2020 Summer Newsletter

Published by Friends on

Hello all!

We hope this Summer finds you well. As you’ve noticed we’ve still not scheduled any events this year due to COVID-19 but we’ve been busy behind the scenes…

40th Anniversary

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Friends of the Wapack! To celebrate we looked back through our history and compiled a comprehensive timeline of the Wapack and the Friends.

2nd Addition to Wapack Trail Guide Published

There have been many changes along the Wapack since we published our Guide to the Wapack Trail in 2015. So rather than just doing a new printing, a new edition was in order. We put our “Stay at Home Order” time to good use by revising and updating the trail guide.
Changes in the Second Edition include: the addition of the new Frank Robbins Trail in the Side Trails chapter, updates associated with the new Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve and the closing of Windblown XC Ski Area, additions to the History chapter, and other edits and additions The same pull out map is included as the first edition.
Thanks to Mike Przybyla for his new and updated in-context maps and for help with the text, to Rick Blanchette for new and edited text and lay out, to Anne Reed who provided the printing services, and to the trail guide committee members who provided details and feedback.

The new edition is order-able on the site, and can be purchased at the Toadstool Bookshops, Evans on the Common in Townsend, MA, and the Mountain Wanderer in Lincoln, NH.

New Board Member: Anne Reed

We are very happy to announce that Anne Reed is the newest member of our Board of Directors. Anne is a recently retired local marketing company owner. She has lived in Rindge for 20 years and is an avid outdoors person.

Anne loves hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, biking and many other outdoor activities. She shares her adventures with her husband Mike and their dogs Augie and Otis.

Anne brings many skills to our board from her experience running her marketing consulting company, including Salesforce customer relationship management software, WordPress website development, fund raising, and marketing. She is currently organizing our contact list as our new Membership Coordinator. Welcome Anne!

FOW Donates Fund Interest to Support Financial Relief Effort for NH Communities

Due to the generosity of our supporters, the Friends has money invested. Some of that is with the NH Community Loan Fund (CLF). Interest on that investment is paid annually in April. With this year’s check was a letter saying the CLF had established a Borrower’s Stabilization Fund, and requesting that we donate the interest during the COVID19 crisis.

The CLF assists small businesses, resident-owned communities and child care facilities and others. Some of the resident-owned communities that benefit are in the Wapack area. For more on the CLF, see their web page www.communityloanfund.org. As there is currently no pressing demand for the Friends financially, at the last meeting, the board unanimously voted to return the interest check of $480.00 to support CLF’s Borrower Stabilization Fund during this challenging time.

Northeast Wilderness Trust’s Sawtelle Addition to the Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve Completed

Northeast Wilderness Trust has announced the success of their effort to purchase the Sawtelle Addition property, which protects a beautiful section of the Wapack Trail and the remaining unprotected shoreline of Binney Pond, while adding 47 acres to their successful 2016 project, the Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve in New Ipswich.

Mountain laurels in bloom at Binney Pond

The Friends of the Wapack were an important partner to both projects donating a total of $30,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed to these efforts which permanently protected over one mile of the Wapack Trail!

Windblown XC Ski Area Closes

Windblown Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing has closed after 48 years of operation. Al Jenks is the owner of Windblown, and a long
time friend of the Wapack Trail. In Al’s words:

“It is time to fold the tent, to look ahead to other adventures, to prepare for the rest of this journey, and to say goodbye to this experience.”

Hike group at Mountain Top Shelter, Windblown Camping. Al Jenks is second from right.

While the ski area is no more, the shelter rental business will continue
under the name “Windblown Camping.” The Wapack Trail (yellow triangle blazes) is still open for hiking at Windblown. Use of all other trails on the property is only for guests of Windblown Camping. Camping at Windblown is popular with end to end hikers, as it is near the mid point of the Wapack

To rent a camp site or shelter, contact Windblown by email at alwindblown@gmail.com, or check their website (windblownxc.com). There is no hiker parking at Windblown. Parking is available along the west shoulder of Turnpike Road, between the Windblown driveway and Wapack Road.

Remembering Alan Burt of the AMC

Before the founding of the Friends of the Wapack, the Appalachian Mountain Club led hikes and performed trail maintenance on the Wapack Trail out of their Massachusetts chapters. We are sad to report that a prominent, dedicated Wapack AMC supporter has recently passed away.
Alan Burt of the Boston AMC Chapter led an annual hike on the Wapack Trail for 43 consecutive years, from 1960 to He was one of the AMC Wapack Trail crew members in the decades before the Friends.

I met Alan when he attended our trail work days during my first years as
Trails Committee Chairman in the 1990’s. We had some great conversations about his experiences on the Wapack and his love of the trail. Each year he would call me before leading his annual Wapack hike to get any updates on trail changes and conditions. I always enjoyed his calls. Alan was a very kind and considerate man. The Wapack Trail has lost long-time dedicated friend. Our condolences go out to Alan’s family, friends, and AMC colleagues.

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