The Green Mountain Club will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Taft Lodge, the oldest shelter on the Long Trail, on Saturday, Sept. 19, Barnes Camp Visitor Center, Mountain Road, Stowe.
Activities include morning and afternoon hikes to Taft Lodge, a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck from noon-2 p.m., with guest speakers at 12:30 p.m.
Taft Lodge, perched on a shelf below the Chin of Mount Mansfield, was completed and open to hikers in September 1920. This log shelter — the oldest, largest and most heavily used of the Long Trail shelters — was built by the Burlington section of the Green Mountain Club.
Construction of the lodge was funded by a gift of Judge Elihu B. Taft, a well-known lawyer and judge from Burlington.
Over the years, the lodge went through several renovations, the largest being an extensive reconstruction in the summer of 1996. Daan Zwick, Taft caretaker from 1938 to 1940, funded the project and remained a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Taft Lodge until his passing last year.
“This historic lodge has welcomed and sheltered countless hikers over the last 100 years. The lodge remains in service because of the staff, volunteers, and overnight guests that love and protect it. Taft Lodge and the network of overnight shelters is part of what makes the Long Trail special,” said Green Mountain Club President Tom Candon.
A caretaker is in residence during the hiking season to assist and educate hikers and maintain the site. Taft Lodge was home to the first female caretakers in 1972, a historic step forward in the role of women in the backcountry.
The shelter and surrounding land are owned by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation and are managed as part of the Mount Mansfield State Forest. The Green Mountain Club and the Burlington Section volunteers maintain the trails, shelters and backcountry privies in this area.
Visit gmcburlington.org for hike registration and schedule of activities.