Let’s Go! Creating Access to New Places
Vermont is rich in outdoor places for all to enjoy, but this year has brought a new appreciation. We are continuing to expand recreation for Vermonters and visitors alike. Here’s what we’ve been working on.
Protecting the heart of a popular trail network in Lyndon
Did you know the “Best Mountain Bike Trail Network in North America,” according to Bike Magazine, is in Vermont? The 100-mile Kingdom Trails network in the Northeast Kingdom is a destination for mountain bikers, hikers, runners, Nordic skiers, and snowshoers.
In the heart of the trail system is Darling Hill Ridge. When 250+ acres there went on the market, seven miles of trails and spectacular views were at risk. The Kingdom Trail Association moved swiftly to buy the land with bridge financing. They’re now working with VLT to raise money for the land and its conservation. If successful, the land will remain undeveloped and open to the public. Learn more and donate.
Town land around popular sledding hill in Underhill expanded
Like all outdoor enthusiasts, sledding fans have their sweet spots to visit when the snow falls. Many look forward to Casey’s Hill—Underhill’s premier sledding destination, once featured on the cover of Vermont Life. At its base is an open meadow often used for cross-country skiing.
Though the hill was purchased by the town and conserved back in 2005, the meadow remained privately owned by the Tomasi family. When the family decided it was time to sell, they wanted to make sure the land would stay open and be protected. VLT and the Jericho Underhill Land Trust helped the Town of Underhill buy and conserve the land. “It is such an inspiring place to be,” explained VLT’s Bob Heiser. “Whether you’re taking a wild ride down Casey’s Hill or skiing around the meadow, the spectacular setting is a big part of what draws people to this special place.”
Envisioning a new nature preserve in Cambridge
For decades, a beautiful natural area with forest, meadows, streams, and ravines was stewarded by the late Peter Krusch. Peter and his wife, Sally, conserved a portion of the land in 2003. Sally is now working with VLT and the Cambridge Conservation Commission to create a town-owned nature preserve. The Peter A. Krusch Nature Preserve will include the previously conserved land and added acreage, with a generous donation from Sally.
Proposed nature trails will invite exploration. A highlight will be a path to the Cambridge Pines State Forest—one of Vermont’s few examples of old forest, a spectacular and awe-inspiring place that’s not easy to access. The preserve and better access to the old forest will open up learning opportunities for all ages. Learn more and donate.
Trail connector in Newport under construction
After years of work, Newport City’s natural riches are getting a major boost. In September, ground was broken on a trail connector at VLT’s Bluffside Farm. The final result? A seven-mile, car-free trail network from downtown Newport to the Canadian border.
People will be able to stroll and bike through the farm, across a boardwalk on Scott’s Cove, and get to and from the city’s beach on stunning Lake Memphremagog. Learn more.