6.5.13 Letter to the Editor

Hiker’s Writings Raise Concerns

By Jon Wolper Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, June 1, 2013
(Published in print: Saturday, June 1, 2013)


Begin forwarded message:

From: Nichole Hastings
Date: June 5, 2013 7:28:56 AM EDT
To: “newseditor@vnews.com”
Subject: Re: AT register entries

Dear Valley News Editor,

My colleagues of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and I conferred yesterday about last Saturday’s article in regards to the graphic register entries, fellow leaving them, and Mr. Wolpar’s mis-representation of the facts. In spite of what community members, Trail Angels have said, Mr. Wolpar’s gross mis-prepresentation of the Appalachian Trail is troubling.

Essentially Mr. Wolpar painted a picture that this sort of unusual behavior is typical on the trail and that ‘worrisome’ people may be regularly found traversing the A.T. Neither of those are true. I speak not only for myself as the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Monitor Coordinator, a Corridor Monitor for the Green Mountain Club but also as a representative of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. These graphic entries and this fellow disturbing other hikers is A-typical and highly unusual. In fact, it’s almost unheard of which is why I and the organizations I represent spread the word quickly through the trail community, local communities and notified the authorities.

I am confused as to why Mr. Wolpar chose to present this story in such a ‘sensationalized’ way and on the words of folks who are not official representatives of the Appalachian Trail. I am confused on how Mr. Wolpar thought that painting such a dark picture of an isolated incident on the trail benefits a community and their perception of the hundreds of thru-hikers that will soon be passing through West Hartford, Norwich and Hanover. I hope that this letter will be shared as to correct this unfortunate error on Mr. Wolpar’s part and his misrepresentation of the trail.

Best regards,

Nichole Hastings
Appalachian Trail Monitor Coordinator
Dartmouth Outing Club
Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
Email: doc.at.corridormonitors@gmail.com
DOC AT Boundary Program Schedule: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~doc/appalachiantrail/
Twitter ID: @DartmouthOuting @HAFoAT

Press Release: “Trail Time? Not Quite”

As Always, Mud Season Beckons Caution

By Jared Pendak

Valley News Staff Writer

Thursday, April 18, 2013
(Published in print: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Elm Street AT Kiosk

Nichole Hastings received a disturbing email recently.

As a volunteer Appalachian Trail corridor monitor , Hastings was alerted to the sight of a mountain bike’s tire treads on the AT in Norwich, off of Cossingham Road. As a designated National Scenic Trail, the AT is meant for foot travel only and is subject to National Park Service regulations prohibiting bicycle and motorized travel of any kind, as well any use by riders of “pack animals,” i.e. horses, mules, goats and llamas.

The AT crosses Cossingham Road, a Class IV road near the intersection of Bragg Hill Road and Happy Hill Road that is popular for use among mountain bikers and horseback riders.

“The AT passes over the road, north-to-south,” said Hastings, who coordinates the Dartmouth Outing Club’s trail monitor program and also volunteers with the Green Mountain Club, which maintains the Appalachian Trail from Norwich to Woodstock. “It makes it convenient for ATVs or mountain bikers to go onto the trail, if they’re using that road. What some people don’t realize is that the trail is part of the National Park Service, and that keeping vehicles, including, bikes, off the trail is federally mandated.”

Read more here.

Norwich Celebrates A.T. Family Hike Day with a Weekend of Events

What could be better than a beautiful Fall day with family out hiking in Vermont?

We have an exciting series of events coming up on September 29th to celebrate ‘Appalachian Trail Family Hike Day’ in Norwich.  The Norwich Friends of the A. T. in partnership with The Norwich Bookstore, the Green Mountain Club, the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, and the Town of Norwich would like you to join them on Saturday the 29th.  There will be hikes, a picnic, and an opportunity to meet the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s publisher Brian King.

The celebration begins on Saturday at 10am with Brian King, the publisher for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is flying up from Harpers Ferry West Virginia to sign his book The Appalachian Trail at The Norwich Bookstore.

The foreword of the book is written by Bill Bryson, a former resident of Hanover and author of A Walk in the Woods.  For more information on the book event, please call 802.649.1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com.  The bookstore is happy to arrange for Brian to sign a book for you if you cannot join on Saturday.

At noon, there is a bring-your-own-picnic-lunch on the Norwich Green until 1pm.  During the latter half of the hour, we will begin shuttling people up to the Willliam Tucker Trail entrance on Happy Hill Road to hike.

At 1pm, Nichole Hastings will lead the hike to the Happy Hill Shelter and discuss the new privy installation.  We will hike the A.T. back towards Norwich and down Elm Street to the Norwich Green.  For more information please call 802.332.6615 or email nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.  The trail from Happy Hill Shelter to Elm Street is rated easy/moderate for all ages.

The events are free and open to the public; reservations are not needed.  For a simple listing of the events see the  AT Family Hike Day Schedule.

And on Sunday September 30th, the Green Mountain Club will be moving lumber to the new Happy Hill privy site.  Volunteers are welcome!  Please meet at 10am at the West Hartford Village Store on VT Route 14.  Bring work gloves and boots.  You may email Nichole for more information at nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.

We look forward to celebrating community, a treasure in our own backyard and Autumn with you!


Three other local hikes in celebration of AT Family Hiking Day are:

Holt’s Ledge Hike, Lyme NH – Meet 10 am at lower parking lot of Dartmouth Skiway, call Matt Stevens at 603.676.4102 or email at mstevens@appalachiantrail.org for more information.

Cossingham Road to Norwich, VT – Meet at 9am at Huntley Meadow, call Becky at (802) 649-9075 or email Becky.Lewandoski@uvtrails.org for more information.

Dupuis Hill, Pomfret VT – Meet 1 pm at far end of Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock.  E-mail Marissa_Jager@partner.nps.gov, or call 802-457-3368 x17 for more information.

*These three local hikes are sponsored by and being led by
the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, the National Park Service,
and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.