Formed in 1985 under the direction of Craig Sanborn, the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew has a primary focus on maintaining hiking trails on Mount Cardigan and Mount Sunapee in western New Hampshire, while periodically venturing farther afield to assist other trail crews across New Hampshire and Vermont. The crew also works with state agencies and local non-profits to design and build hiking trails.
From the crew’s inception until recently, it operated as an informal group of trail enthusiasts dedicated to the stewardship of western New Hampshire’s hiking trails, and informed and inspired by Scottish Highland culture. This informal approach worked well for decades, but it was evident to all that if Mr. Sanborn’s work and vision was to endure, something more formal than an ad hoc group was needed.
With this in mind, in 2016 Mr. Sanborn and his colleagues initiated discussions toward becoming a more sustainable entity by formally organizing and seeking nonprofit status with the State of New Hampshire. With that nonprofit status now official, a Board of Directors in place, and a partnership agreement with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance that allows us to fundraise, the Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew has entered a new and exciting era filled with promise and opportunity.
One of the most important aspects of the new organization’s operations will be public engagement. Utilizing multiple platforms, including this website and social media, our intention is to engage the hiking public for the purposes of education, information sharing, and recruiting new members. There are many miles of hiking trails yet comparatively few volunteers to help maintain them—an imbalance that we hope to help correct in the years ahead.