Recent Grants Awarded to the Club

May, 2013 - The RMC has been successful in a grant application under the state of NH's Recreational Trails Program.  The grant request for $17,000 is an 80/20 match meaning that the Club must spend approximately $21,000 to fulfill the terms of the award.

The work outlined in the grant request will include improved drainage control, tread way enhancement, installation of bog bridges, step stones, rock staircases,and other structures as indicated on the Link and Cliffway trails.  

The RMC is extremely grateful for the support that this program provides as it allows for the continued employment of a professional trailcrew and the never ending process of maintaining the 102 miles of trails that our members and thousands of others enjoy.  The RMC hopes that club members and the public get to see the before and enjoy the after of this season long project.

Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program  


May, 2010 - The RMC was awarded a $10,183 grant from the New Hampshire State Bureau of Trails, Recreational Trails Program. The money will fund a 2010 RMC Fall Trail Crew for erosion control work on the Diagonal Trail. The RMC will match at least $3,058 towards the project. :

Project Location and Proposed Work
The project consists of erosion control work on RMC's Diagonal Trail. The Diagonal is located within the town of Randolph, between Durand Road and Randolph Hill Road. The trail is one of the oldest in the region, having been built in the late 1890's. At the time of its construction, it served as an important connector between two hotels in town, the Ravine House and the Mountainview House. Today, the Diagonal is one of the main connector paths within the town and is used heavily by local residents, in addition to tourists. In the winter, the Diagonal is popular with snowshoers and cross country skiers.

Long sections of the Diagonal are frequently wet. In 1995, the RMC installed nearly four dozen cedar and tamarack bog bridges over this stretch. Now, 15 years later, the bog bridges are in need of replacement. RMC proposes a more permanent, but labor-intensive solution: construction of turnpiking and causeways along this stretch. Where such work is not advisable or possible, the club proposes to install rock steps or, at a minimum, replace the rotting bog bridges.

Maps of the trails are attached. Because of the density of trails in this area, the recent RMC map is more accurate than the USGS map. The project is located on private land. Permission letters from the two private landowners are attached.

The work in this project involves erosion control efforts, including building rock and log waterbars, ditching, building of rock steps and rock scree, and construction of cedar and tamarack bog bridges.

RMC believes that this project will help to meet New Hampshire's recreation trail goals, by working to stop erosion of an existing, popular backcountry trail. The Diagonal also has a number of cedar and tamarack bog bridges that are now in need of replacement.

This project will benefit community needs by protecting a popular hiking trail in the Northern White Mountain region. By keeping the Diagonal open and in good condition, RMC will be able to offer hiking access to all members of the public. As a shorter trail with a number of scenic locations, the Diagonal is popular for those seeking a short day hike or a hike that is suitable for older hikers or families with small children.

Material, Equipment, Methods and Costs
Materials and methods used to accomplish this project will be similar to previous RMC trail crew projects. Trail crew members will use equipment such as mattocks and grub hoes to dig ditches, clippers and axes to remove vegetation, along with rock bars, come-alongs and grip-hoists to move rocks for step stones, scree and rock stairs. Occasionally, chainsaw-certified crew members will run a power saw.

The methods used by RMC are those outlined in the State of New Hampshire's Best Management Practice for Erosion Control During Trail Maintenance and Construction. For additional information, see the trail crew information, in the Mountain Jobs section of the RMC web site, at http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/

The costs for the project are almost entirely labor costs to pay for our trail crew's time. Volunteers will provide the grant match amount. A relatively small portion of the grant costs are for cedar and tamarack bog bridge materials.

Work Schedule
A crew of four trail crew members will work on the project from September through October, 2010. The crew will work Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, and will stay at RMC's Randolph valley facility for its trail crew, Stearns Lodge.

Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program
Photos of the Diagonal Trail Project (2010)


April, 2007 - The RMC was awarded a $14,150 grant from the New Hampshire State Bureau of Trails, Recreational Trails Program. The money will fund the RMC's Trail Crew for two summers of trail work on trails leading to Lookout Ledge.

