Hello fellow trail enthusiasts. First, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Carolyn and I am the new executive director of Stowe Trails Partnership.
It is an honor to collaborate with our board of directors to lead this organization and to work with our community to help make the trails the best they can be. Every time spring rolls around, I’m blown away by the number of bikes I see in Stowe — whether its families riding on the Stowe Recreation Path, folks with bikes on their cars ready for an after-work ride, or groups of friends enjoying a post-ride beer at one of the local businesses. Mountain biking and all trail-based recreation have become truly ingrained in this community and it’s been incredible watching the sport’s growth.
This community and the partnerships that have been cultivated within it are what make Stowe Trails Partnership tick. With a 30 percent increase in trail use over the last two years, we rely more than ever on the support of our community to keep the trails in tip-top shape. We are where we are today thanks to our relationships with the town of Stowe, Stowe Land Trust, Trapp Family Lodge, additional landowners, businesses and our members and volunteers.
We meet with the town, land trust and Trapps throughout the year to ensure our organizations and representative stakeholders are aligned on trail projects and priorities. These behind-the-scenes relationships are critical to keeping access to the trails open for everyone year-round and ensuring we are managing the trails effectively:
• Building trails sustainably.
• Keeping the balance between developing great trails and protecting the habitats in which the trails are built.
• Educating all who enjoy the trails about the importance of stewardship.
If you would like more information about what is involved in working with these partners to manage trails in Cady Hill, Sterling and Adams Camp, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to these distinct properties, we maintain relationships with many other private landowners who provide access to trails. If you’ve ever ridden any of the connector trails between our networks, you have the landowners to thank for allowing recreation on their land. This is a great reminder to Ride with Gratitude, which you can learn more about at stowetrails.org/trails.
Members make it happen
We also work closely with local businesses in the community. Over 80 businesses signed on as sponsors for 2022 and their support is crucial to the success of our organization. We are grateful to all of them for recognizing the economic value trails bring to town. If you love riding in Stowe, we strongly encourage you to stop by or check out one of the many local businesses online to show your support.
I’ve used the word community a lot. But community is nothing without the individuals that comprise it. We are grateful to each one of you who signs on to be a member of Stowe Trails Partnership. You are who we are here to serve, and we are thrilled to steward the trails to connect you with outdoor recreation and the natural world. We invite all of you to join us as members for 2022.
Membership dues from riders and all trail users are essential to helping us reach our goals of improving the trails for the benefit of everyone. To address the 30 percent explosion in use we have recorded since 2020, our trail crew and volunteers put over 2,600 hours into both maintaining and building new trails in 2021. This, coupled with the $92,200 we invested in the trails — largely from those membership dues — has allowed us to keep them riding great, but we need continued support for 2022.
We are seeing continued growth in trail use and have lots of exciting projects on the horizon, including completing Serenity & Adrenaline, continuing adaptive enhancements in Cady Hill, building more trails to spread out user traffic, and more. Your support helps ensure that we can maintain and grow our network of trails, a resource that continues to add to the health, vitality and economic vibrancy in our community.
Thank you for supporting Stowe Trails Partnership. I look forward to seeing you on the trails.
Carolyn Lawrence is executive director of Stowe Trails Partnership.