Trails to Open May 16 at Forest Open House

Our planned opening date for this season of May 16th will coincide with the Barre Forest Open House event. MTA will be on hand to lead bike tours and welcome folks to the new season at Millstone.  The event will have a lot to offer everyone, including:

• Fairy House Building with Story Reading & Bagpipe music by Ian Gauthier at 1:00pm
• Spring Awaking Walk Led by Samantha Ryan at 11:00am
• Learn to Disc Golf –Ongoing
MTA Guided Bike Tours at 11:00am and 1:00pm
• Times Argus Word Scramble/Scavenger Hunt Game – Ongoing
• Onion River Sports Bike Inspection and Maintenance Clinic – Ongoing
• R&L Archery GPS Geo Caching Clinic – Ongoing

There will be cash food concessions to benefit Trow Hill Playground Restoration Project, many tables displaying activities and opportunities by Various Groups. Recreation groups: MTA, Recreation Commission, Thunder Chickens, Quarries Disc Golf, Trust for Public Land, Vermont Land Trust, R & L Archery, Onion River Sports.

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MTA Comes to TrailHub

trailhubWe are excited to announce that we will be using TrailHub this season to manage our trail statuses.  TrailHub.org allows users to sign up and follow their favorite organizations and trails, and receive instant notifications when statuses change or there are important info alerts sent out from the organization.

Check out our TrailHub status widget on our Trail Conditions page, then head on over to TrailHub.org to sign up, log in and subscribe to Millstone Trails Association for real-time updates on trail status.

A direct link to our page on TrailHub can be found here.

Trails Closed for Wet Season

Hey folks,
Please refrain from riding our trails. We have a lot of standing water and snow in some spots. Trails are very fragile in spring making them EXTREMELY susceptible to damage! The trail crew has been working very hard this spring cleaning up blow downs, working on drainage, inspecting bridging and once the snow is gone, leaf blowing. !!!TRAILS ARE CLOSED!!! We want to ride as much as you, let’s be patient and let things dry out.
Thanks and spread the word,
MTA trail crew

Volunteer Rally BBQ

April 25th – 11:00 AM-2:00 PM at the Brook Street Garage

You are invited to celebrate the great work of our volunteers and to get excited about helping out in the upcoming season!

We will be grilling up some food and talking about plans for the season and recognizing the great work done during the past year on the trails. Come and learn how you can help us to continue to make our trail system one of the best around.

Don’t forget to check out this Event on Facebook and let us know you’re coming – click here

MTA’s 2015 Season Plans

Hello Friends of Millstone Trails,

Millstone Trails Association is ending a fantastic winter season at the Barre Town Forest. Thanks to great work by our winter grooming team, there were trails available for skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing and walking. Even with frigid temperatures and a finicky snowmobile, volunteers were out grooming loops throughout our long winter.  Thanks to everyone who donated funds to help us cover our expenses during this time.  We were busy this winter planning the upcoming spring season and have information to get out to all of you.

vmbaLogo_2We are very excited to announce a new collaboration with the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA).  MTA has decided to become a chapter of VMBA which will give you many additional benefits as members of Millstone Trails Association. We feel that this relationship will benefit both our trail users and MTA as a whole, since it will lift some of the administrative work from our small volunteer organization and add many new opportunities for members. You can learn more about the great benefits of MTA membership here.  For mountain bikers, a primary benefit of membership with MTA is a season pass for riding our trails.

Memberships are available for purchase now!  Get yours here before the season opens so you’ll be ready to ride!

Just as in years past, day passes will be required for mountain biking if you are not a member.  Once the season opens, we will be selling day passes at several area locations including Lawson’s store (cash only), in addition to online via our website. We look forward to relaying more information to you over the next month as we come closer to the start of the riding season.

Here are some of the highlighted changes being made for the upcoming season:

  • Mountain Bike Season Memberships can be purchased by going on to our website and clicking on Membership – this will allow you to choose us as your home chapter for your VMBA membership.  Check out all of the benefits of chapter membership here.
  • We have decided to no longer have a physical storefront in Websterville. We have come to the conclusion that the cost and time of renting and staffing the store would be better spent working on the trail system and developing relationships with area partners. Day passes for non-members will be purchasable at Lawson’s store right next door to our old shop, as well as several other area businesses which we will list on the website in the next few weeks.
  • The parking lot on Little John Road is no longer available for visitor parking. Visitors to the trails should park in the public parking lots for the Barre Town Forest (a large one off Brook Street in Websterville, and a smaller one near at the end of Barclay Quarry Road).  We are working on several other options and will keep you updated as things progress. For directions to the parking lots, please consult the maps on our Contact page.
  • The number one piece of feedback we have received from our trail users is that we need to work on our maps and signs. We have heard you and are taking action to shape things up. We want you to have a great time on the Millstone Trails, know where you are, and be able to effectively plan your visit. You need a map to do that and we want to you have one. To that end, our newly revised trail maps will be available free of charge this season.  For more info, see our Maps and Meet Our Trails pages.
  • We will also be signing the boundaries of the Millstone Trails. At a few locations throughout our network, trails appear to extend beyond the area maintained by the Millstone Trails Association. In these locations, we will have posted signs to let you know that you have reached the end of an MTA-maintained trail. If you continue beyond these signs you will enter private land for which MTA does not have an agreement to facilitate public access.

We encourage your participation and here are a couple of ways to get involved!

We are a non-profit organization that maintains the Millstone Trails, a network of non-motorized recreational trails in Central Vermont. Our trails traverse 1,500 acres of diverse and dramatic terrain, among historic quarries, New England villages, and Northern forests.  Donations and mountain bike passes are the source of funding that keep the Millstone Trails open.  100% of these funds go directly to trail maintenance, primarily materials and tools, parking maintenance and grooming trails in the winter, and the administrative expenses of operating a public recreation area.

Thank you for enjoying and supporting the Millstone Trails. Again we look forward to updating you with more information over the next month leading up to the beginning of the spring season.

SnoQuest 2015

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

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus presents

SnoQuest 2015

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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!

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