Lincoln, Vermont 05443
Abraham’s Knees (Vermont Family Forests) webpage
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When Vermont Family Forests purchased the 53-acre piece of land on the side of Mount Abraham known as “Abraham’s Knees,” the land came with an existing access trail. The old logging road heads straight up the mountainside, with steep grades and significant erosion in places.
One of the big reasons we purchased Abraham’s Knees was to have a piece of land where we could walk the talk of VFF’s organic forest health conservation practices—a place to explore the mutually beneficial relationships with the forest through careful, contemplative, hands-on work with the land. The old access path offered a great place to start that process.
The access trail issues Abraham’s Knees are similar to those that many forest landowners face. Often a piece of forestland has existing access roads that have been in place for many decades, and landowners use them because they’re there. But more times than not, they’re too steep, too close to streams, and poorly drained—simply put, they’re in the wrong place.
It’s more important than ever to design and maintain trails and paths so they can withstand the higher intensity storms that we’re seeing with climate change. Our aim was to lay out the new trail across the land’s contours, keeping the average trail grade below 7%, rather than running perpendicular to contour, as was the case with much of the old access road.
This more gradual ascent, of course, means the new trail is a lot longer than the old access road—twice the distance, in fact. We have discovered, however, that even in steep terrain, a gently sloped trail, if kept narrow, can provide access to the whole forest while occupying no more than 5% of the forest surface area.
From Abraham’s Knees (Vermont Family Forests) webpage
Access to Abraham’s Knees property is limited to those authorized by Vermont Family Forests.