership and unprotected, and it has now been put up for sale.”

For more information, contact Susanne Kibler-Hacker at the Forest Society, 603-224-9945, or via e-mail at skh@forestsociety.org.

Volunteer trailworker and crew chief Craig Sanborn receives Spirit of NH Award

Craig Sanborn, crew chief of the Cardigan Mountain Volunteer Trail Crew, receives a 2015 Volunteer NH Spirit Award at the awards event held Nov. 10 at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH.

Congratulations to trailworker, mentor and crew chief, Craig Sanborn, who was recently recognized for his “commitment to service and the tradition of volunteerism” with a 2015 Spirit of New Hampshire Award.

Craig is a dedicated worker and advocate for our public hiking trails including those on Mount Sunapee.

As crew chief of the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew, Craig celebrated 30 years of trail tending by welcoming new members, who learned the skills and turned out to have fun building dozens of new fixtures on Mounts Cardigan, Sunapee, and Kearsarge.

We tend 10 miles of hiking trail on the Cardigan range and 5 miles on Mount Sunapee. We see to the routine preventive Level 1 upkeep: clean 140 drains spring and fall, trim back the brush, paint the blazes that mark trails for hikers, and remove fallen trees. After 30 years we know how often to attend these chores, so our trails are almost always in good condition. We also build all the Level 2 fixtures on these trails: steps, waterbars, retaining walls, bridges, signs etc.
In 2015, the trail crew added 45 rock steps on Mount Cardigan’s West Ridge Trail and, on Mount Sunapee, 60 on the Newbury Trail and 4 on Andrew Brook Trail. Other work included building:
  • 6 rock waterbars on Sunapee’s Rim Trail, which now has 20 drains in its half mile length;
  • a 20′ bridge with the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club on a MSGTC maintained trail; and
  • a 12′ bridge (at State request) that required hauling PT lumber 1/4 mile up the Barlow Trail on Mt. Kearsarge at Winslow State Park.
The trail crew’s worklog totals 811 hours.

Volunteer trail workers return to Rim Trail

TrailWork_Sunapee

Trail work will continue on Saturday, August 1 (2015) on the Rim Trail at Mount Sunapee State Park. The tasks at hand include building rock steps and drains and whatever other trail work is possible, according to Craig Sanborn of the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew.

“We’ll work safe and build good durable fixtures following the guidelines in the Appalachian Trail Fieldbook. If enough people attend, we’ll orient a crew using rope puller and rigging to move rock on straight pulls,” Sanborn said. Participants are asked to reference the AT Fieldbook, “please read page 13 and pp. 52-71. Then, bring them with you to help others learn.”

“Please don’t avoid this day just because you haven’t done rock work before,” added Sanborn. “Anyone willing to try can learn to move and set them safely, using picks, shovels, crowbars, and webbing, etc.”

For more information about volunteering with the Cardigan Highlanders, email Craig Sanborn at crgsnbrn@yahoo.com.

Volunteers interested in helping out on August 1st, email Sanborn prior to Saturday morning.

Cardigan Highlanders: Trail work on Mt. Sunapee set for July 11

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Weather permitting, the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew will be working on Mount Sunapee on Saturday, July 11. This will be a day in the woods, along the Newbury and Rim trails, building rock steps, waterbars, and drainage dips that will hopefully allow for the opening of a new trail section on a gentle/moderate grade that bypasses a steep section of old trail, according to crew chief Craig Sanborn.

“Anyone can learn to build these fixtures, and in the process make a valuable contribution to more sustainable trails,” says Sanborn.

“We emphasize safety, job quality and fun playing in the dirt with your friends.”

To get more information and to volunteer (sign up required) email Craig Sanborn at crgsnbrn@yahoo.com.

See related website: Hike Safe :: It’s your responsibility

 

Cardigan Highlanders volunteers to do trail work on Mt. Sunapee

Mt-Sunapee_Trail-Map

Click on to enlarge.

The Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew starts its summer season of trail work on Sunday, June 28, at Mount Sunapee State Park. The crew will get a ride up the summit chairlift and then hike the Solitude Trail, break at White Ledges, and hike down to Andrew Brook Trail. Crew chief Craig Sanborn said the work is to “trim brush and clean drains as we hike. Fix and add rock pavers and drains, and  rock steps on steep slopes, until we decide to call it a day.” The total hike is 3.2 miles all downhill. Heaviest tools are 10-lb 4′ rock bars, shovel, pick, loppers, saws, hand pruners, and webbing, etc. If weather requires cancellation, it will be announced by email to those who signed up to work. For more information and to volunteer, email Craig Sanborn at crgsnbrn@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

SooNipi Magazine: ‘Hiking Mount Sunapee’s Summit Trail’

SooNipiMagazineSummitTrail2015SummerEnjoy and explore the Summit Trail at Mount Sunapee State Park. The SooNipi Magazine, always a fun and informative read, delivers in its summer (2015) issue an article that takes you for a hike up the Summit Trail. Learn what makes this area of our state park so special and why this favorite hiking trail is now at risk! Read (download/view):

“Hiking Mount Sunapee’s Summit Trail” (SooNipi-Summer-2015 P.28-31)  (PDF 3MB)

You can pick up the SooNipi at various distribution sites in West-Central New Hampshire, or download/view the article by clicking on the link above.

For some, Mount Sunapee State Park conjures up images of alpine skiing. For many others, however, the park represents a smorgasbord of outdoor recreation opportunities – including hiking, hunting, nature study, backpacking, snowshoeing, and more. All are available at no cost in our public park. The Summit Hiking Trail on Mount Sunapee’s west flank offers access to all of the aforementioned non-skiing activities, and is a personal favorite…

The Summit Hiking Trail lies directly in the path of the proposed western expansion of the ski area. As currently planned, the hiking trail will be bisected at least half a dozen times by new ski slopes, and a new lift line will be gouged out of the heart of the ancient forest community. The closed forest canopy will now feature ski runs, towers for a ski lift, and pipelines and guns for snowmaking. The trail will still be there, possibly re-routed, but the peaceful woodland hike that exists today will be changed forever. – “Hiking Mount Sunapee’s Summit Trail” by Gary Stansfield

To learn how you can help protect the Summit Trail, contact FOMS today!

 

Help protect the Summit Hiking Trail on Mount Sunapee

HelpProtectSummitTrail_WinterFOMS“The proposed ‘West Bowl’ expansion will fatally compromise the Summit Trail,” says Steve Russell, Newbury. “The trail as it now exists will be gone.”

“The trail, which provides the general public with all season access to the park, will be cut through with ski runs at four different locations.”

Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort is seeking a major expansion at Mount Sunapee State Park that will extend ski infrastructure across the western flank of Mount Sunapee onto  hundreds of acres owned by the resort operator.

Proposed new ski terrain and a new lift will not only bisect the hiking trail, it will cut into rare ancient forest in the park.

The western edge of the park is not yet impacted by ski trails, ski lifts and snow-making. Steve and others wants to keep it that way.

It is not necessary to expand skiing in an area where an equally important public use of the park already exists. The use of the park for skiing is already well established. The public also has a right to experience the mountain in a natural undisturbed state.

Help protect the Summit Trail: Here’s how.

About the Summit Trail

The Summit Trail, developed in the early 1990s, was designed “to provide hikers with a woodlands trail away from ski operations,” according to the SRK Greenway Coalition.

“Development of the trail was related to the early history of the SRK Greenway Coalition, incorporated in 1993.”

The Summit Trail is part of the Greenway, a 75-mile loop of trails that connect 4 State Parks, 3 State Forests, and NH Fish and Game protected lands, as well as town and private properties. The SRKG also links with the 50-mile Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway and Pillsbury State Park.

Copyright 2018 Friends of Mount Sunapee