“Hiking is a bit like life:
The journey only requires you to put one foot
in front of the other…again and again and again.
And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present
throughout the entirety of the trek,
you will witness beauty every step of the way,
not just at the summit” UNKNOWN
It is fortunate that the Vermont wilderness offers a wide array of activities and interesting ways to explore the natural world. Hiking is one of those activities and is also a central component to the True North adolescent curriculum. Because we operate year round with a seasonal model, we customize our environment depending on the season to provide the safest and most effective experience for our students.
Throughout the winter, in order to continue the high level of physical activity of the summer program, groups travel from shelter to shelter and often go on day hikes to local state forest tracts. But hiking in the snow can be challenging! That’s where snowshoeing comes in. Snowshoeing is a mode of winter travel that has been around for over 4,000 years. In addition to food, water, proper winter clothing, and emergency gear, students pack their snowshoes when they gear up for hikes that take them deeper into the wilderness. The snowshoes make for much easier travel over snow drifts and through the snowy woods.
Whether it is using a hike to acclimate to the physical demands of living in the wilderness or finding a new path to the next destination, snowshoeing at True North can be a gateway to better self-awareness and a new understanding of group life. Following along a frozen river, reaching a viewpoint of the snow-blanketed valley below, or seeing a whitetail deer bound through the snow forms a beautiful backdrop to process the challenges and growth that students face each day. Groups make their way further into the wilderness, and find that a quiet, wintery woods meadow can be one of the most soothing places to reflect, take a break and collect your breath.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
From May through November, True North operates within an expedition model, hiking and camping outdoors. From November through May, student life is based on our expansive winter campus, sleeping in heated cabins, yurts, and wall tents and enjoying both the hundreds of open and forested acres our winter campus has to offer as well as a variety of heated indoor facilities. For more information on the daily life, click here.