The proposed project consists of erosion control work on two trails: the Ledge Trail and Pasture Path. Together, these trails are the two most commonly used routes to Lookout Ledge, a scenic vista that looks south to a dramatic view of the Northern Presidential Range, and East to the Carter Range and various peaks in Maine. The viewpoint is popular both with local residents and tourists.

Ledge Trail begins adjacent to the historic Ravine House site, off of Durand Road in Randolph. For nearly 100 years, the Ledge Trail was a center for hiking and exploration in the Northern Presidential Range. Today, the site is a park maintained by the Town of Randolph. The trail runs for 1.1 miles, before joining Pasture Path for the final climb to Lookout Ledge. Ledge Trail has been in continuous use since 1882, and has no drainage or erosion structures on it.

Pasture Path, built in the 1890's, runs from the Randolph hill area, west to Lookout Ledge. The specific portion of the Path proposed for work is from High Acres Road, west to Ledge Trail, a distance of 1.4 miles.

The majority of the mileage of these trails are on the Randolph Community Forest. The Randolph Mountain Club is the designated activity manager for hiking trails on the Community Forest. The remainder of the project is located on private land. Permission letters from the Randolph Community Forest and private landowners are attached.

The work in this project involves erosion control efforts, including building rock and log waterbars, ditching, building of rock steps and rock scree, and construction of cedar and tamarack bog bridges. A log of the specific work proposed is attached.

Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program
Photos of the Lookout Ledge Trails Project (2008-2009)


January, 2007 - The club has been awarded a $2,000 grant from The Waterman Fund for alpine zone trail work.

The goal of RMC's Lowe's Path Stewardship project is to combine on-the-ground trail work and trail restoration with other elements of stewardship, including education of hikers at nearby Gray Knob and Crag Camp, as well as RMC members. In addition, the RMC hopes to further the discussion among land managers and trail workers in the White Mountains, regarding trail work principles in the alpine zone.

In terms of trail work, the RMC plans to employ a highly skilled, three person trail crew. The crew will work during September and October, as weather dictates. Using a log developed in partnership with the US Forest Service, the club will undertake alpine trail work, including cairning, recairning, drainage construction, low scree walls, brush scree and rubble to reduce trail "threading."

To accomplish the work, RMC will use generally accepted materials and methods. Operating on the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), the RMC will use alpine trail work methods and materials as developed by the Forest. A copy of those standards is available upon request.

There will be three educational components to the project, as follows:

1. Alpine Trail Work Principles Discussion
The RMC plans to convene the major partners in trail work in the WMNF, including WMNF trail work supervisors, AMC, DOC and Sandwich Range Conservation Association, to facilitate a discussion on the principles of alpine trail work. The goal of the meeting would not be to spell out specific standards, which are, after all, set by the land manager-- in RMC's case, the WMNF. Rather, the RMC hopes to develop a simple, limited set of guiding principles that would underpin future alpine trail work standards, and which might also be shared with adjacent regions. For example, one guideline might be "scree walls should be as low as possible, to reduce the visual and aesthetic impact to passing hikers," rather than spelling out a recommended height. Another example might be, "photomonitoring of all alpine trail work, including before and after photographs is encouraged." The RMC hopes that these principles will be shared with trail crews performing work in the alpine zone, so they understand the broader implications and objectives of such work.

2. Photo Documentation
The RMC will take photos of the project, and will create three, identical photo albums. One each will be placed at Gray Knob, Crag Camp and Stearns Lodge, RMC's new facility for its trail crew and caretakers, in Randolph valley. The albums will include captions, explaining the goal of the work and the principles involved, so that guests to RMC facilities and future trail crews will have a basic understanding of the work. The album will also be placed online on the RMC web site, at randolphmountainclub.org, in the club's alpine stewardship section.

