Hamblin Farm located off Route 125, in Cornwall, is part of the Beaver Brook watershed. An area that MALT has been working on for many years with Amy Sheldon of Landslide. Inc. and the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). MALT plans to purchase the 99-acre parcel by the year's end and VLT will hold the perpetual conservation easement, which will prevent any further development on the property and will preserve its natural state.
The Beaver Brook watershed comprises 1/3 of the town of Cornwall, and includes a great diversity of land uses and natural resource communities. Roughly 43% of the watershed is in a natural condition, and the natural communities represented are in similar proportions to the way they were before settlement. The conservation of Hamblin Farm is a critical part of the watershed as it has been identified as an important wildlife corridor and represents a significant home to rare plant and forest communities. Liz Thompson, Director of Conservation Science at VLT explains that, "the most notable feature is the spectacular limestone cliffs, known as the Ledges. The cliff is striking in its contrast to the surrounding agricultural land as it rises to a height of 50-60 feet. The cliff and talus are of statewide significance as three of the plant species that occur there are considered uncommon and vulnerable."
We are encouraged by the support we have received for this project and are excited to add Hamblin Farm to the 946 acres that have already been preserved in the Beaver Brook watershed.
New Trail Spur off TAM - new map pdf available here.
MALT is excited to announce a new trail to the Middlebury area. The trail connects a well-used and loved recreation destination, Snake Mountain, an equally beautiful area to the West. Laid out by Middlebury College intern Emma Loizeaux and MALT’s trail planner John Derick, the trail is marked in blue and branches off of the Jackson Trail (the TAM section between Weybridge and Hamilton roads). It heads west through meadows and woods and crosses Weybridge Road south of Monument Farms before continuing down to James Road and Bittersweet Falls Road. It continues through a wooded area, before opening to outstanding views of the Lemon Fair watershed, farmland, and Snake Mountain. The trail then makes its way northwest to Prunier Road. Emma and John led a group of hikers on this new section on Saturday October 20th.
This new trail not only provides another wonderful hiking and exploring opportunity to area residents, but is part of a larger vision of the National Park Service (NPS). Along with the NPS, MALT is working with the Green Mountain National Forest, Towns of Middlebury and Weybridge, and community members to extend the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) from its current endpoint in Crown Point, NY, through to Vermont’s Long Trail. The NCNST begins in Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota and currently traverses 1700 miles over seven states, making it the longest national trail in the United States. The prospect of having a national trail connect to Vermont's Long Trail and travel through Middlebury, including sections of the TAM, is very exciting and promises to draw additional folks to the area to experience the beauty of VT's landscape.
Trail access and development are integral to MALT’s mission, to provide and support recreational, educational and cultural opportunities for the community. The benefits to the community are priceless. MALT is dedicated to maintaining and providing this resource to the community while also working with the surrounding towns, organizations, businesses and community members in developing new opportunities. To find out more about MALT visit us at maltvt.org.
MALT has a new Executive Director! Come by the office sometime and meet Carl Robinson.
** The 2012 TAM Trek **
The sun was shining on a crisp fall day. Maple and oak trees were just beginning to show their fall colors, and the meadows were damp from an evening rain. A perfect day to take part in the 9th annual Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) Trek. More than 90 hikers, bikers, and runners gathered at the Marble Works to take part in this year’s trek. After words of welcome and thanks from MALT board member Jono Chapin and Executive Director Carl Robinson, the hikers boarded the Bet-Cha bus for the trail-head, and the runners and bikers set off.
Hikers, including groups from Middlebury Muffin Tops, Boy Scout Troop 536, Cub Scouts, Middlebury College Mountain Club, Flat Bread, and Phelps Engineering, as well as many individuals, enjoyed their journey through Otter Creek Gorge and Wright Park, this year’s highlighted trail section. Beginning at the trail-head on Morgan Horse Farm Road, heading east, this scenic trail wanders through meadows and wooded areas to Otter Creek. The trail crosses over Belden Falls and Dam on the Arnold Bridge, giving excellent views of the gorge. Hikers then traveled south along Otter Creek, past 30-foot limestone cliffs, and through marshes before gently climbing to the meadows of Wright Park.
Many runners and bikers headed out from the Marble Works to their favorite sections of the TAM, while some traversed the whole 17 mile loop. The Frost Mountain Nordic club had both a relay team and individuals run the whole trail. David Tier, his 9th trek, ran the loop in just over 5 hours. Amy Roberts, Chris Anderson, Keith Wilkerson and Bruce Ingersoll also ran the whole trail. Middlebury College cross country runners also showed in number to support MALT and enjoy the TAM.
After their various treks on the TAM, everyone returned to the Marble Works for refreshments, goody bags, and prizes. In addition to participants, numerous sponsors and volunteers made the event a success. Funds raised support the TAM and public access to the recreational, educational and cultural opportunities it provides.
Vermont Champlain Valley wildlife tracking course seeks new participants.
MALT Summer Newsletter 2012 and Annual Report--click here for pdf.
The 2012 Summer Camp Series is now over. Stay tuned for next year! For more information, click here: http://maltsummercamp.blogspot.com/
We always need helpers on the TAM to pick up trash, cut brush and branches, and sometimes move serious stuff like trees or gravel wet areas. Let us know if you want to help out, or just bring your clippers along on your regular hikes. That poison parsnip grows faster than we can cut it! Many thanks for your help, in advance.
2012 HIKE SERIES
Saturday, November 10
Don't miss a hike because you forgot!
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Family Quest at Wright Park, Saturday, July 7
Primitive Skills Hike, Saturday, July 28, 9 am.
National Trails Day, Saturday June 2
Believer Tour, Benjamin Elton Capps, cellist, performs a concert to benefit MALT, Friday, May 25, 7:30 pm, at the Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury. This great young cellist performed works by J.S. Bach, C.A. Piatti, E. Premo, and B. Britten. Presented by Burlington Ensemble to help fundraise money for Vermont based non-profit organizations, develop audiences for classical music and introduce Burlington Ensemble to local communities. For more information, visit burlingtonensemble.com.
Nature of Middlebury and Chipman Hill, Saturday April 14, 10:00 am
New TAM map available soon! The 2008 TAM Map is available - Come on over to the office for a copy, or find it around Middlebury at businesses, tourist spots, and Ilsley Library. The map also shows fishing and boating access points. TAM Map 2008
Annual Reports and Newsletters: