By: Lea Kilvádyová
Last month, Governor Scott, Congressman Peter Welch, and members of the Smugglers’ Notch Partners celebrated the opening of the Boardwalk at Barnes Camp Visitors’ Center in Smugglers’ Notch at Stowe. The five-foot-wide Boardwalk is approximately an eighth of a mile long and is a universally accessible portion of the Long Trail. The Boardwalk is built on spiral piers over a wetland and offers stunning, and previously unavailable views of the Notch. The Boardwalk is situated near Barnes Camp –a historic building built in 1927 — which played a key role in the development of Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy before the advent of ski lodges and resorts.
Mike DeBonis, Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club noted, “Wheelchair users and through hikers alike can enjoy the unique wetland, interpretative panels and spectacular views on this fully accessible portion of the Long Trail.” DeBonis added that the relocation of the Long Trail portion that connects to the Boardwalk will be completed in the Spring and hikers will be able to park at the Barnes Camp Visitors Center to hike over the Notch.
The Lamoille County Planning Commission served as project manager for the Boardwalk. Senator Sanders obtained a generous Federal Highway earmark that funded about eighty percent of the construction costs. The remaining funds were provided by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Green Mountain Club, Spruce Peak Resort Association, Lamoille County Planning Commission and Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.