3. RMC Newsletter article
The RMC will produce an article on the project, with photos, for RMC's twice-annual newsletter. The goal of the article will be to explain alpine trail work principles to RMC's membership.

The RMC is in a strong position to assure the ongoing maintenance of Lowe's Path. The club annually fields two trail crews and a Field Supervisor. The club is now completing Stearns Lodge, a permanent home for its trail crews and caretakers, thereby eliminating seasonal housing as the greatest ongoing challenge to the operation of the club's field work. The RMC's trail crew is funded primarily by club dues and donations. State and Federal grants and club endowment provide an additional source of income. The RMC sees no reason why the work funded by this project cannot be maintained for years to come.

The club will match the $2,000 request of the Waterman Fund with funding from the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF).

The club would like to support the project with more funding, but finances preclude that possibility. After funding its annual operations, the club has little extra funds for additional projects, such as this proposed effort. The club will support the project in other ways, including volunteer oversight, and use of the RMC trails infrastructure, including tools, Gray Knob cabin, Goetze workshop and Stearns Lodge.

The RMC would start this project in early September, and would work through October. The two-month period allows for plenty of off days, so the crew will work only during good weather, which will help to improve the productivity during those days.

Related Links

The Waterman Fund Web Site
Lowe's Path Alpine Trail Work Project Slideshow (Fall 2007)


October, 2005 - $100,000 Challenge Grant Awarded to the Randolph Mountain Club.

A $100,000 challenge grant has recently been awarded by the Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation to fund one-third of the cost of a base camp project of the Randolph Mountain Club.

The RMC, which maintains more than 100 miles of hiking paths and four rustic cabins on the side of Mt. Adams on the northern slopes of the Presidential Range in the White Mountain National Forest, is committed to raising $300,000 to build a camp on a parcel of land in Randolph Valley that will house members of the RMC's seasonal trail crew and provide a base for the camps' caretakers. To obtain the funding, however, the RMC must meet the challenge by raising an additional $50,000.

After a strong vote of support at the RMC's 2004 annual meeting, the board of directors decided in late spring to proceed with the fundraising needed to build a simple but functional building. The wood-frame camp will include a kitchen and large living room as well as bathroom and laundry facilities, but crew members will continue to spend their 11-week summer work season sleeping in semi-permanent canvas tents which are erected each June on wooden platforms.

Board members and close friends of the Club had already raised $150,000 - half its goal in donations and pledges - when the trustees of the Stearns Foundation stepped forward with an extremely generous offer to match $2 for every $1 that the RMC received in new donations.

Miss Stearns was a summer resident of Randolph for many years, an ardent conservationist, and an active member of the RMC who quietly supported a number of initiatives within the town.

"A base camp will be a tremendous asset to the RMC," said Club president Jamie Maddock. "It holds the key to the Club's ability to continue to maintain its paths on the northern side of the Presidential Range and on the southern side of the Crescent and Kilkenny Ranges, as well as important trails in Jefferson. It also will make significant difference in the Club's ability to hire caretakers. RMC's paths and camps not only provide service to the hikers who use them, but will also serve to strengthen the RMC's long tradition in the mountains."

The RMC will celebrate its centennial year in 2010.The RMC is a volunteer-run organization that operates without any permanent staff. About a quarter of its members live in and around Randolph, and half of its members live in New Hampshire. The remainder lives across the country and around the world, with many coming to Randolph, a small town with a year-round population of less than 350, every summer or whenever they can work it into their schedules.

Contributions to serve as a match for the Stearns Foundation gift can be mailed to the Randolph Mountain Club, P. O. Box 279, Gorham, N. H. 03581. Contributions are tax deductible.

Related Links

Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation
RMC Basecamp Project Information


April, 2005 - The RMC was awarded a $14,200 grant from the New Hampshire State Bureau of Trails, Recreational Trails Program. The money will fund the RMC's Trail Crew for three summers of trail work in the Town of Randolph.

