Grab Your Skins & Skis! Three VYCC-Improved Trails You Can Enjoy Today.
February 7, 2017 | Conservation
With recent pockets of snow falling in the Green Mountains, we figure this is a great time to highlight some ski trail improvements our crews made in 2016.
For the first time in US history, the US Forest Service has cleared forest for backcountry skiing on its land. VYCC, the US Forest Service, and the Rochester/Randolph Area Sport Trails Alliance (R.A.S.T.A.) joined forces to create ski glades at Brandon Gap in 2016.
VYCC crews cut tree limbs, moved brush, and worked with sawyers to create thousands of feet of skiable terrain. Crews were astonished by how steep the terrain was and how dedicated R.A.S.T.A. members and volunteers are to this work.
Corps Members enjoyed finishing their project with the help of about 60 volunteers for the final two days.
Visit RASTA’s website to locate these new backcountry ski glades, which are now open for public use on USFS land!
Afterwards, head north to enjoy an improved experience on Section 17 of the Catamount Trail.
The Bridges Trail is a popular section of the Catamount Trail in the Breadloaf Wilderness near Ripton. One of VYCC’s 2016 AmeriCorps crews removed downed trees, cleaned ditches, installed culverts, and maintained bridges and trail structures. A crew returned in September to build armoring under bridges that prevent erosion.
Lincoln Gap marks the north end of Section 17. This area also had trouble spots: social trails needed to be closed, trail corridor needed improvement, and the trail needed better drainage. Another AmeriCorps crew created a wider, drier, cleaner trail and eliminated unofficial trails.
The work was challenging. Corps Member Will DeHaven says, “It’s gratifying to get done with a big project and say, ‘I worked hard at this and I’m proud of this structure.’ To be able to make a difference that you can see, it’s really meaningful.” See Will and his crew mates in our new video.
The Bridges Trail to Lincoln Gap is 12.3 miles. You’ll enjoy the work of 2011, 2013, and 2016 VYCC crews along this fantastic stretch of trail – including 13 new drainage structures, 4 new culverts, and 5 bridges armored with 460 square feet of stone.
We’ve got one more stop for you on this ski tour of Vermont. Visit Bolton Valley Backcountry Trails to see the results of the 2016 Barre Community Crew’s work. These local high-school age youth built 30 new waterbars using stone, timber, and earth along eroded and wet sections of trail. Building and maintaining trails so they stay dry and cold helps extend the season for all of us to enjoy – so – enjoy!
Grab your skis and experience these amazing trails! See you out there,