Trailwork volunteers needed in the Lake Sunapee Region

Mount Sunapee's Lake Solitude

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing more and more hikers each year. Photo shows Lake Solitude, near the top of Mount Sunapee.

Hikers, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts: The hiking trails in the Lake Sunapee region need your help.

“The need is never-ending to identify and encourage new volunteers who can build and maintain the area’s trails,” says Gerry Gold for the Trails Committee of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition.

SRKG, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, is looking for more volunteers to help keep up and improve the region’s trail system, which includes more than 75 miles of walking paths and hiking trails that cross Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains and takes in three state forests and four state parks.

The Greenway connects state, town and private lands and gives hikers and walkers access to mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites across the region.

These trails also connect with other popular hiking areas, such as Mount Monadnock.

Building a Trailworks Community

With organized and advertised events–eight trailwork events in four months–SRKG with support from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership hope to grow and strengthen the area’s trailwork community.

Each event will focus on specific improvements to local trails and teach trailwork skills to new volunteers.

The trailwork campaign will also help spread the word about the area’s trails, organizations and conserved lands, which are part of a larger landscape, the Q2C (Quabbin to Cardigan) region.

Volunteers Needed

On Tuesday, July 23, trailwork volunteers have three “help and learn” opportunities: easy, moderate and difficult.

  • Sunapee, Upper Sunapee Village to North Road (Easy) – Blaze a trail: Paint and plastic blazes show the way. To volunteer, contact Lisa Correa (c.lisa7716@gmail.com).
  • Goshen, Lower Summit Trail, Mount Sunapee State Park (Moderate) – Clean a waterbar: Rakes, shovels and a short walk in. Contact Dave Coulter (603-934-0148 )
  • Andover, Ragged Mountain from Proctor Academy (Difficult) – Move a trail requiring a 1.5 mile hike uphill with tools. Contact Gerry Gold (603-526-2857 or geecubed@yahoo.com)

Trailwork is also planned for July 24-26. The Student Conservation Association high school trail crew will be working on the Barlow Trail on Mount Kearsarge at Winslow State Park in Wilmot.  Also, SCA will do trailwork on July 28-31.

Increasing use of highland trails

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing ever-increasing traffic including use by large groups that meet up to hike, explained Gold.

With the internet and on-line networking and easy access to information, the area is no longer a secret. The well-publicized areas are seeing many more hikers (of varying experience). More use means more wear and tear to the trails and the need for more trail maintenance.

Also, when new hiking opportunities open up with new or expanded land conservation, the call for experienced trail crews increases.

Ideally, a perfect trail crew member is someone who works on their favorite trails and pathways, Gold added.  However, “even if we only need three or four people on a given day, it may take an email list of 100 to find those people ready and able on that day.”

To learn more about joining the area’s Trailwork Community. Email trails@srkg.com.

For information about the Greenway, including SRKG membership ($10/yr), the SRKG Guide, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.srkg.com or email srkgc@srkg.com.

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