When four best friends contemplated how to scratch their hiking itch during this era of social-distancing, they decided to through-hike the 21.5-mile Wapack Trail to raise $5,000 for wilderness. Hikers Tom and Suzanne Perry of Londonderry, NH, and Emilie-Noelle Provost and Robert Hamilton of Lowell, MA, had section hiked much of the Wapack in the past, but wanted to do something special this time—something that would make a difference. So the friends decided they would turn their hike into a Hike for the Wild fundraiser to give back to the wild places that give them hope and resilience through these challenging times.
“We love the Wapack and appreciate that such a beautiful wild area has been saved from development,” Emilie-Noelle said. “All of us have gotten such joy from being in the wilderness. Spending time in nature is especially important to us now. It helps relieve the stress and anxiety brought on by this uncertain time. We wanted to do our through hike as a fundraiser to help make sure that special places like the Wapack will always be there.”
Support the Wapack Hike for the Wild!
Emilie-Noelle, Robert, Suzanne, and Tom will hike the Wapack on June 6, 2020, with June 7 and 13 held as rain dates. Their goal is to raise $5,000 for Northeast Wilderness Trust’s effort to add 15 acres to Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve, through which the Wapack Trail winds. Their hike will begin at Wapack National Wildlife Refuge in Greenfield, NH, and end at Watatic Mountain State Wildlife Area in Ashburnham, MA.
The friends start their hike at the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge.
Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected 1,935 acres surrounding the historic Wapack Trail. Most recently, the 47-acre Sawtelle Addition was protected in Feburary of 2020, completing the permanent protection of the entire shoreline of Binney Pond, and safeguarding a beautiful section of the trail that meanders over boardwalks alongside the pond.
Emilie-Noelle, Robert, Suzanne and Tom met at Framingham State University in Framingham, MA, and have remained steadfast hiking companions for 20 years. After talking about doing a through hike of the trail for several months, the emphasis on hiking locally due to the COVID-19 pandemic helped them decide that there was no time like the present.
The Perrys have hiked the French Alps and have climbed all 48 of the White Mountains’ 4000-footers. They have nearly completed hiking those 4000-footers in winter. Hamilton and Provost have climbed mountains in the Whites and the Berkshires, and in Norway and Quebec.