Trail builders Bruce and Gary cutting the ribbon to invite folks in to view the new loop. Meira Bienstock


BETHEL — Larry Stifler and Mary McFadden held a ribbon cutting event on Sunday, October 31 to seal the deal on the loop closing for the Long Mountain trailhead.

“Today you’re going to join us to be the first folks to try out our loop. I measured this as 5.5 miles,” Stifler stated.

The trail is scenic, following a brook. There are many waterfalls, and a number of look-out spots, including two more in the loop.

The trail was designed by trail designer and builder Bruce Barrett.

“Well for years down on the corner at Albany Town House, you can see a Ledge up here…. it kinda caught my eye,” says Barrett, explaining the trail process. “One day, it was in April, the snow pretty much gone, I just decided I’m going to go up and find that ledge.


“I had a broken thumb and I ended up rock climbing to get up there and I found it and was like this is great, the view, I was like wow, this is great destination for a trail. So that’s kinda how it began, by finding the destination. This is worth it. I think people would hike to this spot and really feel like okay, it was worth getting here. From there, then the work backwards begins.”

They began building the trail in 2016, starting from the starting point to where it turns left by the brook. The next year they built it up by the Ledge. Lastly, the following year, about a third of the mile on the existing trail, Gary and Barrett extended the trail. They began to work backwards from what they’re calling North Ledge. This year, they connected North Ledge to the trail at the other end.

When Stifler asked Barrett what was the hardest part of making the trail, he responded with a laugh,

“If you’ve never used a 16-pound hammer to crush stone, you’ve never really done a days work!”

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