Trails, trials and transcendent experiences

With summer on the horizon, we are recruiting our trail crew for 2016. Many of you have been out there with tools in hand in the past, and you know that sort of transcendent feeling you get at the end of the day as you walk back through the work you have accomplished. I can’t think of many more satisfying moments. I invite you back out this summer to continue the good work.

Our trail work this summer will include finishing the reroute of the first mile of Scotchman Peak Trail #65, a day in Morris Creek working on the new tread built by Wilderness Volunteers last summer, and a work weekend on the Spar Peak Trail. FSPW Uber-Volunteer Brad Smith is also leading a two-day work party on Goat Mountain Trail — one without power tools! If you have a hankering to run a cross-cut (or have one to bring or loan), Brad would love to talk to you.

Not all of you are trail workers and that’s OK. We need lots of different types of volunteer work to move the Scotchmans forward, and I’m grateful for all that each of you do. One of our new opportunities this year is fire recovery monitoring. We are choosing a number of places from which to “watch” the forest recover over the next decade. Some of them are relatively easily accessed from roads and lower trail segment. We  also have  higher vantage points to visit, including a couple of very remote spots. The idea is for someone or a series of someones to stand in the same spot looking the same direction each year and take pictures that can be compiled into a collection that will show how the forest recovers from fire. We are setting up GPS locations around the proposal now, and will be “adopting” them out in the near future. If you are interested in this program, write to

Thanks again for volunteering with Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. Let’s have a great summer!

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About The Author:

Sandy Compton has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009. He is also a storyteller and author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and the publisher at

In addition to his other duties, he runs the FSPW All Star Trail Team (, which works on Forest Service trails in the Scotchman Peaks. He is a trail surveyor as well, and a C-Certified Crosscut Bucker/Feller and USFS National Saw Policy OHLEC instructor.

Sandy grew up on a small farm/woodlot at the south end of the proposed wilderness and lives there still. He is also board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and a planning team member for the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

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