Where Do I Fatbike?
STAB has not been fortunate enough to have the abundance of Fatbike energy it takes to consistently maintain a Fatbike network. It tends to be hit or miss. After most snow storms, the Sewards are kind enough to groom a nordic skiing course in Mile Long Field. Fatbikes are welcome, as long as you stay out of the ski tracks set in the center of the groomed surface. Snowshoers from the town forest parking lot usually establish some bikeable routes over time. Routes from the AOC are less reliable and more difficult to find because of rope tow, tubing and Backcountry skiing/snowboarding activity. If enough interest in helping to groom fatbike routes is out there, please let us know, so that we can organize for future grooming.
Meanwhile, we must be aware of where we are not welcome to fatbike. Contrary to popular belief, we do NOT have permission to ride on VAST snowmobile trails. Local snowmobile clubs spend a lot of time and energy obtaining permission from each landowner, every year, specifically for use only by snowmobiles and only when winter conditions permit. All snowmobilers pay for memberships for this use. We do have permission from landowners on just a few locations, where the trail is part of a larger singletrack network. We must not use these trails without permission. A recent landowner/fatbiker encounter very nearly resulted in the closing of a critical section of snowmobile trail to ALL users. Again, with enough interest and volunteers, we may be able to work out some (access and maintenance) sharing agreements with the organizations on some trails.
Another place we must avoid is Swoops and Loops. Although this is excellent terrain for fatbiking, it is also ideal for deer wintering. Vermont Forest Parks & Recreation gave us permission to build and use this trail with the stipulation that it remain closed from November until Memorial Day weekend. This is stated at the kiosk, but additional signage will be added shortly.