Vermont is a unique place to mountain bike, not only because of the variety of terrain, but also because over 70% of our trails are located on private land. While many states and their riding networks rely on the use of public land, our organization has worked hard to build long-lasting relationships with our landowners and advocate for their protection in the statehouse.
One of our biggest milestones over the past 25 years was assisting with passing the Landowner Liability Act that protects landowners from being liable for property damage or personal injury while someone is recreating on their land. This was a huge achievement for our organization and an early pillar of our advocacy work for landowner protection.
Since then, our Chapters have been working hard to build strong landowner relationships and maintain access to private land. Chapters host Landowner Appreciation parties, highlight the generosity of landowners through social media, and even help out with projects on their land unrelated to the trails. And this year we’ve signed on with the Bike Borderlands “Ride with Gratitude” pledge that recognizes the privilege of access to trails and encourages our community to respect and care for the land we recreate on.
This past May, our Richmond Mountain Trails (RMT) Chapter encouraged their members to write thank you notes to the landowners that host RMT’s trails during their season kickoff party. We wanted to share a few of them and emphasize our gratitude to the landowners who host public access trails throughout Vermont.
Short story here. Four years ago I entered the VMBA draw for a bike. At the time I didn’t own a MTB, hadn’t ridden in 20+ yrs. Well, they drew my name and quite literally my life changed. Again, my life changed. I’m healthier, shredding full of Vitamin D, my 3 kids are riding. I ride a fatbike now in the winter. I have a group of guys that ride all summer, some of my closest friends. I’ve done 3 Del’s Rides and two VT 50’s.
Sharing your land with us plays no small part in this amazing part of my life and I can’t thank you enough for your generosity.
Thank you for opening up your property for the greater recreational enjoyment of the avid recreators of Vermont. Welcoming strangers to our property is no small ask, and your actions are appreciated!”
Thank you so much for access to trails runners, hikers, and bikers can all enjoy. Without the support and cooperation of landowners like yourself, we wouldn’t have a recreation economy that is booming and inclusive.”
Watch the full video from RMT below.
Thank you so much to all the landowners throughout Vermont who provide access to some of the best riding in the Northeast. Remember, as trail users, we need to continue to respect and appreciate our access to this beautiful landscape.
We would also like to acknowledge the Tribes of Vermont and their deep cultural history and stewardship of many areas that we recreate on. Please take a moment to learn more about the Tribes through our blog post.