On Wednesday, April 25th, Millstone Trails Association hosted a Field Workshop from the National Outdoor Recreation Conference. The group included outdoor recreation professionals from all over the country.
MTA Board President Stephen J. Maas welcomed the group in the morning and the day began with a fascinating history lesson at the Vermont Granite Museum, provided by Director Scott A. McLaughlin, all about the history of the granite industry in Barre and elsewhere. The group was able to check out some of the amazing pieces on display at the museum, as well.
Kate Wanner from the Trust for Public Land then presented a summary of the Barre Town Forest and its history as a recreational destination and perpetually conserved piece of public property, and site of most of the Millstone Trails network as we know it today.
Next, the group met up with MTA Board member Peter Kopsko and took a tour at Rock of Ages, to see the operating quarries and the graniteworking factory floor. A delicious lunch was provided by local favorite Morse Block Deli, in collaboration with The Barre Partnership.
Then it was off to the trails, where the afternoon began with Brooke Scatchard of Sinuosity presenting MTA’s newest trail, Rauli’s Run, which Sinuosity constructed last summer. It was a great opportunity to discuss trail building, as well as the ways that communities, volunteers and users interact in order to create a trail system like Millstone Trails. Jeb Wallace-Brodeur of the Times-Argus (and MTA Trail Crew) tagged along, capturing a great photo of the walk, despite the rain.
Al Rosa introduced the group to the Quarries Disc Golf course, which he designed and built, showcasing some of the most interesting baskets and answering lots of questions about the unique course.
After a brief respite at #6 Quarry, MTA Board member and Communications Chair Beth Mueller led the group up to the Grand Lookout for some final, lasting impressions of Millstone Trails.
It was a great day, despite the uncooperative weather conditions. Some photos of the highlights are below.