The proposed project consists of erosion control work on Randolph Mountain Club trails within the town of Randolph. The trails covered in the grant request are some of RMC's shorter paths, and connect together different areas of town. The trails are used by both local residents, and tourists who are looking for shorter walks, or are using the paths to access the Crescent Range or Lookout Ledge, a popular viewpoint for the Northern Presidentials.

The trails in this grant application are on land owned by the Town of Randolph and by a number of private landowners. Town lands are managed by the Town Selectmen and the Randolph Conservation Commission. Most of the trails are at least 50 years old, while some even predate the creation of the Randolph Mountain Club, in 1910.

This project will help to meet statewide recreation trail goals, by working to reduce erosion on existing, popular hiking trail. The trails are both a local resource, and a regional resource, since the users consist of north country residents and tourists, alike.

This proposed project will benefit community needs by protecting popular trails in New Hampshire's North Country. By keeping these trails open and in good condition, RMC will be able to offer hiking access to all members of the public.

Materials and methods used to accomplish this project will be similar to previous RMC trail crew projects. Our trail crew members use hand tools, with the exception of USFS chainsaw-certified crew members, who will occasionally operate a chainsaw. The crew will use tools such as mattocks and grub hoes to dig ditches, clippers and axes to remove vegetation, along with rock bars and grip-hoists to move rocks for step stones and rock stairs. For more information on specific techniques, see the trail crew information, in the Mountain Jobs section of the RMC web site, at http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/

The Randolph Mountain Club has been responsible for the maintenance of these trails since the club's founding. The club remains healthy, from both a membership and financial position. With the combination of volunteer efforts and our trail crews, we anticipate continuing to be able to maintain these trails.

Matching funds for this project come directly from the RMC. RMC funds for trail work, in turn, come directly from member dues and donations.

All of the administration of the RMC is accomplished by club volunteers, so none of the grant funds will be used for administrative overhead. All of the grant money will go directly to trail work.

The specific work involved in this project involves erosion control efforts, including building rock and log waterbars, ditching, building rock steps and rock scree, and construction of bog bridges. In addition, RMC will improve the basic maintenance of the trail, including brushing, blazing and signage.

If granted, RMC would accomplish this work during the summers of 2005, 2006 and would complete the project by the end of the summer of 2007.

The RMC would use one of its two trail crews on this project. The crews start work during the first week of June, and work through late August of each year. On this project, we would plan to have the crew hike into the work site, given the relatively short distance to the project sites.


Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program
Photos of the Town of Randolph Trails Project (2005-2007)


March, 2003 - The RMC was awarded a $16,500 grant from the New Hampshire State Bureau of Trails, Recreational Trails Program. The money will fund the RMC's Trail Crew for three summers of trail work on the Crescent Ridge, Mount Crescent, and Carlton Notch Trails.

The proposed project consists of erosion control work on three trails maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club. Together, the Crescent Ridge Trail and Mount Crescent Trail (along with the Carlton Notch Trail) form several loops that are popular hikes in this region. The Crescent Ridge Trail begins at Lookout Ledge, a well-known viewpoint, with one of the area's best views of the Northern Presidentials. The trail then proceeds over Mount Randolph and Mount Crescent, both of which are over 3,000 feet. The Mount Crescent Trail and Crescent Ridge Trails are both entirely in wooded terrain, but pass by several popular viewpoints, including Lafayette View, and the North and South Viewpoints of Mount Crescent.

The short Castleview Loop is a popular side trail, with a striking view of the Northern Presidentials from Castleview Ledge.

In 2002, the Town of Randolph completed a major protection effort, creating the 10,000 acre Randolph Community Forest, on lands previously owned by John Hancock Timber Resources Group and the Libby Company. A few months after the creation of the Community Forest, the Randolph Mountain Club applied for, and was designated as, the activity manager for hiking trails on the Community Forest.

With the hiking trails now permanently protected, thanks to the Town of Randolph and a conservation easement held by the State of New Hampshire, RMC is now in an excellent position to perform erosion control work on these trails, knowing they are protected in perpetuity.

