SnoQuest 2015

Coming to the Millstone Trails, February 27th through March 1:

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus presents

SnoQuest 2015

COMINGSOON_Cube2015

It’s a treasure hunt and a test of your wits with a grand prize that’s a “grand”.  Yup, that’s right one thousand smackers and lots of other awesome prizes.
Grab your skis, your snow-shoes or your snow machine.  Get yourself to one of these  SnoQuest venues.

Bolton Valley -nordic and alpine trails
Mad-River Glenn alpine trails and Nature Trail
Morse Farm Cross Country Trails
Millstone Trails
Northeast Slopes
Selected VAST trails

Look for Play information  at timesargus.com/snoquest
Sponsored by Applebees, Clear Choice Medical
the Rutland Herald and the Times Argus.

It’s SnoQuest and it’s a Wicked Nor’teaser.
Must be 18 or over to WIN.

Participation is FREE to venue guests.

Shared Use & Safety Reminders

MTA has been working very hard this season to create a Winter trails program that is open to everyone and meets all of the needs of our users.  In order to do this, we work very closely with critical partners, such as the government of the Town of Barre and the Barre Town Thunder Chickens snowmobile club.  Without both of these entities, use of the Millstone trails would not be possible in the Winter.

logoWe are furthermore dependent on our trail users to uphold standards of safety and cooperation so that these relationships remain strong.  In particular, there are several sections of the VAST snowmobile network within the Town Forest which are shared with MTA.  It is critical that our users understand that these trails are actively traveled by snowmobiles at higher rates of speed than other users.  It is only safe to ride/ski/snowshoe in single file on these sections, and to use them only for transit to MTA’s groomed trails.  Please stay to the right on VAST sections and always listen for snowmobiles so that you can move off the trail when they drive through.

Safety is the number one priority of the Thunder Chickens, but MTA users need to do their part to keep themselves safe by respecting that VAST is an active snowmobile corridor and acting accordingly.  It should be quite clear which trails are VAST by their width and the snowmobile tracks on them, but if you have any doubts, please consult our trail map which identifies VAST sections, and keep an eye out for signage on the trails.

BTTC-3Some words from David Rouleau, President of BT Thunder Chickens, BT Rec Commission member and Certified Snowmobile Safety Instructor:

We’re hoping to educate folks when riding/skiing on trails that are also VAST snowmobile trails, please ride in single file fashion, listen for snowmobiles and yield to them at all times moving off the trail or as much to the right hand side as you can.  Snowmobiles travel faster than other outdoor recreational users who most likely will hear them coming before operators will see them.  This gives the opportunity to yield providing a safe shared use environment.  Volunteer clubs, such as the Thunder Chickens, obtain a signed contract with landowners each year to allow snowmobile travel.  Although inviting, VAST trails are not “open” for other recreational purposes without permission.  Shared use areas, such as the Town Forest have been additionally marked to caution snowmobile operators that there are others enjoying that specific area of the trail network. Thanks in advance for doing your part to help keep outdoor recreation safe for all.”

For more information, please also see this post from VMBA.

Our downloadable grooming map has been updated to more clearly show the location of the VAST trail network.

MTA thanks you for your understanding and help in ensuring that we can continue to have a great Winter season of multi-use enjoyment of the Millstone Trails!

New Board Members

The Millstone Trails Association is pleased to announce the addition of two new volunteer members of our Board of Directors, as well as a special liaison.

Board of Directors additions:

David Anderson recently moved to the Barre area and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience surrounding the sport of mountain biking, among other things.  He was a Board member of the Stowe Mountain Bike Club for 5 years and trail leader for the Perry Hill network for 3 years, as well as an organizer of the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival in Waterbury.

Eric Clifford is also a Barre resident with a wide range of experience that includes trail building, snowmobile grooming, mountain biking and skiing.  As an AmeriCorps volunteer, he worked for the Montpelier Parks Department, heading up grooming efforts in Hubbard Park in the winter months and creating, maintaining and expanding trails and parks during the summer.  He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and has worked on Ski Patrol at Sugarbush and Bolton Valley, where he is currently a supervisor.

Additionally, Kevin Spaulding has joined us as Liaison to Rock of Ages.  Many of our trails are situated on land owned by the Rock of Ages Corporation and we are excited to work closely with Kevin on behalf of ROA as we move forward on our mission to maintain and develop the trail network.

Candidacies for remaining open spots on the Board are under continuing discussion; stay tuned for possible future updates.

Great Conditions

Everything has been groomed up both yesterday and again today, and the new snow we received from the storm has set up very nicely. Never a better time to hit the trails at Millstone!

We continue to struggle with cantankerous machinery; any contributions you can make to our equipment funds, however small, are both greatly appreciated and tax-deductible!

To donate, visit:
http://www.millstonetrails.com/donate

Thank you for your support and enjoy the trails!

2015 Winter Use Guidelines

As part of our efforts to make our trail system more accessible and information more readily available, we have put together some guidelines for the 2015 Winter season.  These are coming to you in the form of a gorgeous poster designed by local artist Andrew Foster.

This poster is up in the Town Forest kiosks, at the Barre Town Offices as well as at Lawson’s Store.  Lawson’s also has trail maps available for free, with the guidelines printed on the back.

We are enjoying a fantastic winter season so far, and we appreciate everyone who has been respecting and enjoying our multi-use model.  As always, we welcome any comments or questions you may have.

MTA Winter Use Guidelines 2015
MTA Winter Use Guidelines 2015 (click to expand)

A print-resolution version of the poster along with our grooming map can be downloaded here.

The Groomed Loop

This Winter we focused on machine-grooming a loop through the Barre Town Forest which makes contact with two parking lots and several points of interest.  Grooming operations have officially closed.  Winter use is still permitted until such time as the trails close for the wet season, most likely sometime in April; check the Trail Conditions page for updates.

What is this loop, you ask?  Here’s what we groomed this winter:

 

The loop connects to both Town Forest parking lots (Brook St. and Barclay Quarry Rd.) and covers some nicely varying terrain, with gentler terrain on the “left” side and more challenging hills on the “right.”

A reminder that our trails are free for use this Winter; please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help support our volunteer-based trail maintenance efforts this season!  

 

Click here for a printable PDF version of the map:
(updated 2/9/15)


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