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Vermont coin gets makeover

The Vermont quarter is getting a facelift or at least to its backside. Gov. Jim Douglas has nominated Vermont's 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail to replace the scene of Camel's Hump and sap buckets as part of the U.S. Mint's new America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Program. Each governor gets to suggest a national park or site in his or her respective state.

"From Glastenbury Mountain to Woodstock and West Hartford, thousands of Vermonters and visitors each year discover and enjoy our slice of the country's best-known footpath," the governor said. "For more than a hundred miles, the Appalachian Trail follows the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the nation, as it runs along the spine of our Green Mountains from Massachusetts to Quebec."

Ben Rose, executive director of the Green Mountain Club, said, "The Long Trail and Appalachian Trail are the backbone of Vermont's landscape, and the Green Mountain Club's (GMC) hundreds of volunteers take care of them. The timing of this quarter is good, because this summer the GMC will host the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's biannual conference at Castleton State College from July 17-24. This is a large event, where nearly a thousand hiking club leaders, volunteers, and experienced long-distance hikers from all over the eastern U.S. will converge in Vermont for guided dayhikes, workshops, and socializing. It is also an invitation for more Vermonters to get involved with hiking clubs-check out www.vermont2009.org."

"This is a great opportunity for us to share this wonderful resource with the rest of the country," Douglas continued. "And with warmer weather just around the corner, I hope Vermonters will get out and enjoy the miles of trails we have in our backyard.

The U.S. Mint also asked that two alternatives be submitted. Douglas suggested the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park in Woodstock and the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge along Lake Champlain in Franklin County.

The U.S. Mint will begin to issue a new 25-cent piece every 10 weeks in 2010, in the order in which each site was first established as a national site.

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