GREEN MOUNTAIN CLUB PARTNERSHIP
Years ago, the Mad River Glen Cooperative (MRG Co-op) granted a trail easement to the Green Mountain Club (GMC) where the Long Trail passes over Co-op property south of the Appalachian Gap. Since then, the Stark's Nest shelter - located on the Long Trail and open year 'round for skiers and hikers - has been rebuilt by the Co-op with grant support from SMF.
In 2008, SMF endowed the maintenance of the section of the Long Trail on Stark Mountain as part of the GMC's Second Century capital campaign. Since that time, the GMC has completed significant trail work on Stark's Wall by replacing rotten wooden ladders with steel rungs which blend into existing rock and are guaranteed to last a lifetime. New puncheons have also been installed in the muddy areas higher up. The two charitable corporations share a natural and symbiotic relationship in their initiatives to preserve the forests and ecosystem of Stark Mountain, while providing recreational access and preserving the area's unique character.
Recently, a generous grant from SMF enabled Mad River Glen to create a new network of hiking trails on General Stark Mountain. "Formalizing the hiking trail to the summit goes a long way in encouraging hikers to enjoy Mad River Glen and fulfill our mission of giving more people the opportunity to experience this magnificent area" says Mad River Glen President Jamey Wimble. The network includes a new official side trail to Vermont's Long Trail. SMF, the GMC and the MRG Coop work closely to steward the trail and maintain the Stark's Nest summit hut, Glen Ellen Lodge and the Theron Dean shelter.
MAD RIVER GLEN’S HISTORIC SINGLE-CHAIR RESTORATION
The Stark Mountain Foundation partnered with the Preservation Trust of Vermont to raise $1.7 million to restore Mad River Glen's historic Single Chair (the Single). The project included removing, sandblasting, repainting and reinstalling the lattice towers and framework with new concrete bases to assure safety. New chairs were built to the exact specifications of the originals, and while the original wire rope and lattice towers, as well as the return station framework were reused, a new electric drive with diesel backup, new sheaves, and safety systems were installed. The result is a Single that looks the same, feels the same, but is safer and longer-lasting than the original. All the work was completed with allegiance to the historic fabric of the Single and the unique experience of riding up the mountain remains unchanged.
kent thomas nature center
In 2003, the Stark Mountain Foundation, with the generous support of the Tauck Foundation, created the Kent Thomas Nature Center from an abandoned lift shack. The center serves as a memorial to its namesake Kent Thomas. Kent was a great friend of the Tauck family and an avid outdoorsman who spent many winters enjoying the recreational and social activities on Stark Mountain and at Mad River Glen. The Nature Center contains interpretive displays, preserved raptor and mammal specimens, geologic information and animal tracking guides. The Tauck family continues to provide funding for additional displays and building improvements. The Nature Center is open year-round and is enjoyed by day hikers, snowshoers and skiers of all ages.
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