This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Friends of the Wapack. We knew that such an important milestone deserves a logo. We went to our archives and found that our original logo was a triangle with a W that made it look like a mountain peak. So, for this anniversary we’re bringing back our logo from the 1980’s, our first decade.
In 1980 the Wapack Trail was deteriorating, and the future of the trail was in doubt. Four individuals decided to organize and address these problems to save the trail. They were Lee Baker, David Weir Jr, and New Ipswich Conservation Committee members Mary Jane Grasty and Dan Halsall. Soon, more people got on board and work began to restore the trail. Within two years this core group became known as the Friends of the Wapack. For the past 40 years this all-volunteer organization has successfully worked to maintain and permanently protect the Wapack Trail. Our experienced trail crew has maintained the Wapack and adopted side trails to high standards, and all but 5 miles of the Wapack Trail is now protected.
Our event plans for this anniversary year have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope was to have the opportunity to thank everyone who has given their time and talents to our success over the past 4 decades. Perhaps we’ll have that opportunity later this year. In the meantime, we offer our 40-year timeline below which lists many of our accomplishments and significant events since our founding. It includes a special thank you on page four to past and present board members, and to the hundreds of people who have helped to maintain the trail. Thank you all for your help and support through our first 40 years! The work continues!
Friends of the Wapack Timeline
Accomplishments and Significant Events
During our First 40 Years
- 1980 – FoW founded with the mission to maintain and permanetly protect the Wapack Trail. Founding members were Lee Baker, David Weir Jr, and New Ipswich Conservation Committee members Mary Jane Grasty and Dan Halsall. Assistance was provided by the AMC.
- Yellow triangle blaze adopted for Wapack Trail.
- Wapack Trail brushed, blazed and trail signs installed.
- Section Captain trail adopter program established.
- Raymond Trail, Kidder Mt. Trail and Cliff Trail adopted.
- Relocation of a long section of the Wapack Trail from an eroding section on North Pack.
- Wapack Trail at Miller State Park moved from present location of the Marion Davis Trail to the west side of the summit access road.
- Miller State Park expanded providing more protection for the trails.
- 1983 – AMC Worcester Chapter officially hands over maintenance responsibility for the Wapack Trail to Friends of the Wapack.
- 1983 – First issue of the “Voice of the Wapack” newsletter published.
- 1984 – First annual meeting hike held – 50 attendees.
- 1985 – Marion Davis Trail dedicated.
- Trail Maintenance – Section Captain trail adopter program enhanced, trail maintenance days expanded, trail maintenance workshops held with Trailwrights and AMC.
- 1990 – First Wapack Trail map offered for sale created by Ray Jackson
- 1991 – “Wapack Trail Guide” by John Flanders published by FOW.
- 1992 – Map kiosks installed at 5 trail heads.
- 1992 – Constitution and Bylaws adopted at annual meeting.
- 1993 – FoW incorporated and receives 501c3 tax-exempt status.
- 1993 – 70th Anniversary of the Wapack Trail celebrated at the Wapack Lodge with hikes, one led by Mead Cadot, followed by open house at Shieling State Forest – displays, presentations by Connie Hall, Sandy Eneguess, Al Jenks. Commemorative patch issued.
- 1993 – Wapack Lodge struck by lightning and destroyed by fire July 29, 1993.
- 1993 – Cabot Skyline dedicated at Annual Meeting in honor of Tom Cabot. Award given to Tom Cabot “The greatest contributor to the future of the Wapack Trail.”
- 1995 – Agreement with Hampshire Country School “right of first refusal” for trail easement for the Wapack Trail on their property across Pratt and New Ipswich Mts.
- 1995 – Marion Davis Trail and Wapack Trail major relocations at the summit of Pack Monadnock.
- 1996 – Berry Pasture Trail opened on New England Forestry Foundation’s Lincoln-Davis Memorial Forest in Sharon. Ribbon cutting ceremony with NEFF July 20, Pot Luck lunch at Bass Park in Sharon, music by the Wapack Brass Band.
