10th Annual Trek to Taste Event

By Zachariah Ralph

This year marks the 10th annual Trek to Taste event. On Saturday, June 2, Woodstock will join communities and parks across the country to celebrate National Trails Day. This free event is community co-generated with collaboration by more than 30 area organizations. It takes place on the trails of Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park and Woodstock’s town parks. Trek to Taste combines healthy activities, farm fresh food, music, the arts, and local history for a day-long celebration.

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Start your ‘trek’ by parking at Billings Farm and Museum overflow lot and other satellite lots. Walk across the street to Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park and head toward the Forest Center. There, you will be able to enjoy displays and tastes prepared by Upper Valley students who have been studying local food and farms. If you would like to explore the park on your own, grab a map and venture out on any of these three options, stopping along the way to sample delicious, healthy foods from local producers:
• Walk to the Pony Shed (1 mile EASY) This family-focused walk features art activities with ArtisTree, walking stick making, birds from VINS, Billings Farm & Museum ice cream and cheese, and bicycle powered smoothies!
• Hike to the Nordic Ski Cabin (2 miles MODERATE) Follow the historic Mount Tom carriage roads through the heart of the national park to the Youth Base for Trek to Taste. Join high school and elementary school students as they make wood-fired pizzas, and play an assortment of lawn games.
• Trek to South Peak (4.5 miles HEARTY) It’s the best view around! At the top, you will be rewarded with gourmet tastings of local foods provided by members of Sustainable Woodstock while accompanied a mountain dulcimer played by Roger Marvin’s.

There are a number of guided hikes from 10:30 to 12:00, all starting from the Forest Center. Stop by the big tent to pick up your map or sign up for a guided hike.
Whether or not you get out on the trails, do not miss wonderful music by Vermont Fiddle Orchestra from 11:00pm to 2:30pm at the Forest Center. After a walk in the woods, return to the Forest Center for an ice cream social from 1:00-3:00pm. At 2pm, the Annette C. Compton Fiertz Trail Stewardship award will be presented to an individual or organization nominated for their dedication and efforts in trail stewardship in Woodstock.

Trek to Taste is a splendid example of collaboration by community organizations. Along with Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP’s own program of activities, thirty different groups, from ArtisTree Community Arts Center to the Upper Valley Farm to School Network, from the Woodstock Trails Partnership to the Billings Park Commission, participate in this festive occasion. Many of them will show exhibits about their work. This is a great opportunity for area residents to learn about the many interesting and important projects that contribute to the Woodstock area’s viability and vitality. The exhibits also represent an invitation to get involved in these projects: consider volunteering your time and energy to an organization that appeals to your own interests! Sustainable Woodstock is seeking volunteers to help. Contact us at 457-2911 if you can help!

One thing that Trek to Taste demonstrates is how fortunate we are to have this national park—the only one in Vermont—in our town. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller is a unique educational resource, offering activities, exhibits and a library exploring the Woodstock roots of the American conservation movement as well as teaching about forest ecology and management. The Park takes its educational mission seriously and offers numerous programs and tours that aren’t just for tourists. Anyone who lives here, for example, should find the program on Woodstock’s Civil War heritage fascinating. Besides, the Park’s carefully preserved woods and trails are simply beautiful.

Trek to Taste is free and open to all. It’s a great way to get to know the trails of Woodstock, Vermont’s national park.

For more information on the event, partner organizations, schedule for the day and trail map, go to trektotaste.info or call (802) 457-3368 ext. 22.

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