This project would take place entirely on Randolph Community Forest lands. A permission letter from the Randolph Community Forest Commission is attached.

This project will help to meet statewide recreation trail goals, by working to stop erosion of an existing, popular backcountry trail. Portions of all three trails are in need of erosion control trail work. Photos, showing examples of the erosion, are attached.

Materials and methods used to accomplish this project will be similar to previous RMC trail crew projects. Our trail crew members will use hand tools, with the exception of chainsaw-certified Senior Crew members, who will occasionally operate a chainsaw. The crew will use tools such as mattocks and grub hoes to dig ditches, clippers and axes to remove vegetation, along with rock bars, come-alongs and grip-hoists to move rocks for step stones and rock stairs. For more information on specific techniques, see the Senior Trail Crew and SCA Trail Crew information, in the Mountain Jobs section of the RMC web site, at http://www.randolphmountainclub.org/

The Randolph Mountain Club has been responsible for the maintenance of these trails since the club's founding in 1910. The club remains healthy, from both a membership and financial position. With the combination of volunteer efforts, and our two summer trail crews, we anticipate continuing to be able to maintain these trails.

This proposed project will benefit community needs by protecting popular hiking trails in the Northern White Mountain region. By keeping these trails open and in good condition, RMC will be able to offer hiking access to all members of the public, from residents in the surrounding communities, to tourists from afar.

Matching funds for this project will come directly from the RMC. RMC funds for trail work, in turn, come from member dues and donations. (Overnight fees at RMC's facilities are designed to only cover the expense related to maintaining and staffing the camps, so as to keep fees as low as possible. They do not contribute to trail maintenance efforts.)

The specific work involved in this project involves erosion control efforts, including building rock and log waterbars, ditching, building of rock steps and rock scree, and construction of bog bridges. In addition, RMC will improve the basic maintenance of the trail, including brushing, blazing and signage.

If granted, RMC would accomplish this work during the summers of 2003, 2004 and complete the project in 2005.

The RMC would use a combination of its first year, Student Conservation Association Trail Crew, and its more experienced, Senior Trail Crew. The crews start work during the work week of June, and work through late August of each year. On this project, we would plan to have the crews either camp near the work sites, or hike into the work site, depending upon the distance to the trailhead.

Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program
Photos of the Crescent Range Project (2003-2005)


August, 2002 - The club was awarded a $4,700 grant from the Fields Pond Foundation plus an anonymous donation of $5,000 to assist in the creation of two new hiking trails in the Randolph Community Forest.

Several months ago, the Town of Randolph concluded a multiyear effort, to preserve more than 13,000 acres of land in the town. The parcel is strategically located between two sections of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). The project, initiated by the Town of Randolph, involved the US Forest Service, the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) and the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands. The project had widespread local backing, including financial support, as demonstrated by the attendance and tone of North Country residents from Randolph, Jefferson and neighboring communities in numerous meetings and discussions on the project, and by the overwhelming success of the Randolph Foundation in raising funds from area residents, businesses and charitable institutions.

Of the total acreage, 3,000 acres was within the proclamation boundary of the White Mountain National Forest and was transferred to the US Forest Service. The remaining 10,000 acres became the new Randolph Community Forest-- one of the largest town forests in New England.

One of the most dramatic and unique locations on the new Community Forest is the Pond of Safety, an area long popular with both local residents and visitors to the region. With the Community Forest now in place, the RMC intends to construct two new hiking trails during the fall of 2002. The new loop will provide hiking, skiing and snowshoeing access to an area rich in cultural and natural history.

The total length of the new trails is approximately five miles. The trails will traverse the Community Forest and an adjacent portion on the White Mountain National Forest.

The Town of Randolph understands that the new Community Forest has regional importance. The Pond of Safety area, so named because it was a haven for four revolutionary era soldiers, is an area abundant with cultural history, from native American habitation, to over 200 years of active logging. An old logging railroad, "Mount Sawdust" and sluiceways are just a few of the indicators of previous activity now found deep in the forest.

