View Full Version : Metacomet - Monadnock Trail

10-20-2004, 10:14 AM
Ok, a buddy of mine showed me this article in the local newspaper. I managed to dig it up from the internet for all of you to see.


Here is the issue. There are those out there who want to make the M-M carry a "National Scenic Trail Designation". This would protect the trail in its current state, which would in a way take land away from private owners.

Personally, I think this is just some politicians personal ajenda, but it is an interesting to talk about.

This is probably an issue VFTTers could have an impact on, politically.


10-20-2004, 11:29 AM
As I recollect, this same kind of question brewed up about the Long Trail in Vermont some time ago. In the end, the Green Mountain Club and other LT enthusiasts evidently decided it was not in the best interests of the trail to become part of the National Scenic Trails “system.”

In the past there has been some agitation to make the Adirondack Park in New York a national park. Possibly the same kind of thing has come up in regard to Baxter State Park in Maine.

I think putting a federal government imprimatur on a trail or park definitely can be and most likely is a mixed bag -- good in some ways, not so good in others. But the article says that better than I could!

Thanks for sharing the link.


10-20-2004, 12:13 PM
I have hiked a number of sections of the Mattabesett Trail in CT and agree that it is annoying to have to leave the woods and do a road walk to get to the next wooded section. However, I am not a big fan of “eminent domain” and believe that the land owners have the last say in what happens to their land. I would much prefer to see the trail in a trust rather than have the Feds mandate it as a scenic trail.

10-20-2004, 12:24 PM
The question is, what does that entail?
20 years or so ago, the AT , at least in Berkshire County, was being protected through land takings, and reroutings. I'm sure there were landowners and abutters who were upset by these actions, but I have to honestly say that I do not remember it being aired to the public. I believe the goal of the NPS was to have a 500 ft. corridor to protect the trail, and to get the trail into the woods, instead of on the streets.

Up until a few years ago, if you headed south from Mount Greylock into Cheshire, you walked along Outlook Ave., then down West Mountain Rd., across Rt.8, down Church St., then Furnace St., before you got into the woods to reach The Cobbles. The entire route across the valley was on pavement. It ain't like that anymore, which is the way it should be. In Dalton, you came off Tully Mountain and had to walk down Grange Hall Rd., along Rt.8, up Park St., before getting into the woods near The Boulders. Not anymore. I'm sure there's hundreds of examples like these from Maine to Georgia. I think the designation of National Scenic Trail was a very positive step for the AT. But I am not an abutter either.

Would this be helpful for the M-M? I don't know. The one point that bothers me is the reason for the Cowles family's origional discontent; the harrasment of them by elitest hikers. We HAVE to respect the rights and requests of the landowner, their generosity is a gift we should nuture and be thankful for. Don't abuse it, or take it for granted!

10-20-2004, 12:43 PM
Unless I missed something, it was Downey who had the run-in with the “elites” hikers. Jones was just upset that Olver was trying to have the trail designated a scenic trail without first contacting the landowners, which she had every right to be. I am all for maintaining and safe guarding trails, I just do not believe that the government can just dictate the terms of how you can use your own land.

And spare me the nuclear waste dump argument.

10-20-2004, 03:12 PM
Well Said E. Schlimmer!

Regarding hiking on privately owned property: more than ever, I think that as backpackers and hikers - temporary borrowers of land - we must establish a respectful bond with landowners. We cannot afford to have fallouts or disputes. Lest we be tainted with the elitiest label ourselves.

I did really like a comment by Cinda Jones (Cowls) "Snowmobilers aren't trying to legislate other people out of using the land,..." A very powerful statement and I understand her concerns that the federal government could dictate who could now use her property, or more importantly, who could not.

As a landowner who shares her land with us (and an active AMC member) I really respect her for what she is doing.

10-20-2004, 06:05 PM
What is meant by "frontcountry"? I never seen or heard that term before.

thanks- brianW