Two weekends ago, students from Middlebury College worked on service projects here at Merck Forest. The final phase of the Farm Trail was one of the projects they completed. In 2012, Chris (trail maintenance coordinator) and various volunteers had started revamping the neglected farm trail, and, with the assistance of the Middlebury students, the connection to the farm was completed.
The Farm Trail provides another avenue for visitors to access the farm. It can be argued that it is the most exciting of the pathways to the farm, cutting up through various segments of the forest, old tree plantations, and new growth, before exiting on a hill that has a spectacular view down over the pastures and barn area.
The crew worked to remove sod along the edge of the hay field, but instead of delivering the chunks of grass to the compost pile, the vegetative clumps were saved on two flat beds, and hauled down to the Visitor Center on Friday (see next blog post for more information on the second part of this cool project!).
With new trail signs in the ground, and a freshly maintained walking surface on the trail, we invited our visitors to change up their usual route to the farm. Feel free to let us know what you think of the trail improvements.