The Town of Randolph and the RMC want to share this rich natural and cultural history with residents and visitors and, in doing so, educate them about the natural and cultural history of the region, and provide an opportunity for the Randolph Community Forest Commission to explain the role of thoughtful, sustainable forestry in the region.

Therefore, we have planned for one of the two trails to be a "low key," interpretive trail. RMC has already received a $4,000 educational grant from the State of New Hampshire's Recreation Trails Program, for this purpose. The RMC will create a booklet, describing points and phenomena of interest. Two display panels with weatherproof storage boxes will be installed, one at each end of the loop trail. Booklets will be picked up at these boxes. Hikers, skiers and snowshoers would be able to follow the interpretive trail at their leisure, using the booklet on a self-guided tour.

The RMC is now seeking funding to support the construction of the trails. While the club has sufficient funds to accomplish its annual trails maintenance goals of fielding two, seasonal trail crews, the organization seeks additional funding to support a skilled trail crew to carry out this unique project during the fall of 2002.

Trails between Randolph and the pond have existed since the turn of the century. However, many of these trails were poorly located, and suffered from erosion and other drainage problems. The new trails have been very carefully laid out, and will avoid these design problems. Trail design was accomplished during the summer of 2001, with consulting support from Carl Demrow, one of New England's most experienced trail design experts. The RMC proposes to construct the trails this fall.

There is currently no such trail like this in the region-- one that blends low key, interpretive stops with a remote and comparatively pristine experience. The RMC believes this will be an exciting opportunity to share knowledge in a thoughtful and unobtrusive fashion. We envision the trail being used by RMC members, tourists, area residents, school classes and other organizations. When completed, the trails, along with the interpretive component, will serve for years to educate countless trail users about important conservation issues.

Any grant funds received will be leverage by a grant already in hand from the State of New Hampshire, and by funds committed by RMC. As of June, 2002, the club has paid $2,615 for the trail design. $4,000 is budgeted, and RMC expects to spend that full amount by the conclusion of the project. Additionally, another $4,002 has been committed by the State of New Hampshire's Recreation Trails Program, for development of the interpretive aspects of the trail.

Related Links

Fields Pond Foundation Web Site
Photo Gallery - Trail Work and Caretaking
Photo Gallery - Volunteers


January, 2002 - The club has been awarded a $1,200 grant from the The Waterman Fund to go towards a new display at Crag Camp.

The Randolph Mountain Club proposed to create a durable museum-quality display depicting landmarks hikers will encounter on their way through the fragile alpine areas above the camp. We believe this will be a near-ideal moment to reach out to visitors, who often rest at the cabin and frequently can be found reading posted materials. As such, Crag Camp is an ideal spot for educating folks—its users represent a captive, curious audience. Furthermore, hikers tend to use the camp as a launching point for excursions farther up the mountain—the very areas we are striving to protect. The RMC counts among its guests many French speaking visitors. Many of our Quebec guests are new to the alpine zone. Therefore, it is especially important that we reach this group of visitors in their native tongue.

The aim of this display will be to educate folks quietly about the importance of said landmarks. For instance, one vignette within the display might explain the presence and significance of cairns—trail markers whose purpose is not simply to guide hikers but also to protect the alpine zone. Another might call attention to bootleg trails and their aesthetic and environmental impacts. Other possible topics include: thoughtful winter travel above treeline, highlights of one or two plants unique to the alpine areas, and the prospects for the future of the alpine zone. In sum, the goal of the display will be to show how simple, thoughtful actions on the part of individual hikers can have a positive impact on this much-cherished and much-traveled environment.

