Fling into Spring!

Opening for Mountain Biking…Soon!

Spring is finally starting to warm up around Millstone, and the ‘Winter that almost was’ is finally showing signs of moving on, which means we are getting close to opening day!  Trails are still drying out and there’s still snow out there, so we aren’t open for mountain biking yet, but we are hopeful about opening in early May.  Stay tuned to our Trails Status page or TrailHub to know when; we’ll let you know as soon as our date is set.  We will also be posting information about where you’ll be able to buy day passes for mountain biking this year, including some exciting new locations.  In the meantime, come out for a hike!  Pedestrian activities are always free at Millstone.

12976761_10154107979541672_6156994999817984611_oVolunteers!

Millstone volunteers came out in force to assist with clean-up on several of our trails following logging operations this Winter.  We are happy to report that the trails are in great shape following the forestry work, thanks in no small part to our dedicated volunteers.

MTA will be holding monthly trail work days this year; all trail users are invited to come along and help out.  Check out the calendar on our Events page for details.  Drop a line to our Trail Crew via the Volunteering option on our Contact page with any questions!

Membership – Join Us!

Membership sales for the 2016-2017 season are open!  MTA is a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, and joining entitles you to a host of great benefits provided by VMBA, many of which are of benefit even to non-riders.  Best of all, VMBA members who choose MTA as their home chapter or as an add-on chapter don’t have to buy day passes to ride.  One membership purchase and you’re good to go for the season.  Stop by our membership page to join today!  All proceeds go directly to supporting the efforts of our volunteer-based, non-profit organization in maintaining and improving our trails.

12983929_10154107979986672_3801202939185911004_oBoard of Directors – Changes and Openings

In Board news, MTA is pleased to welcome Beth Mueller to the Board of Directors.  Beth has been an active trails user for some time and we look forward to her input and contributions to our organization.  MTA’s former President, Nathan Reigner, has moved on; we thank him for his service and wish him well in future endeavors.  Former President Marcy Christian and current Vice-President Dirk Anderson are sharing leadership duties until MTA’s next annual meeting in October when the Board will elect MTA’s next President.

Meanwhile, we welcome nominations for new Board members.  If you or someone you know is interested in serving on our volunteer Board of Directors, please drop us a line!

Winter is Coming

10372270_10153005086596672_3990133278110196508_nMTA is gearing up for what we hope will be another successful winter season filled with lots of winter trail use by skiers, snowshoers, fat bikers and more.  We have some big plans and announcements coming soon!

In the meantime, if you are interested in joining our communication list for wintertime volunteering, please drop us a line via the contact form here (select Volunteering as your subject).  We do hope to be grooming trails again once the snow is deep, so experienced snowmobile drivers are encouraged to get in touch.  We’d also love to hear from our avid snowshoers who have favorite routes and trails in the winter.

Finally, we can always use your support, whether it’s #givingtuesday or just a normal day.  Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts by clicking here.  All of your money goes directly back into the trails.

Stay tuned, and think snow!

End of Season Info

Cody Chouinard
Photo by Cody Chouinard

The regular mountain biking season will end for us this week with the onset of rifle hunting season.  Friday, November 13th will be your last day to ride.  Rifle deer season opens the next day, and hunting is permitted in the Town Forest.  Our trails are closed to bikers from November 14th – December 14th.  After that date, when muzzleloader season ends, we’ll look forward to hopefully providing quality terrain for all users throughout the winter, including fat bikers.  More information about our winter plans will be coming soon, as well as updates on the logging operations that will be ongoing in sections of the Forest.

Our trails never close to pedestrian activities, but we recommend that walkers stay out of the Town Forest during hunting season for their own safety.

Enjoy your last week on the Rock and stay tuned!

