The Green Mountain Club today expressed strong support for the Green Mountain National Forest temporary closure. This closure applies to the Appalachian Trail through Vermont and the Long Trail system from the Massachusetts border to Mt. Ellen in Warren. The Green Mountain Club manages the Long Trail as well as most of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and private land owners. ‘There is so much work to do in Vermont communities up and down the Green Mountains and now is not the time for hiking in those areas,’ said Will Wiquist, executive director of the Green Mountain Club. ‘Hiking on the National Forest in these areas could be dangerous and could also get in the way of important recovery efforts.’ With the Labor Day weekend taking place, the club also noted that the towns of Duxbury and Huntington have closed the roads leading to the primary trails on Camels Hump. Camels Hump Road in Duxbury is entirely closed and is extremely dangerous and impassible. Access to the mountain from the Huntington side is closed due to a land slide. Hikers are advised to avoid hiking Camels Hump until further notice. ‘Closed means closed,’ he said. ‘Both overnight and day hikers should not enter the national forest at all. There are hikes available on northern Vermont summits like Mt. Hunger, Mt. Mansfield, and Laraway Mtn.’ In general, the Long Trail itself appears to have survived tropical storm Irene with relatively minimal damage. The club has been maintaining a detailed list of trail conditions and road reports related to hiking trails. While far from comprehensive, this is an excellent resource for hikers. Even so, Wiquist advises, ‘hike and drive with caution even in places seemingly unaffected by Irene, as the entire trail network has not yet been fully assessed. And of course heed all federal, state and local road closures.’ The Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine, overlaps the Long Trail from Massachusetts to Killington, Vt. then diverges from the Long Trail and heads east toward New Hampshire. The ‘AT’ lost at least two bridges in Vermont. The AT is closed in Vermont ‘ from Massachusetts to Norwich, Vt. Green Mountain Club’s seasonal caretakers and Long Trail Patrol have spent most of this week working to help Waterbury village residents recover from the flood. The club plans to send its Appalachian Trail Conservancy- and Green Mountain National Forest-sponsored Volunteer Long Trail Patrol to a local community in southern Vermont with help from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. For the holiday weekend, caretakers have returned to the northern Long Trail.