2021 Spring Newsletter

Happy Spring Snow!

Welcome back to another year of happiness on the trails. The Ascutney Trails network at the Ascutney State Park, West Windsor Town Forest, and AOC Trailheads; as well as the summit-bound hiking trailheads of Windsor, Brownsville, and Weathersfield Trails, are free to the public for human-powered adventures thanks to your generous support.

Thank you to new and returning members. If you haven’t renewed or joined, please do so today. The new season started on April 1st and this year’s seat post/fork ribbon is pink. Sign up here: VMBA.

This year we have partnered with the Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association (UVMBA) and the Woodstock Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA) to promote the amazing recreational resources in our region. For just a few dollars more, you can include these chapters as "add-ons" when you join VMBA.

Please support our neighboring chapters as they plan to do the same for us.

ATA Volunteers

Many thanks to our section leaders and volunteers for helping us get our trails in shape for an early spring riding season. As ATA continues to get more organized, we would like to have a centralized volunteer hours tracking system. Any time you work as a volunteer for ATA - whether it's clearing and maintaining trails, attending a trail day, hiking, biking, or running your trails section on patrol - we want to know how much time you're spending keeping our amazing network flowing. Sponsors, grant applications, and landowners want to know too! For this purpose, we set up a simple form to easily help us track your hours... Head here to log your hours.


2021 Spring Member Meeting

Stay tuned for more information! We have 3 Board of Director vacancies this year. Please contact info@ascutneytrails.com if you are interested in joining our leadership team, or have questions about what’s involved in serving a 2-year term on our 9 person board. Also, check out our hopes and dreams for 2021 to see what you might be getting into. Being on the board is a great way to make a difference in what you are passionate about.

ATA Summit Hiking Trails

The Forester checked on the trails a few days ago hoping that things would be dry enough to re-open, however, they are not. There are still many wet and muddy areas, as well as snow around the summit with even more now...

Hiking on the trails when they are so saturated creates a couple of issues: users are more likely to want to avoid mud by walking around the muddy spot, which leads to trail widening and ultimately just a bigger muddy area (staying in the tread and walking through the mud is preferable to walking around the mud outside of the tread). Additionally, especially on steeper sections, the saturated soil simply can’t support foot traffic like it can when things are dry and will therefore erode much more quickly. Staying off the trails now will mean they need less work and will be in better shape come summer.

The opening date is truly condition-dependent. Thanks for your patience, and we invite you to use alternative trails in the meantime (Ascutney Outdoors Trail from the AOC trailhead, Wilgus State Park, the Parkway, and town roads). Thank-you!!


MTB Trail Conditions

We are doing our best to get them all open. Our Trail Section Leaders should be reaching out if they need extra help clearing debris and trees, so stay tuned. We are working to update trailforks as we get more information. Trailforks

Group Rides

If you’d like to be kept informed of this season’s group trail (Tuesday) and gravel (Thursday) rides, be sure to sign up on the ascutneytrails.com website, click login at the top right of the home page and go to settings, and subscribe to notifications. Once subscribed you’ll automatically get an email once the ride is posted! Or just check the TNR blog a few days before Tuesday and Thursday. Remember, until everyone is vaccinated please respect social distance and wear a mask when you can't create a safe space between yourself and others.


Flow State Festival


ATA has partnered with Mountain Flyer Magazine to host a mountain biking festival at the AOC trailhead this July 30 - August 1st! We are super excited to be able to bring the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival back to Ascutney Trails. Stay tuned, as we will need volunteers to work the festival and lead a few guided rides. Advanced ticket sales will start for VMBA members on May 7th!

ATA Youth Group

ATA formed a youth group over this past fall and winter. Stay tuned for updates on programs for kids K-12 (activities and skills sessions; hiking and biking) as we work out insurance details (waivers, background checks, etc.).

Flow Trail and Skill Park

ATA secured approval from the Town of West Windsor, Ascutney Outdoors, and the Upper Valley Land Trust this winter to build a skills park and flow trail on the eastern slopes of the ski area. Now we get to work on applying for the ACT 250 permit! We’ve hired Powderhorn Trail Company to design and build this exciting new addition to our trail system. You may have seen some of their work at the Keene Bike Park. The owner used to be a trail builder at Killington Bike Park before striking out on his own.

Landowners

Thank you to our current private landowners, the Town of West Windsor, Town of Weathersfield, and Ascutney State Park for public recreation. Do you or someone you know want to explore building a public single track on private land? We’d love to hear from you to discuss your ideas and see what might be possible. Vermont has strong laws for outdoor recreation that protect landowners from liability.

Donations

Want to become a sustaining member, and give beyond your single VMBA membership dues? You can help further sustain ATA and our projects by donating monthly, or a larger single payment. Credit cards are quick and easy with Paypal here or if you prefer to pledge a donation by check, please make checks payable to Ascutney Trails Association and mail to ATA, PO Box 246, Brownsville, VT 05037.

ATA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 85-3006764) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. If you look us up using the IRS search tool for non-profits, you will find us listed under Ascutney Trails Association, Inc.

If you made it all the way to the end of this email, we truly appreciate your dedication and interest in what we are up to! We have lots of news to share and look forward to seeing you out on the trails soon.

Yours truly,

The ATA Team


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