In talking to several solo through skiers this year about their journey on the Catamount Trail, I’ve been somewhat surprised to hear what a social experience it has been. Amidst long solitary days on the trail, all of them have commented on the good people they have met and enjoyed along the way. Mark and Marijke Smith are amongst those kind people who have hosted Catamount Trail skiers on their land and at their Inn (Windekind Farm) for many years.
As the Catamount Trail winds its way north from Camels Hump to the Winooski River (Section 20), it crosses the Smith’s property while passing through the Camels Hump Nordic Ski Association’s quiet and inviting community-based trail network. Mark and Marijke have spent much of their lives creating Windekind Farm, a landscape they have crafted with loving care since the mid-1960’s. They host guests in three artfully crafted cottages nestled amongst gardens, ponds, meadows forestland, all with stunning, long views of a dramatic landscape.
Mark and Marijke are exploring how to transition this place to another generation of thoughtful stewards who will continue their role as caretakers, with the same love and respect for the land that they have long modeled. Among their goals and of particular interest to cross country skiers is the protection and preservation of the trail network, which includes a segment of the Catamount Trail. They hope to attract to this project people of a similar mind, interested in celebrating and sustaining the environment, the trail network, and community recreation.
In a project that they term “The Common at Windekind” Mark and Marijke are proposing to create a few small building lots along with common ownership of about 75 acres, comprised of the 16 acre Windekind Meadow and the surrounding woodlands that abut Camel’s Hump State Park. This is an innovative project that is important to the integrity and longevity of the Catamount Trail. To learn more about the “Common,” please visit www.windekindfarms.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-434-4455.
This post is part of an ongoing series to spotlight landowners who generously host the Catamount Trail on their land. Approximately 60% of the Catamount Trail passes through private land, and we are incredibly grateful for the cooperation of Vermont landowners in helping keep the Catamount Trail open to the public.