To the Richardsons

1st Place - Cody Chouinard
Photo by Cody Chouinard

We have known a family whose work has created a legacy in Vermont. The Richardson family has contributed in so many ways to our community and their mark on our world is permanently noted.
Pete Richardson was one of the founding builders of the Millstone Trails. Pete loved to explore the woods surrounding Central Vermont by bicycle or any other way possible. To this day mountain bikers still challenge themselves riding the technical terrain that he carved into the land.
And now as the winter season is upon us those trails will soon lay covered until spring thaws. Then a few caring hands will clear the leaves and shorten the grass and new riders will come again, to experience what Pete has built.
In a time when the Richardson family knows great adversity we can only begin to say thank you and to pay respect to the Richardson family and in doing so carry on in the tradition taught to us by the Richardson’s in giving and supporting our community.

Recent Trail Work: Mainline “Bypass” Trail

Another of our Trail Crew‘s projects this year was to open up a bypass trail that would ensure continuous loop access to all of our most popular trail areas in the Barre Town Forest section.  This project involved construction of a low-lying bridge structure and minimal tree clearing. A muddy but worthwhile effort that has already seen a lot of use!  Many thanks to all of our volunteer Trail Crew members who put this one together.

2015 Annual Meeting

In case you missed the event posted on our Facebook page…Millstone Trails Association will hold its 2015 annual meeting on Saturday, October 31st at the Brook Street parking area.  There will be a group ride at 10 AM, followed by the meeting and a friendly barbecue.  This meeting is open to the public.  Those with interest or ideas for the future of the Association are encouraged to attend!

Recent Trail Work: Vistas

Maintaining and improving the trail network is an ongoing process at MTA, and we have our dedicated Trail Crew to thank for the results that come from their tireless, volunteer efforts.  Here’s a look at some recent work that helped to re-open a couple of our scenic vistas (“Rock Tower” and “Pierre’s Point“) which had become overgrown.  Trail Crew carried out selective thinning and pruning for native trees, long term growth, tree structure and health.  Best of all, they opened up the views!  They were able to create 40% more view at Rock Tower and 60-70% at Pierre’s Point.  Stop by and enjoy the vantage points next time you’re on the trails, and let us know what you think.

Upcoming Forestry Activity

Dear Friends,

As most of you probably know, a large component of MTA’s trails run through the Barre Town Forest. We have been notified that a logging phase will likely be carried out this Winter in the Scrambler/Littlejohn/Sidewinder area of the forest. Periodic logging is a component of the forest management plan, and MTA is supportive of forest management, responsible timber harvest and habitat improvement. We are fortunate to have a close working relationship with Barre Town government as well as close contact with the forester involved, and we have already taken steps to ensure that our users’ interests will be protected. Even more fortunately, the forester is a trail user himself and understands the need to keep us informed of logging operations so we can plan accordingly and notify our trail users of trail closures so nobody gets hurt, and to keep trails free of slash piles.

The current timeline: starting this week, the forester will begin marking trees with blue paint and flagging. He anticipates that will take him two or three weeks. He will then put the project out to bid, with a logger awarded the bid in November. Logging will start mid-December and wrap up by the end of March.

We kindly ask that our users respect the responsible forestry activity, understanding that MTA is closely involved with the process, and not remove or hinder any of the flagging or forestry activities. We will continue to keep everyone informed of progress and any developments of interest.

Best regards,

Millstone Trails Association
Board of Directors

Commercial Shoot this Weekend

Users of the Barre Town Forest trails should be aware that there will be a crew shooting a commercial for the Trust for Public Land in the Barre Town Forest area of the trails this weekend.  The crew will be at various locations from 1-5 on Saturday and 6-10 on Sunday.  Please keep your heads up for safety if you’re riding the trails during those times; thanks for your consideration.

ICYMI: Recent Press Features

The MTA trails were the subject of some recent press coverage.  Thanks to these great local papers for introducing readers to Millstone!

Aaron Retherford of The World writes:

Millstone Hill has evolved from an industrial wasteland into a one-of-a-kind recreational getaway in central Vermont – complete with 32 miles of trails for mountain bikers, cross-country skiers, hikers, and snowshoers.

 

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Read the full article here:

Barre Town Forest, Millstone Trails thriving

Eric Blaisdell of the Barre Montpelier Times Argus also recently wrote about the Millstone Trails:

One of the prime attractions of the forest is the Millstone Trails network which serves snowmobilers in addition to hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers.

 

 

 

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