Specifically, the RMC is looking to construct a 3’x 3’ mountable display for one of Crag Camp’s walls. The display would be made of varnished or stained wood, and would be uncluttered and simple in design, in keeping with the backcountry nature of the cabin. We expect that a total of 6-10 photos would be incorporated into the display, along with accompanying text. The display would be designed to be as durable as possible, and to survive the wide temperature swings and occasional knocks from backpacks, for many years to come. For cost estimates, the club has consulted with Dave Thurlow and Peter Crane, of Cumulus Consulting and the Mount Washington Observatory, respectively, two individuals with experience in such installations.

Guy Waterman was an RMC winter caretaker during the winters of '92-'93 and '93-'94. He is best known as the co-author, with his wife Laura, of Wilderness Ethics, Backwoods Ethics and Forest and Crag, among other books. His death, in February of 2000, sparked the creation of a fund in his honor.

In addition to the grant money awarded, the RMC will provide $1,320 towards the project.

Related Links

The Waterman Fund Web Site


March, 2001 - The RMC is pleased to announce that the club was awarded a $2,000 grant from the National Trails Endowment of the American Hiking Society. The grant will help pay for RMC trail crew and caretaker housing, to be constructed in May of 2001.

Related Links

National Trails Endowment of the AHS
National Trails Endowment press release


March, 2001 - The RMC received a $1,000 grant from the American Alpine Club for the trail crew and caretaker housing project.

Description of RMC's Trail Crew Housing Project:

The RMC has a unique opportunity to dramatically strengthen its trails program, with the addition of long-sought trail crew housing.

For nearly 100 years, the Randolph Mountain Club has fielded some form of a trail crew each season. In the last ten years, the club has significantly strengthened the trails efforts on its 100 miles of heavily used trails in New Hampshire's White Mountains, with the addition of trail crews skilled in erosion control construction techniques.

Perhaps the single biggest challenge the club faces is that of housing its two trail crews, of eight members total. For the last two decades, each spring the club has been faced with the challenge of finding seasonal housing for its crews. The result of this variable housing situation has been a lack of coordination among the crews, and additional work for crew members, supervisors and many volunteers.

Recently, however, the RMC received an extraordinarily generous offer-- a club member has offered to renovate and donate for RMC's use, a small house located in the center of the club's trails system. The proposed facility will provide an excellent base of operations for our trail crews, and will including cooking, dining and restrooms for the crew, and sleeping quarters for the RMC summer Field Supervisor. By itself, however, it is not large enough to include sleeping space for eight crew members.

During the coming year, RMC must raise nearly $12,000 to build eight tent platforms and purchase semi-permanent canvas tents. More than half of this funding will come directly from RMC members. We are looking to key foundations, area businesses and interested organizations to help the RMC bridge the gap and bring this project to fruition. RMC volunteers will spend several weekends during the spring of 2001, preparing the site and assisting with construction of the tent platforms.

Objectives of the Project:

The goal of this project is to solve what may be the club's biggest, long standing problem: housing for our seasonal trail crews. Our crews work from early June through August, putting an estimated 4,000 hours of work into RMC's trails network each season.

In the fall, a small RMC trail crew also requires housing, as they work to clean the drainages on RMC's trails network after the leaves have fallen and prior to the first snowfall. The facility will also provide housing for volunteers, some of whom travel great distances, to assist with various trails projects. With housing available, RMC hopes to expand its volunteer efforts, with the addition of periodic volunteer trail crews.

In accomplishing this objective, we also expect improved coordination, increased crew productivity and a slightly reduced
workload on the club's all-volunteer Board of Directors and Trails Director.

What resources will RMC contribute?

RMC will provide at least 50% of the funding, from donations from the club's more than 500 members. A special edition , fleece RMC hat is already on sale, as a fundraiser item for this project. The RMC will use a professional contractor to supervise and assist volunteers, who will will carry out the construction of the tent platforms. Finally, volunteer labor to stain the tent platforms.

All planning and fundraising for this project is accomplished solely by the RMC's volunteer Board of Directors.

