The transition from winter to spring has rarely been more anticipated. Last year was a long slog as concerns about the pandemic continued through the winter with many disruptions and challenges. Fortunately many found escape in nature, to which the increased popularity of the Wapack Trail attests. The Wapack provides a welcome and healthful experience of nature to thousands of people each year. This is a testament to our important work of maintaining and protecting the trails.
This past winter saw the successful completion of two significant campaigns to protect land along the Wapack Trail. North County Land Trust, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, conserved 200 acres which includes the south peak and south slope of Mt. Watatic, completing the preservation of Watatic’s summit. And Northeast Wilderness Trust completed their campaign to purchase the 15 acre Steel Addition to their Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve. The Friends of the Wapack supported both efforts with financial donations and publicity. The trail benefits from the increase in conserved land along the trail, helping to protect the wilderness experience of the Wapack that we all love.
Spring trail cleanup is being done by our Section Captain trail adopters, with general trail workdays hopefully to follow later this year. We are also hoping for an in person annual meeting. You can sign up for email newsletters and event notices at our website wapack.org. We hope to see you at events this year and out on the trails.
– Rick Blanchette, President
Trail Maintenance This Year
The past year was certainly different. The trail has seen a record number of users, and there have been many snow/ice/wind events which brought down numerous branches and trees. And there was that COVID thing.
We were unable to have workdays last year, and I would like to thank all of our Section Captain trail adopters who put in the extra effort to take up the slack and keep up with the work needed due to the increased use and weather events. With the increased use it is especially important for adopters to report any issues such as downed trees, increased erosion or drainage issues. If you notice something critical on the trails let us know and we can put a small crew together to address the issue. Hikers are welcome to help by picking up branches that have fallen on the trails. Do not try to clear a tree, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know the location, a photo is also helpful.
We hope to resume workdays this year in the fall depending on circumstances. We will post the dates on our website Wapack.org, and notify by e-mail.
Once again, thanks to all eighteen of our Section Captain trail adopters for all their hard work.
– Mike Przybyla, Trail Master
Timely Chain Saw Safety Training for Wapack Trail Crew
Several members of the Friends of the Wapack Trail Crew attended the Division of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) Chainsaw Safety Class in November at Bear Brook State Park. The one day class was conducted by AJ Dupere. AJ is the Urban Forester with the New Hampshire Division of Forest and Lands. He is a Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture and a certified logger in NH. Students learned the important aspects of personal safety equipment, saw maintenance and techniques. The afternoon portion was hands on instruction with their own saws covering notch technique, awareness of basic tree felling hazards, bucking methods and approaches to cutting sprung saplings.
– Sean McInerney, Section Captain
We hope we can begin to see you all this coming Fall. We’ve scheduled the annual end to end hike for August and are planning on having our annual meeting in October. We are planning on holding work days this Fall. See our events page for details or signup for our e-mail list to receive updates as we finalize the details.
If you would like to download a copy of this newsletter in PDF format, click the link below:
– The Friends of the Wapack