It’s no wonder Mount Major’s panoramic summit, which boasts views of the Lakes Region and White Mountains, is a highly regarded destination for locals and tourists alike. With an estimated 80,000 visitors annually, though, Mount Major’s trails are being loved to death. Soil erosion, off-trail usage, dog waste, and trash are just some of the visitor-created impacts Forest Society staff and volunteers contend with throughout the year.
The Forest Society is dedicated to consistently improving the visitor experience — and natural resource protection — at Mt. Major.
In 2020, we completed a trailhead restoration project that repaired the base of the eroded Main (Blue) Trail and provided for proper drainage, greatly improving the footing as well as reducing erosion and siltation impacts on adjacent wetlands. Over the summer of 2021, with help from volunteers, we installed a covered pavilion in the parking area. The structure provides some protection from the weather, whether hot sun or freezing rain, and houses a kiosk with the trail map and other information. And, in spring 2022, we launched a pilot program that would run through the busy hiking season in the fall. The Volunteer Trailhead Outreach Program is modeled after the highly successful Trailhead Stewards Program in the White Mountain National Forest and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Trailhead Stewardship Program. Volunteers have received training in visitor engagement, Leave-No-Trace etiquette, and the messages of HikeSafe & Recreate Responsibly. So far, they've already engaged with more than 4,000 visitors and influenced many of them to recreate more responsibly during their visit to Mount Major.
Our hope is to make more improvements every year — but we need your support to help fulfill these stewardship goals. Your donation will help us keep Mt. Major beautiful and welcoming to all!