DUMMERSTON — On Saturday, Sept. 16, Green Mountain Conservancy celebrates the opening of the new North Trail at Deer Run Nature Preserve with a pair of hikes led by trail builder Roger Haydock, and naturalist and ecologist Dan Dubie. All interested should meet at Deer Run Nature Preserve Trailhead, 940 Camp Arden Rd., at 9:30 a.m.
Haydock will lead the North Trail hike, which joins three existing trails at the Preserve. It begins where the Shoulder Trail ends at a viewpoint looking north at the Grassy Brook Valley, northwest up the West River Valley, and looking down on the horse stables far below.
After this vista, the North Trail enters an oak-hop hornbeam savanna, zigzags through hemlock woods, and passes jumbled boulders. Eventually it emerges at the north end of 50 acres of floodplain fields, which the trail crosses to reach its end point on the West River.
The total distance from the parking lot and back is 7 miles with a vertical climb of 1,500 feet. Only the energetic should attempt this hike. Bring water and a snack or lunch.
The North Trail is the second to last addition needed to create a 7-mile loop trail at Deer Run. The final section to complete that goal, called the Meadow Trail, is currently under construction and will be open in 2024.
Organizers say Dubie, who is fairly new to the Brattleboro area, is becoming known for his incredible knowledge of all aspects of our region's forests and wild lands.
On this walk with Dubie, hikers can expect to explore the woods of Deer Run Nature Preserve in detail, stopping to wonder at the remainder of a red pine plantation planted after the Hurricane of 1938 decimated the white pine forest, or to figure out why there is a ravine here and a plateau there, or what caused that pillow in the forest floor right next to a deep crater.
The mushrooms along the trail are plentiful this year, and some are edible. Hikers will learn the name of the tiny plant that can be discovered on close observation of an old log and the name of the bird that is vociferously accompanying participants on this walk. The total distance of this meander will be as far as the hikers want to go. Those interested are asked to bring water and a snack or lunch.
If there are questions about either hike, contact the Green Mountain Conservancy at 802-257-0012 or [email protected].
This Town and Village item was submitted to The Commons.