- 1997 – Trail easement under NH Municipal Trails Act for the Wapack Trail on NEFF property along the Temple Mt. Ridge signed. Agreement between NEFF, the Towns of Sharon and Temple, and Friends of the Wapack.
- 1997 – Midstate Trail relocated to coincide with the Wapack Trail over Mt. Watatic. FOW adopts the former route of the Midstate Trail around Mt. Watatic and names it the State Line Trail.
- 1997 – Recognition award from FOW given to Lorna Marshall to mark the 25th anniversary of her and her late husband Laurence’s gift of 1,600 acres to the USFWS to create the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge. Group hike, followed by picnic lunch at the Marshall residence, music by Wapack Brass Band, July 19, NH Trails Day.
- 1998 – 75th anniversary of the Wapack Trail celebrated at Windblown Cross Country Ski Area.
- 1998 – Award given to Jane Mutch at annual meeting for her ice storm clean up work.
- 2001 – Nature Conservancy’s Joanne Bass Bross Preserve created, protecting a section of the Wapack Trail between Pack Monadnock and North Pack.
- 2001 – Extensive bog bridges constructed at Binney Pond by Jacob Varney and the Ashby Boy Scouts – Eagle Scout project sponsored by FOW.
- 2002 – Mt. Watatic summit and northeast slope protected by partnership of several organizations, FOW support.
- 2002 – Roger Myrick Outlook dedicated.
- 2003 – 80th Anniversary of the Wapack Trail celebrated June 7 at Windblown. Talk by Al Jenks and hike led by Meade Cadot.
- 2003 – Spruce Knoll Trail opened by FOW and The Nature Conservancy, on the Joanne Bass Bross preserve on Pack Monadnock.
- 2003 – Larry Anderson, biographer of Appalachian Trail creator Benton Mackaye, presents at FOW annual meeting on “Benton MacKaye and the Wapack Trail: “Equipping a Region for Play”.
- 2004 – Bradley P. Dean, prominent Thoreau scholar, author, and editor of the Thoreau Society Bulletin, speaks at FOW annual meeting as part of the Thoreau Society’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Walden. His talk covered Thoreau’s connection to the Wapack Range and the Monadnock Region.
- 2007 – Memorandum of Understanding signed between FOW and USFWS for trail maintenance at the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge.
- 2007 – Homer J. Belletete parking lot on Temple Rd., Sharon, created – Jon McInerney and New Ipswich Boy Scouts Eagle Scout project sponsored by FOW. Dedication ceremony 2008.
- 2007 – Temple Mt. State Reservation created. The FOW was one of eight partners in the effort. Our donation of $12,500 with matching monies from the AMC Tom Cabot Wapack Protection Fund resulted in a $25,000 contribution to the successful campaign, which protected the Wapack Trail through the land of the former Temple Mt. Ski Area.
- 2008 – Northeast Wilderness Trust Wapack Wilderness easement established on Hampshire Country School property including the Pratt Mt and New Ipswich Mt ridge. Supported by FOW with donation of $12,500 plus matching monies from the AMC Tom Cabot Wapack Protection Fund resulted in $25,000 contribution to the campaign, protecting most of the trail over Pratt and New Ipswich Mountains.
- 2008 – Bog bridge project at Wapack National Wildlife Refuge. Freddy Wheeler and Townsend Boy Scouts Eagle Scout Project sponsored by FOW.
- 2008 / 2009 – The Great Ice Storm clean up – multiple weekends in Spring 2009.
- Distribution of trail guides, maps and other merchandise sourced to Monadnock Worksource.
- 2010 – Wapack Trail relocated through Windblown Cross Country Ski Area due to trail closure by abutter.
- 2012 – Connector trail created by FOW to the new parking lot at Wapack National Wildlife Refuge, Wapack north trail head.
- 2012 – Partnership with New England Forestry Foundation to support brush mowing and view clearing at the site of the former Berry Pasture – Berry Pasture Trail, Lincoln-Davis Memorial Forest, Sharon.
- 2013 – 90th anniversary of the Wapack Trail celebrated through the year with 5 guided hike events and presentations.
- 2014 – Restoration of historic CCC picnic shelter at Miller State Park by FOW.
- 2014 – Beebe Trail opened by FOW at Temple Mt. State Reservation in cooperation with NH DNCR.
- 2015 – All new “Guide to the Wapack Trail” published by FOW.
- 2015 – Bridge construction, Raymond Trail.
- 2016 – Northeast Wilderness Trust Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve created with support of FOW $25,000 donation. Approximately 1 mile of the Wapack Trail protected and 488 acres protected as forever wild.
- 2017– FOW is given a seat on the NH State Parks Advisory Council.
- 2018 – Frank Robbins Trail opened by FOW and NEWT at the Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve.
- 2019 / 2020 – Sawtelle Addition to the NEWT Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve project completed, supported by FOW with $5,000 donation and fund raising assistance, protecting a section of the Wapack Trail at Binney Pond.
- 2020 – 40th Anniversary of the Friends of the Wapack celebrated. The work continues.
Friends of the Wapack Through the Years
Thank you to everyone who has made our first 40 years a success!
First, thank you to the hundreds of people who have come to our trail work days, and a special thanks to our many Section Captains who have helped care for the trails over the past 40 years. Whether you adopted a trail section, came one time to a work day, or 100 times, your work is greatly appreciated. Without your help there would be no Wapack Trail.
Also we would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the many dedicated people who have served on our board or performed a special function. Their efforts have kept the all volunteer Friends of the Wapack organization going strong for 40 years! Our success is due to their dedication to the Friends of the Wapack and the Wapack Trail. Their work will always be remembered and appreciated! They are…
Jeannette Baker (A)
Lee Baker (S,TRP)
Gary Belliveau (S)
Bob Bingham (TRP)
Rick Blanchette (P,N,TRA,TG,WEB)
Chester Bowles (MC)
David Brooks (TG)
Tom Brumaghim (E2E)
Joanne Buck (S,W&M, MG)
Mitch Call (P,VP,W&M,MG,TG)
Ann Carlsmith (ND)
Nancy Carter (N)
Denise Chartrand (VP)
Jim Chartrand (T)
Wendy Christensen (S,MG,MC)
Brian Downey (H)
Leslie Erikson (N)
John Flanders (P,TG)
Roberta Flashman (MG)
Liz Freeman (N)
Mary Jane Grasty (VP)
Connie Hall (H)
Dwight Horan (VP)
Cecile Hyatt (H)
Ray Jackson (MAP)
Denise Johnson (TG)
Glenda Landry (S)
Paul Landry (TRA)
Jeff MacGillivray (P,VP, ROW)
David Malcolm Jr. (S)
Louise Malcolm (MG)
Jon McInerney (WEB)
Oliver Mutch (VP)
Bruce Myrick (VP,T,TRA,TG)
Roger Myrick (T)
Linda Ottavi (N)
Rose Marie Plante (ND)
Mike Przybyla (MAP,ROW,TM,TG)
Don Ray (SGN)
Anne Reed (MC)
Gordon Ripley (VP)
Bob Saari (CB)
Tom Sedgwick (W&M)
Sherisa Sterling (VP)
Jennifer Shultis (S,ND)
Jon Thunberg (P,S,T,W&M)
Dr. Edward “Pete” Twitchell
David Weir, Jr. (P,ROW)
- Officers: P = President; VP = Vice President; T = Treasurer; S = Secretary
- Committee Chairs: H=Historian ; N=Newsletter; ROW=Right of Way; TRA=Trails; TRP=Trips; W&M=Ways and Means
- Special Functions: A=Archivist; C/B=Carpenter/Builder; E2E=End to End Hike Leader; MAP=Map Maker; MG=Map/Guide Sales; MC=Membership Coordinator; ND=Newsletter Distribution; SGN=Sign Maker; TG=Trail Guide Team, Authors, Editors; TM=Trail Master; WEB=Webmaster