On the QT is a slang term apparently of 18th Century British origin: QT being a shortened version of “quiet.” For instance, one might tell another that, “Bob and Mary have gone off to Mexico, but that’s on the QT.” Bob and Mary are married, but not actually to each other, and so keeping the news “on the QT” could be vitally important to their future. Yet I seemed to have digressed. Here in Quechee, the term QT will henceforth refer to the system of trails within our 5800-acre complex, and it is certainly something which we desire to shout about as a tremendous amenity for Quechee Lakes Landowners Association (QLLA) members.
The Quechee Trail System has two primary components: one is the Wilderness Area, formerly referred to as 5C, while the other is the Ottauquechee Path, which will eventually travel a meandering route from the Coach Road condos to the west to the Polo Field to the east. Both systems are under varying degrees of development by QLLA, the Trails Committee, volunteers, and the new trail manager, Ken Glick, who puts it all together.
The Wilderness Area
The Wilderness Area is a vast member resource comprising 780-acres of forest. Former logging trails are being expanded into wider carriage-style trails while water mitigation, bridges, benches, shelters, and informational signage are all being constructed along the way. This is a multi-year project, which is weather dependent. Work will be targeted by identifying three loops of hiking interest: ponds, ledges, and farm. There is also a 2K Dog Loop, which is perfect for the pooch. The heretofore confusing maps have been color-coded and directional signs are in place at critical junctures. Areas once considered to be as dark and foreboding as a German fairy tale have been opened for more snow accumulation and sunlight. In addition to Trailhead “A” (at the end of Bentley Road), Trailhead “B” (at the east end of Safford Road) and Trailhead “C” (at the end of Old River Road) will offer new access to this expansive area. While hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing have always been welcome activities here, it is planned sometime in the near future to add a mountain bike single-track snaking through the area.
The Ottauquechee Path
The Ottauquechee portion of the system has been in development since 2002 when first conceived by Shelia Armen of the Strong House Spa. Her group of industrious volunteers, known as Friends Of the Ottauquechee Trail (F.O.O.T.), continue their vision of inter-connective paths throughout the community which do not necessarily require the more adventurous spirit of proceeding into the Wilderness. As of today, a hiker can begin at the Quechee Clubhouse, follow the signs across the pedestrian bridge of the golf course (yes, it is open to walking and biking), cross a gravel path in front of Murphy’s Farm, traverse the sandy shores of Lake Pinneo, and follow Murphy Farm Road to the Village Green Loop. THAT is a big walk! There are areas between the Quechee Bridge and Marshland Farm that are on private land and not accessible, but from Marshland Farm you can hike to the Polo Field or across the land-bridge at Dewey’s Pond, and drop down into the Quechee Gorge. Plans are in the works for expanding this trail system to the west by creating a path from the Coach Road condos to the Clubhouse. This will be the River Loop, and it already has significant completion by Coach Road. Come give it a try! A Pars-Fit course and/or Disk Golf is already in discussion for that area.
As you might be able to tell, QLLA has fully signed onto the concept for trail development as first identified by Morton Trails. Trail development was surveyed to be the number one desired amenity in the community. The Trails Committee has been a dynamo of energy accomplishing much in a very short period. The Quechee Trails Club has been formed. This is a group of volunteers who assist Ken Glick wherever he might need them and, when not working on trails, they practice the vital outdoor skills of picnicking, geocaching, and disk golf. If you wish to be a member, (it’s Free, it's Fun, and you get a t-shirt!), send an email to RonDull@msn.com, and we'll get you on our notification list. Come join us in the great outdoors of Vermont!
So, now that we have thoroughly spilled the beans on the great Quechee Trail System we no longer need to be “On the QT” and can return to what is happening down in Mexico with Bob and Mary. Trust me.
They should have stayed on the trail.
See You On the QT!