Related Links

American Alpine Club Web Site
Photos of tent platform construction


March, 2001 - The RMC was awarded a $12,137.60 grant from the New Hampshire State Bureau of Trails, Recreational Trails Program. The money will fund the RMC's Trail Crew for two summers of trail reconstruction on the Ice Gulch Path, Peboamauk Fall Loop and Cook Path.

Description of Trails and Surrounding Area:

The Ice Gulch, located in the towns of Gorham and Randolph and accessed by trails maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club, is truly one of the natural gems of the state of New Hampshire. The Ice Gulch has been popular among both area residents and tourists for a century or more.

Known technically as a cold air talus woodland, the gulch is, in essence, a deep, narrow ravine, which forms a "reverse alpine zone." The length of the Gulch is divided into three chambers, or "vestibules." Amid the boulder strewn floor, one can find plants such as black spruce, Labrador tea and alpine bilberry. It is not uncommon for ice to be present, under the boulders, throughout the summer. Fairy Spring, at the foot of the Gulch, is the beginning of Moose Brook, which serves as a source of drinking water for the town of Gorham.

Project Description:

The Randolph Mountain Club proposes to rebuild approximately 5.0 miles of the Cook Path, Ice Gulch Path and Peboamauk Fall Loop. These three trails form a 6.0 mile loop, leading from Randolph, through Ice Gulch, in the town of Gorham, and back to Randolph. The trails run over land owned by the towns of Gorham and Randolph, New Hampshire.

This project will help to meet statewide recreation trail goals, by working to stop erosion of an existing, popular backcountry trail. Sections of all three trails are in need of erosion control trail work.

Materials and methods used to accomplish this project will be similar to previous RMC trail crew projects. Our trail crew members will use hand tools, with the exception of chainsaw-certified Senior Crew members, who will occasionally operate a chainsaw. The crew will use tools such as mattocks and grub hoes to dig ditches, clippers and axes to remove vegetation, along with rock bars, come-alongs and grip-hoists to move rocks.

The Randolph Mountain Club has been responsible for the maintenance of these two trails since the club's founding in 1910. The club remains healthy, from both a membership and financial position. With the combination of volunteer efforts, and our two summer trail crews, we anticipate being able to maintain the Cook Path and Ice Gulch Path for years to come.

This proposed project will benefit community needs, by protecting an important backcountry trail in the Northern White Mountain region. By keeping these trails open and in good condition, RMC will be able to offer hiking access to one of the most extraordinary, natural sights in the entire state. Finally, by relocating a section of Peboamauk Fall Loop, near the Moose River, the project will aid in the protection of the drinking water supply for the town of Gorham.

Matching funds for this project will come directly from the RMC. RMC funds for trail work, in turn, come from member dues and donations. (Overnight fees at RMC's facilities are designed to only cover the expense related to maintaining and staffing the camps, so as to keep fees as low as possible. They do not contribute to trail maintenance efforts.)

The specific work involved in this project involves erosion control efforts, including the installation of rock and log waterbars, ditching, installation of rock steps and rock scree, and construction of bog bridges. In addition, RMC will improve the basic maintenance of the trail, including brushing, blazing and signage.

The RMC will accomplish this work during the summers of 2002 and 2003. The RMC will use a combination of its first year, Student Conservation Association Trail Crew, and its more experienced, Senior Trail Crew. The crews start work during the work week of June, and work through late August of each year. On this project, we will plan to have the crews either camp near the work sites, or hike into the work site, depending upon the distance to the trailhead.

Project Work Totals:

6.5 miles brushing
6.5 miles blazing

33 Bog Bridges
164 Step Stones with scree
22 Waterbars
45 ditches
Clean/ Repair 750 feet ditching
550 feet sidehill grubbing
420 yards trail relocation
100 feet turnpiking

Related Links

State of NH's Recreational Trails Program
Photos of the Ice Gulch Project (2001-2002)


Special thanks to Steve Bailey, Doug Mayer, Mike Micucci, and Mike Pelchat for their work in applying for the above grants!