DUMMERSTON — Green Mountain Conservancy’s new Shoulder Trail at the Deer Run Nature Preserve in Dummerston is complete. To celebrate, GMC is hosting a grand opening event on Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m.
The day will start with a presentation at the Deer Run Nature Preserve parking lot and trailhead. GMC Board members Roger Haydock, skilled trail builder and naturalist, and Daniel Dubie, ecological consultant, will talk about the new trail as well as some of the natural elements and features that can be found while exploring the preserve.
Guides will be available throughout the afternoon to lead small groups in exploring the Shoulder Trail, or visitors can choose to hike on their own.
The 0.4 mile Shoulder Trail (yellow markers) goes off of the popular 2.2 mile Deer Run Trail (blue markers) just below the monument. The out-and-back hike is about 5.2 miles — 2.6 miles up a gentle grade meandering through a multitude of natural communities and 2.6 miles back down to the trail head.
All naturalists, environmental enthusiasts, and friends of Deer Run are welcome, regardless of physical ability or skill level. Sturdy hiking shoes and clothing that protects from the usual biting insects are encouraged. GMC will follow COVID-19 guidance from the state of Vermont at the time of this event. Current guidance encourages those who are unvaccinated to continue wearing their masks and practicing social distancing.
A refillable water bottle is also recommended. Water will be available at the trailhead.
To get to the trailhead from the Covered Bridge in West Dummerston, follow Camp Arden Road for almost two miles. The trailhead will be on your right and marked with a sign. Volunteers will assist with parking. For more information call 802-257-0012, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website http://www.greenmountainconservancy.org/.
Roger Haydock designed and built the trails in the Deer Run Nature Preserve to take hikers from the trailhead on Camp Arden Road, through varied terrain, crossing several streams and hemlock-filled ravines, old stone walls, and areas of red pine and tall hardwoods. The trail climbs gently to a stone monument at the height of land. There are stunning views of the covered bridge, Black Mountain and the West River valley where the trail crosses a power line.
The Deer Run Nature Preserve is located on a 913-acre parcel in Windham County, where the Vermont towns of Brookline, Dummerston and Newfane meet. It spans both sides of the Putney Mountain Ridge and includes over 2.5 miles of West River shoreline as it curves around the southern terminus of the mountain. It is a designated wildlife corridor, has amazing biodiversity and is expected to provide essential carbon sequestration into the future.