Showing posts from May, 2012

Free Trail-gating party at Branbury State Park this weekend

Saturday June 2nd, 2012 is National Trails Day! This is the 20th annual National Trails Day. The event was created as a trail awareness program by the American Hiking Society. We encourage you to get out and hike, bike, or paddle your favorite route on June 2nd, or find a new favorite! Vermont State Parks is also co-sponsoring a National Trails Day event, and YOU’RE INVITED! Location : Branbury State Park and the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area in the Green Mountain National Forest. Meet at Branbury, the hike/bike will start there and head into the National Forest. When : Saturday, June 2nd from 10am until 2pm (Feel free to stay longer and enjoy the park and trails on your own!) 10:00 am : Your choice of an easy to moderate guided hike to Silver Lake or an advanced 11 mile mountain bike ride (bring your own bike) on the newly re-opened and reconstructed Leicester Hollow and Chandler Ridge Trails within the Green Mountain National Forest. You can also choose to hike on you

Getting the Parks Ready to Open: What Grows Up, Does Come Down

Leaves of Brilliance and Pain by Eric Bouchard, Assistant Ranger at Maidstone State Park Every autumn thousands of tourists flock to Vermont to enjoy the breathtaking views Mother Nature has to offer. With the changing of the seasons come the most brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. The awe-inspiring views are enough to attract individuals from hundreds even thousands of miles away. However, what happens to that leaf litter after peaking and falling to the ground? After a snowy Vermont winter does it all simply disappear? I know two Maidstone State Park Rangers that would say “Heck NO!” Beginning the season April 29, both Mark and Eric, strapped with 2 high powered leaf blowers, have spent nearly 80 hrs a piece clearing leaves from campsites, beaches, roadsides, culverts and all other park facilities, getting it ready for the Memorial Day weekend opening. Let’s just say that after a long days work leaf blowing and fighting off swarms of black-flies, a good meal, a few po

What's with the Foam I Saw on the Trees Yesterday?

A park visitor emailed us this question today: Hi, I was walking in the woods behind my house in Fairfield, Vermont today and I noticed white foam on a number of our trees especially most of the yellow birch and also some hemlock. On some of the trees there was quite a bit of this foam. Is this something that we should be concerned about? I don't remember ever noticing it before. Thank you for your help. Rebecca Phelps, our Conservation Coordinator, replies: You are very observant, and what you were observing was Chemistry in action! What you saw on the trunks of these trees was the formation of a crude soap. It has been really dry for awhile in Vermont, and when it is dry particles from the air deposit themselves on the surface of tree bark (like dust). This dust includes bits of salts, acids and other particles in the air. When it rains, these particles dissolve into a liquid solution. Soap is essentially a chemical mixture of salts and acids formed into a molecule, and tha