VMBA is excited to announce the 11 Chapter recipients of our 2022 Trail Grants! This year, we were able to award nearly $75,000 in total, a 50% increase over last year. We couldn’t do it without the support of our members – so thank you!
A committee of Chapter representatives selected the following shovel-ready projects to fund for completion in 2023, with a focus on maintenance, restoration, & upgrades as well as connectivity & access. We hope you’ll come out to support their efforts through trail days and by renewing your VMBA Membership for the upcoming riding season. Congratulations again – we can’t wait to see these projects come to fruition!
2022 VMBA Trail Grants:
Richmond Mountain Trails (RMT) – $12,000
RMT is excited to apply Trail Grant funds towards the completion of the first phase of The Driving Range, a new trail network located in the Town of Bolton. Construction on the Driving Range only began this past year, and thanks to incredible volunteer support, is well ahead of schedule with an upper loop slated to open this spring. Notably, the project is the first network in Vermont designed and built from the ground up with adaptive riders in mind. These grant funds will go towards a lower directional descending trail that continues the progressive jump line flavor from the upper DH, creating a figure eight of rideable loops and new terrain for riders of all abilities.
Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW) – $7,500
FOTW will use this VMBA Trail Grant to fund Trail Restoration and Improvements to Front Door, Henry’s Highlands, and Preacher in the Carse Hills Network. Carse is the most southern of 3 contiguous FOTW networks, with Sleepy Hollow and Hinesburg to the north, and was recently conserved in perpetuity to ensure public recreational access. In recent years, the Carse Hills land was at risk of being sold for development, and general maintenance was kept to a minimum out of concern that the trails would no longer be accessible under new ownership. With public access secured, FOTW will apply these funds to repair and upgrade these marquis trails in a way that maintains their classic technical character while also making them more sustainable and more accessible to a broader range of trail users.
Southern Vermont Trails Association (SoVTA) – $7,000
SoVTA will leverage Trail Grant funding to execute major and much needed improvements to trails in the Crosstown network outside Dover, VT. The Trails at Crosstown were officially created in the early 90’s, though eventually fell into disrepair and a web of drainage issues, social trails, and exposed roots. Repairs were delayed for many years due to uncertainty as to what was officially permissible under the existing Act 250 permits, confusion that was only recently resolved by SoVTA, who are now working with the landowner (Mount Snow) to upgrade the network to current trail building standards. This grant will be used for phase 1 of the work, focused on modifying the Sherwood Forest/Friar Tuck and King Arthur/Robin Hood loops with grade reversals, rollers, and full bench cut construction as well as adaptive accessibility.
Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA) – $7,000
WAMBA will use VMBA Trail Grant funding to conduct a full-scale refresh and re-berming of the much-loved Sir-Berms-A-lot trail. This effort is part of a larger strategy to rehabilitate the Mt. Peg trails network, including reconstruction of the Redline and Crosstown trails. These three trails have outsized significance to the quality of riding in Woodstock, and by restoring the flow of the berms, Sir Bermsalot will leave riders ‘wanting more’ as they exit the Mt Peg Trails network. This project includes the rental and use of a 1.5-ton mini excavator to reshape and rebuild eroded sections of the trail, as well as to reconstruct existing hand-built berms to the appropriate height and radius to be traversed safely by all riders and to increase the fun of the descent. Berm.
Ridgeline Outdoor Collective – $10,000
The Ridgeline Outdoor Collective will use VMBA Trail Grant funds to help address deferred maintenance along the entire Contest Trail, the first ever designated trail for mountain bike in the Green Mountain National Forest. Work along the 3.2-mile trail will include replacement of rotting planks with hardened rock crossings, improvement and installation of drainage control structures, and installation of switchbacks along a steep gradient that is currently eroding. Funds will also help improve and/or eliminate pinch points and tight turn radii that often present barriers to adaptive riding and can make what would have been a well-suited adaptive trail inaccessible for aMTBs. The goal of the project is to improve the Contest Trail to modern trail building standards, protecting its original primitive character while making it part of a larger loop option with the Velomont Trail.
Brewster River Mountain Bike Club (BRMBC) – $2,900
BRMBC will apply VMBA Trail Grant funding to complete adaptive upgrades to Meagan’s Trail in the Cricket Hill network in Hyde Park. Over the past several years, BRMBC has been improving and expanding the riding opportunities in Hyde Park, with a long-term vision for Cricket Hill to include enough trail to serve as an actual riding destination and for a significant portion of the trails to be adaptive-friendly, beginning with Meagan’s Trail. BRMBC received a Turtle Fur Naming Grant this year to begin the work of upgrading Meagan’s Trail, and funds from this grant will be used to both “tune up” all other sections of the existing trail to aMTB standards outlined in the Kootenay Adaptive Sports Association (KASA) guidelines and build a dedicated adaptive uphill exit from the trail.
Velomont Trail Collective (VTC) – $5,000
VTC will apply VMBA Trail Grant funds to match $29,110 already secured through an RTP grant to construct one mile of new trail in Braintree that will help connect the villages of Randolph and Rochester. This particular segment of the Velomont is a critical next step in growing the Velomont, which will eventually provide a 485+ mile trail and hut-to-hut network from Massachusetts to Canada. The trail will be designed and constructed to meet US Forest Service trail design standards and will meet advanced adaptive mountain bike trail standards as described in the Adaptive Trail Standards published by the Kootenay Adaptive Sports Association (KASA).
Jamaica Area Mountain Bike Alliance (JAMBA) – $9,080
JAMBA will deploy Trail Grant support to both develop a master plan for the next phase of trail development and to complete construction of their current project at Ball Mountain Dam. Earlier this year, JAMBA completed construction of one of two approved and permitted trails at Ball Mountain, and approximately $6,000 of these funds will go towards the completion of the second, lower descending trail. The remainder will go towards the creation of a master plan in collaboration with a professional trail design and build firm that captures JAMBA’s vision for mountain bike trails in Jamaica and establishes a three-to-five-year action plan which will be used in discussing and developing trails with landowners and public land managers.
Slate Valley Trails (SVT) – $2,000
SVT will use VMBA Trail Grant funding to assist in the purchase and installation of trailside benches and enhanced wayfinding and signage. Benches will be placed along the Poultney River Loop, which SVT assumed responsibly for from the Town of Poultney in 2015, as well as in front of SVT’s downtown office. Additionally, with the majority of the initially envisioned 50+ miles of trail constructed, SVT can finalize its trail network maps and wayfinding aids for the majority of the network. The 4 SVT trailhead kiosks have temporary paper maps under plexiglass and SVT is now ready to install permanent weatherproof maps, which will also include important information regarding membership, donating, and volunteering.
Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association (UVMBA) – $6,000
UVMBA will use VMBA Trail Grant funding to assist in the purchase of a walk-behind rubber track carrier. With an ability to haul and dump upwards of 1,000 lbs. of soil, rocks, and other materials, this piece of equipment will streamline trail work and create efficiencies that will save time and resources. Most of our UVMBA’s trail systems are characterized by glaciated soils with abundant glacial boulders, scoured rock ridgelines and swampy crags. The rugged terrain necessitates bridging, rock armoring, and introducing fill in low areas or between exposed roots; the new power wheelbarrow will help replacement the labor – presently more than half of all volunteer hours – that is taken up simply transporting construction materials to work sites and allow volunteers to focus on trail work.
Stowe Trails Partnership (STP) – $6,500
STP will deploy these Trail Grant funds to conduct refurbishments on Shredder, a trail in the Adams Camp network, to improve the flow of
the trail and enhance the rider experience. While the trail was designed and originally constructed to be more technical than other trails in the network, the existing berms are too tight, forcing riders to brake hard and eliminating flow throughout the trail. STP will hire a professional trail builder to rebuild and reshaping several berms and reroute portions of the last 500 feet or so of trail to ensure more flow while not changing the technical and chunky character of the trail.
A huge congratulations to all the recipients of these 2022 Trail Grants. We’re thrilled to support such a great collection of trail projects for next year – and can’t wait to ride the resulting new and improved trails! And an equally huge thank you to all those who volunteer their time and energy at trail workdays – these projects wouldn’t be possible without your help.