Trail Improvements & Expansion Project
While working on the PB 100 purchase and parking lot improvements, CHNSA has additional, unfinished trail priorities to keep us busy. With long term grooming needs addressed, we will focus on fundraising, grants, and a 2nd Annual CHN Music Festival to complete our vision for trail construction and improvements. It has long been remarked that, while the parking lot at CHNSA may seem crowded, once out on the trails skiers experience the welcome solitude that CHNSA trails provide. The expanded trail network, as detailed below, will sustain this experience for CHNSA skiers.
There will be trailwork to do at some “pinch points” on the trails where the trails are a little too narrow to accommodate the PB100, while some trails will remain a little narrower by landowner preference. Given that we rely on private lands for trail access, there will be times in the future when portions of the trail network may be off-limits due to logging. Creating trail alternatives to bypass logging activity is another consideration of the CHNSA Board.
Most exciting is the prospect of collaboration with VT Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) to create a network of new trails in the Bald Hill area of Camel’s Hump State Park (just east of Madrid Junction on the trail map). This area is already a popular destination for telemark skiers off the summit of 3000’ Bald Hill, but it also offers a broad stretch of delightfully gentle terrain, spectacular, mature maple forests, and more reliable snow at higher elevations (up to 2200’). The FPR collaboration would help us complete a lengthy, groomed perimeter loop, with many shorter options for all skier abilities.
Thus, our ambitious wishlist below of future trail projects:
- Complete construction of the unfinished southern section of the Gateway Loop and Chimera for grooming.
- Establish a 2.5km race loop that can be used mid-week to host high school ski races and build our appeal to another skier niche. This new project is prompted by our success in hosting eight local schools for a race this past winter.
- Work with yurt owners to skirt the yurts with a re-route of Stagecoach Road.
- Smooth Bear Claw for grooming.
- Finish the long-delayed re-route/construction of Woodchuck Ramble (from Stagecoach Road to Gullywhumper) once logging has been completed in that area. (This will eliminate the “trail to nowhere” feel of Gullywhumper and complete a portion of the envisioned groomed, grand perimeter loop.)
- Create a meandering, groomed trail (Poole’s Haunt) through mature maple forest from Dead River Run to Upper Crow’s Foot. This trail will offer an additional choice of loops on moderate terrain and provide a direct, groomable connection to the Gateway Loop and the more reliable, high elevation snowpack in the Bald Hill area. It will also provide a way to avoid logging impact in the Stagecoach Road/Woodchuck Ramble area of the network when that occurs.
- Work with the VT Dept of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) to establish a groomable network of trails that starts at the Madrid Junction intersection of Dead River Run and Skunk Brook Trail and then climbs gradually within CHSP to a connection with the Gateway Loop (2200’ elevation) at the base of 3000’ Bald Hill. This project would create access to scenic terrain featuring mature maple forest and gentle contours with appeal to a broad cross section of skiers.
- Work with Vermont Dept. of FPR and the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) to formalize a backcountry/telemark zone on Bald Hill and explore the possibilities for additional moderate terrain in CHSP to the west of Bald Hill.
- Create a challenging route to the top of 2500’ Crow Hill for additional, dramatic views and telemark skiing terrain.
- Work with the VT Dept of FPR to extend the popular backcountry Lion’s Ridge Trail further north along the ridgeline of Robbins Mountain.