Submitted by Rachel Fussell, Executive Director, Stowe Trails Partnership
On the eve of the 2019 mountain bike season, the world seems abuzz with excitement for the trail season ahead of us. And while technically it is already spring, in Vermont that means patience while waiting for the snow to thaw on the peaks and the trails to dry out from a long winter.
But there is no lack of enthusiasm from the trail community as we begin to embrace spring, just as we welcome every other season in Vermont as a time to soak up the unique recreational opportunities each one offers. Stowe Trails Partnership is looking forward to a busy spring and summer season in 2019. “Adams Camp 2.0” is already under construction and will add over three more miles of continuous singletrack trail to bypass the Haul Road. We are busy planning several community events like our Season Kick-Off Party, Annual Meeting and Spring Trail Work Day! We will also continue working diligently with our supporters and sponsors to create a robust culture around trails which will bring benefits to our members, residents and business community.
As we head into 2019 and beyond we will be focusing on our strategic vision of building new trails, maintaining our existing network, increasing connectivity and ultimately enhancing each trail user’s outdoor experience, all of which ensures we positively impact the Stowe community. If the question, “why build and maintain trails?” has ever crossed your mind, we have some new data that sheds some light on the subject. In 2016, the Vermont Greenway Council conducted the Vermont Trails Economic Impact Survey to quantify the benefits of trails in the state. The study researched the economic impacts of trails throughout Vermont, including the Catamount Trail Association (cross-country skiing), the Kingdom Trails Association (mountain biking), VAST (snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles), and the Green Mountain Club (hiking/backpacking). The data that was collected tells us that almost 61% of trail users are visiting from countries and states other than Vermont, and of these out-of-state visitors, 86% indicated that they were in Vermont because of the access to trails! Visitors noted that they averaged almost three days in the state to utilize our multi-use trails. This translates to an annual spending of over $15 million in new sales as a result of trail users spending their hard-earned dollars on food, lodging and outdoor equipment. Vermont’s robust tourism industry provides a significant injection of cash to our wonderful local businesses which include gear shops, restaurants, hotels and specialty stores.
Although we are not yet ready to hop on our metal steeds and pedal off into the maple jungle, we are ready to party and welcome our trail friends back to Stowe. Not only are we offering events to share feedback and hear about our trail stewardship progress during our Annual Meeting at the Stoweflake Resort & Spa, we are also looking ahead and celebrating the start of the 2019 season with our Kickoff Party at the Alchemist Brewery and gearing up to give back through our Annual Trail Work Day.
Check out our entire list of spring events and happening in and around Stowe! We are looking forward to an exciting and productive 2019 and hope to see you on the trails!
2018 Kickoff Party at The Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, VT
April 20, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m. Stowe Cider Fundraiser for Stowe Trails Partnership
May 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Save the Date for STP’s Annual Trail Work Day + Afterparty Barbeque!
Annual Spring Trail Work Day in Stowe, VT