In its eighth round in the fall of 2019, the Q2C Trail Grants program awarded 8 grants to projects totaling $48,144.85. Grants were awarded to projects including maintenance, bridge construction, and trail guides, both in print and online. The projects awarded grants in round eight were:
Project: Website and Online Mapping Enhancements for New England National Scenic Trail and the NH Metacomet-Monadnock Trail
Sponsor: Appalachian Mountain Club
The websites and online maps for these trails are unable to keep up with user demand and do not have the functionality that most users expect. This project would redesign the website to create a more streamlined layout and map, and a new page for long-distance hiking, which will increase use and enjoyment of the trail for both local communities and visitors. Community Center for GIS, participation from volunteers and long-distance hikers, and the AMC’s New England Trail Assistant will provide accurate information for the update. And both AMC and the Connecticut Forest & Park Association will keep the website updated with accurate maps, events calendars, facility reservations, etc.
Project: Trail Improvements for NH Audubon Demonstration Forest at Kensan- Devan Wildlife Sanctuary
Sponsor: Audubon Society of NH
This project will reopen a recreational trail system on the Kensan-Devan Wildlife Sanctuary and provide additional interpretation that focuses on habitat management for birds. Funds will be used to hire a Student Conservation Association trail crew to conduct comprehensive trail maintenance on 1.9 miles of trail on the sanctuary. NH Audubon will match funds to develop, print and install interpretive trail signage that educates visitors on the sustainable forestry practices demonstrated on the property.
Project: Interpretive Elements for Distant Hill Nature Trail
Sponsor: Cheshire County Conservation District
Distant Hill Nature Trail (DHNT) is a mile-long, wheelchair and stroller accessible gravel trail on 21 acres of forested land in Alstead, NH, which opened 3 years ago. Since then, more than 1500 visitors have used the trail. This project will add an important educational component to that experience with the installation of marker posts along the existing trail at key points of interest, creation of a pamphlet that has interesting and educational facts about each numbered stop, and creation of scavenger hunt lists for young visitors. This project also includes trailhead kiosk improvements, development of additional accessible trail, and improvement of 900’ of existing trail to open up access to Walpole hiking trails.
Project: New Trail at the Britton Forest
Sponsor: Hanover Conservancy
The Hanover Conservancy will build a 1/5-mile loop trail in its newly acquired Britton Forest on Moose Mountain with the help of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance High School Trail Corps in Summer, 2020. The youth crew will rough out the trail over three days, followed by Hypertherm volunteers who will finish the trail and build drainage crossings if required. Funds will be used to hire the high school trail corps and a cartographer to create a new map.
Project: The 8th Edition of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Guide
Sponsor: Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club
The MSGTC is in the midst of publishing a new eighth edition trail guide for the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. The trail guide will be a modern-day makeover of the previous edition to include six section maps with accurate trail descriptions, camping options, highlights, and the history of the trail. Also included in the trail guide will be maps and trail descriptions for Mount Monadnock, Pillsbury State Park, and Mount Sunapee. It will be produced in full color throughout and spiral bound. Q2C funds will be used to help offset printing costs. The eighth edition is due out by year’s end 2019.
Project: Underwood & Kirby Conservation Area Bridges
Sponsor: North County Land Trust
During 2019, North County Land Trust has focused on improving the trail system at the Underwood Conservation Area. This funding will be used to replace 2 bridges, with labor provided by volunteers. A series of bridges that cross a boggy area on the Underwood Conservation Area are broken and rotting. The replacement bridge will be built of pressure-treated lumber that will be more suitable for mountain bikes and equestrians and will last many years. In addition, a small bridge is needed on the Kirby Conservation Area where run-off from an easement is a serious nuisance—and sometimes a major obstacle—to hikers. Well-built bridges in these locations will benefit all users.
Project: Smith Pond Shaker Forest Route 4A Trail Access
Sponsor: Upper Valley Land Trust
Upper Valley Land Trust will construct a trail-head parking lot, a kiosk, and interpretive signage to provide welcoming access to the 7.8 acres of trails at the Smith Pond Shaker Forest Conservation Area. Improvement of an old log landing will provide parking for approximately 18 cars and a school bus turnaround, providing more hands-on learning possibilities for young children and providing more access to visitors to the Enfield Shaker Museum, a mile away from the trail entrance. Installation of a kiosk and interpretive signage will allow visitors to see the landscape scale of the Shaker water system, as well as appreciate the beautiful natural resources of the property.
Project: Q2C Trail Finder Community Support
Sponsor: Upper Valley Trails Alliance
Trail Finder is a free landowner- and trail manager-friendly online trails resource. It is designed to empower local communities to serve residents and visitors in Vermont and New Hampshire. Funds for this project will be used for staff time to engage trail managers and to encourage additions to Trail Finder. Staff will then gather information on Q2C trails—including existing maps, descriptions, photos, GPS data—upload content, and promote new trail postings with marketing. Publishing these trails online will provide a public online mapping resource for the community and for visitors, to help ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of local Q2C trails.