“Doubly happy is the man to whom lofty mountaintops are within reach.” — John Muir
Friends of Haystack was founded in 2011 by a small group of committed individuals, dedicated to protecting the summit of Haystack mountain, ensuring public access to the extraordinary summit and helping to conserve the unique natural habitat.
As a Non-Profit 501(c)3 organization, Friends of Haystack raised the money to acquire the property from the Barrows family, who had owned and cared for the property for many years. In 2012 Friends of Haystack purchased the property and secured a permanent conservation easement on it, held by the Vermont Land Trust, to protect the land and its access in perpetuity. The Haystack trail and summit is now the crown jewel of the North Pawlet Hills, surrounded by an 800+ acre preserve protected by the Vermont Nature Conservancy.
Our Philosophy and Ongoing Work
Haystack is more than a mountaintop. It’s why we live here. It’s why we visit here. It’s why we want to raise our children here and it’s why we keep coming back here. Securing the summit of Haystack, and guaranteeing its public access for all future generations was the first successful project for “Friends of Haystack.”
Next, by partnering with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and securing generous grants and donations, we made significant trail improvements, building a much-needed footbridge, reducing harmful erosion and improving access.
Looking ahead, our volunteer group is now focusing on expanding recreational opportunities by linking existing logging roads, farm lanes and deer paths on conserved land to create well-marked trails for different outdoor enthusiast levels, unique bird walks and other nature-based outings. Additionally, we are working towards important structural improvements such as updated signage and better parking.
The benefits of such efforts are recreational, educational, healthy, environmentally sound and economic. But the real rewards come in bringing our community even closer in a vision for our future.
We think this unique mountaintop is an exceptional place to believe in.
If you’d like to join us in this important work, we are always in need of volunteers, new board members and donations. Donate! Volunteer!
If you have questions or comments, please drop us a line– we’d love to hear from you. E-mail us your photos and we may feature them on our website and social media!
Alan Calfee, President
Stephen Schaub, Vice President
George Bouret, Clerk
Kellie Waite, Treasurer
Yank Shugg Jr.
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