Vernal Pools – Scouting the New Trail

In addition to trails, quarries and lots of rocks, the Millstone Trails are home to a wide variety of ecosystems.  One of these is called the “vernal pool” which, in our neck of the woods, plays host to salamanders and certain species of frogs.

Vernal pools, also called vernal ponds or ephemeral pools, are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are considered to be a distinctive type of wetland usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation by fish. — Wikipedia

This summer, we will be developing a section of trail in hopes of establishing a more beginner-friendly route through the Town Forest section.  This work is made possible in part by a grant from the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.  On a recent scouting walk through the area, we visited two of these pools, together with Caitlin Cusack of the Vermont Land Trust and Carl Rogers, Barre Town Manager.  Luckily, our new trail won’t disturb these protected areas.  They are interesting sites to visit, though, and just one of many fascinating features to be found at Millstone.

Opening Day: this Saturday!

Opening Day for Mountain Biking:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

(weather permitting)

The trails are looking good and so’s the weather, so as long as those two things hold true, MTA will open the Millstone Trails to mountain biking this Saturday!

Now is a great time to grab your membership if you haven’t already.  A membership means you don’t have to buy day passes, and pays for itself after just five rides.  Plus, you get a host of added benefits from VMBA.

Bikers without memberships are required to purchase day passes.  They can be had on this website (purchase page will go live later in the week) or at a number of local partner shops. As always, pedestrian activities are free.

Trail Day: May 21 – Volunteers Needed!

Millstone Trails Work Day:

Sunday, May 21, 8 AM

Come learn how to build a trail bridge!

No previous experience necessary; just bring a pair of work gloves and show up at the 44 Brook St. Garage in Websterville.

Volunteers make the Millstone Trails what they are — come out and have some fun in the woods with a great group of folks!

Logging Clean-Up Day!

Millstone Trails Work Day, Sunday April 23, 2017, 8AM

Millstone Trails Work Day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

8:00 AM

This Sunday we will be having a trail work day to clean up from this winter’s logging operations, to make the trails in the logging area usable this summer.  There’s a lot to do, so we need all the help we can get!  All you need is some boots, gloves and a pair of hands.  Bring rakes and pruners if you got ’em.  We will meet at the garage at 44 Brook St, Websterville, VT 05678 at 8:00 AM and then head over to the logging area.  If you can’t make the start, feel free to head over toward the Heifer Pasture trail area later on; we shouldn’t be hard to find.

Welcome to the Board – Elle O’Casey

MTA is pleased to announced that Elle O’Casey has joined our volunteer Board of Directors.  Elle has worked in the field of recreation and conservation for several years now both in the US and abroad.  Her work with the National Park Service Stewardship Institute and the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program will undoubtedly be of great value to MTA and its users.  We are glad to have her on board!

The Office Block Supports MTA

MTA is grateful to have the support of the Office Block, a collaborative office space in downtown Barre operated by Stone & Browning Property Management.  We have our monthly Board meetings here and it’s an awesome place for collaborating and putting heads together.  It’s open to start-ups, independent entrepreneurs or anyone who needs a functional, stylish space for doing good work.  There are no long term lease agreements and no utility bills, just all the amenities of an office.  Membership is month-to-month.

Office Block users get:
-Blazing WIFI
-Conference Room
-Designated Desks
-Creative Atmosphere
-Much more!

Check out the video: THE OFFICE BLOCK TOUR

For more information call today or visit: 
(802) 522-0406
(802) 272-0321

Winter (?) Update

Winter (?) Update

We’ve been hard at work at Millstone making the best of things so far this winter.  We got off to a slightly better start than last year, but the weather continues to disappoint us overall.  We’ve managed to do more grooming than last year already, though, and it’s not over yet.  Our fingers are crossed that the rest of the season will be more cooperative.

Groomer Updates

In addition to mounting a useful new storage box on our grooming sled, the folks from Mountain Grooming recently stopped by to give us some upgrades from the factory.  Now we’ll be even more ready to hit the trails with our Bearcat, which we acquired in part thanks to a grant from the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.

Logging in Town Forest

Logging underway on upper side of LittleJohn Road

The next phase of logging has gotten underway in the Town Forest. Due to this work, we are not grooming the Heifer Pasture loops or trails on the lower side of LittleJohn Road, and we recommend that folks avoid these areas for the safety of everyone involved. The first logging phase last year was successful overall and cleanup/restoration was minimal, so we are confident that we’ll be in good shape in the current logging area before too long after operations are complete. It may even help us out with some terrain options for the future.

Follow Us on TrailHUB 

Finally, we are continuing to expand our presence on TrailHUB, by adding updated GPS-tracked maps for the winter season and informative pins that should be helpful in finding your way around Millstone.  Be sure to download the TrailHUB app from your favorite app store to have a navigable map of our trail system in the palm of your hand!

Trails Crew Awards Winners and Election Results

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, MTA held its annual meeting at The Quarry restaurant in Barre.  A primary focus of this gathering was to celebrate and honor the amazing volunteers who have maintained our trails throughout the year.  We had a great turnout and a great time; thanks to everyone who came out to join us.  The results of the Trails Crew Awards and MTA’s election of officers are below.


2016 Trails Crew Awards

Most Trail Time (Most hours of maintenance logged)
Barb Schwendtner Winner 29 Hours Trail Service
Runner Up: James Hoyt

Best Lumberjack (Most blowdowns removed)
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Runner Up Greg Jancaitus

Best Earth Mover (Moved the most dirt and stone)
Cindy Lindeman 9 hours of earth work
Runner Up: Jacob Grossi 6.5 hours of earth

Most Hot Air (Most hours leaf blowing)
James Hoyt 12 hours of Leaf Blowing
Runner Up: Jason Jacques 6 hours leaf blowing

Best Carpenter (Most time fixing/building wood features)
Jason Jacques over 300 yards of bridge work
Runner Up: Barb Schwendtner 100 yards of bridge work

Best Proselytiser (person who reached out the most to new people, impacted new memberships/volunteers the most)
Ben Brown
Runner Up: Dirk Anderson

Weekend Warrior (Person who showed up most consistently, ie every week)
Barb Schwendtner 5 of 6 trail days attended
Jason Jacques

Best Rider (Person who showed up to the most group rides)
Kristy Hunt 18 rides
Runner Up Ben Brown

Best Young Trail Builder
Tyler Hopkins

2016-17 Officers, Board of Directors

Stephen J. Maas, President

Peter Kopsco, Vice-President

Ano Lobb, Secretary

David Anderson, Treasurer

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