Trail Magic on Elm Street

Trail Magic on Elm Street -- (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Clearly defining "trail magic" is almost as difficult as putting "love" into words. Once you see it or feel it, however, you'll know.

My favorite example of trail magic was found on Elm Street in Norwich, Vermont on Monday, July 30, 2012.

Although I live near the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Georgia, my work allows me to travel the AT in search of hikers, special spots, and festivals north and south.

My delightful duty brought me to Hanover, New Hampshire to track the trail through town. If you love the AT, that's a bountiful day "at the office."

As the pictures below will attest, the trek was tremendous. As Suzannah and I crossed the Connecticut River heading from Hanover to Norwich, we looked for our beloved white blazes as prospectors search for gold.

As with most prospectors, we didn't always find what we were looking for ... until given directions by folks along the road.

Soon we were on Elm Street.

Glorious New England homes ... graced with wisdom and stories that only walls could tell line the lane.

One home in particular stood out from all the others. Not because of fancy foreign cars in the driveway, manicured lawns or opulent window treatments.

This home had a simple stool out front ... with homemade cookies offered to AT thru-hikers.

A colorful sign, carefully printed and lovingly expressed said, "trail mgic." (Yes, the "a" was missing, but the artist gets an "A" for the sign anyway.)

A child was being trained in the way he or she should go. The artistry included a winding path across the top of the page and pine trees decorating the "t" in trail.

Wisely, the sheet was shielded from the elements in a plastic protector.

Hanover and Norwich are official Appalachian Trail Communities because of their devotion to the AT and their commitment to its preservation for future generations.

But in Norwich, future generations seem to be carrying their load too.

We thank you ... dear friends on Elm Street ... for your trail mgic and your love of the AT and those who need cookies to complete their journey.

Click Here for AT Community Hanover, NH

Click Here for AT Community Norwich, VT

The Dartmouth Outing Club (ODC) Velvet Rocks Shelter sign in Hanover, NH. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Suzannah (semi-Supreme Allied Commander of my company) and Laura, a charming resident of Hanover. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The Appalachian Trail northward to Velvet Rocks shelter. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Photo: Robert Sutherland

The way to Mount Katahdin. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The Co-Op in Hanover is hiker friendly. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The newly blazed trail through Hanover. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The bridge over the Connecticut River between Hanover and Norwich is beautiful, but how often do you see signs not to jump off giant bridges? (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Norwich, Vermont, is an Appalachian Trail Community indeed. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Elm Street, Norwich, Vermont. The home of Trail Magic. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The view from the Elm Street Bridge. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The ODC's AT Happy Hill shelter sign. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The Happy Hill shelter trailhead. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Photo: Robert Sutherland

The Appalachian Trail beckons. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Take a walk in the woods ... on the Appalachian Trail. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Hiking Gear, Appalachian Trail Community, Festivals, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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