By Michael Creasey
Hikers enjoy the trails at Trek to Taste in 2014. The annual event celebrating farm-fresh food, the arts and nature, kicks off Saturday in Woodstock.
Saturday, June 6 at 10 a.m. — WOODSTOCK — What do farm fresh food, hiking, arts and crafts, fiddle music, yoga in nature, ice cream, and wood-fired pizza all have in common? They are all part of the seventh annual Trek to Taste to be held on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock. Trek to Taste celebrates local trails and healthy food in Vermont’s only National Park and Woodstock’s Billings Park. The free festivities are open to the public, starting at the Park’s Forest Center and continuing along the trails to specialty stations, or hubs spread out across the trails.
Trek to Taste offers the unique opportunity to sample fresh local food while enjoying the natural beauty of Vermont. Begin your trek at the National Park’s Forest Center where students from 12 local schools will display their farm to school projects and offer free food samples made with local ingredients. Make your very own walking stick with a ranger, grab a map for a self-guided trek, take a special Valley Quest adventure, or join a guided hike to any of four outlying hub destinations, each offering special activities and samples of local food.
A gentle half mile walk leads to the park’s Horse Shed Meadow where community arts organization ArtisTree and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science will have fun family-friendly activities. A two-mile loop hike will take participants to the Nordic Hut where youth from Woodstock Union Middle and High School will offer tastings of wood fired pizza. A heartier hike will follow the carriage roads for a 4.5 mile round trip to the South Peak overlook where Sustainable Woodstock will serve gourmet samplings from local food producers, and the Woodstock History Center will feature historic landscape photos, a maple sugaring exhibit, and serve tastes of a traditional New England beverage called switchel. A station at the Pogue, a tranquil mountain pond on the way to South Peak, will feature a scavenger hunt organized by local trail stewardship organizations and Yonder/Green Mt. Digital.
An ice cream social courtesy of the Billings Park Commission and music from members of the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra courtesy of Pentangle Arts Council will finish the day from 1-3 p.m. During this time, the Annette C. Compton Fiertz Trail Stewardship award will be presented to an individual or organization nominated for their dedication and efforts in trail stewardship in Woodstock.
Trek to Taste is free, thanks to the work of many partners dedicated to a healthy community, local trails, and local foods. Parking for the event is at the Billings Farm & Museum. For more information on the event, partner organizations, schedule for the day and trail map visit www.trektotaste.info or call 802-457-3368 ext. 17.