The Appalachian Mountain Club provided the following highlights for the New England NST during the 2021 calendar year:
Conserving Trail Lands and Boosting Climate Resilience
The Connecticut Forest and Park Association hosted an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team in Connecticut this Fall. The team assisted with two major relocations to improve trail sustainability and built over 1,000 feet of bog bridging in an area that is seasonally flooded. The team learned trail building and backcountry carpentry skills.
Collaboration and Engagement
In partnership with the Connecticut Trail Census at the University of Connecticut, the first trail user count and survey on the New England NST is being conducted at the Mt. Higby trailhead in Middletown, CT. This data will better inform us about user trends, peak visit times, how far hikers travel to the trail, demographic info, etc.
Strengthening Organizations and Partnerships
Over the summer, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Communications Assistant Lydia Jankowski hiked the full length of the New England NST in Massachusetts and documented trail assets such as bridges, water bars, signage, and parking areas using a digital survey system. With these data, Trail staff and volunteers will be able to better prioritize trail maintenance projects and qualify for funding through the National Park Service facility management system.
Local Economy, Tourism and Community Health
In September, New England NST volunteers and AMC corporate partner Athletic Brewing constructed a 1300-foot section of wheelchair accessible trail. This new trail will allow for greater accessibility and visibility for the Trail in Hampden County, MA.