New Perry Hill Trail Extension Promotes Trail Sustainability and Improves User Experience

26 October 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 27, 2021

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation

 

Contact:

Walter Opuszynski, Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation

802-802-522-6022 | walter.opuszynski@vermont.gov

 

John Duston, Waterbury Area Trails Alliance

802-696-2024 | waterburytrails@gmail.com

New Perry Hill Trail Extension Promotes Trail Sustainability and Improves User Experience

WATERBURY, VT - Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA) and The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR), which owns and manages the Perry Hill Block within the CC Putnam State Forest, are excited to announce the opening of a 1,500-foot extension to the Six Flags Trail at Perry Hill. The new section of multi-use mountain bike trail will connect Joe’s Trail to the Main Climb and will support mountain biking and pedestrian activities. The new trail section will allow for the closure of the Duct Tape Trail which was receiving limited use and required a high degree of annual maintenance.

FPR and WATA have been working together to evaluate the Perry Hill Trail network and identify projects that will increase trail sustainability and improve user experience. This trail realignment provides for increased expert-level riding in a section of the network that has seen lower use over the years. It is hoped that the new trail alignment and features will attract increased use to this area of the parcel, more evenly distributing use across the network.  

“This modification to the network was a really strong proposal from WATA,” said FPR Forest Recreation Specialist Walter Opuszynski. “This is an example of one of our partners recognizing they had a trail on the network that did not meet sustainable trail specifications. They found a creative solution that also improves the trail user experience and strengthens the network as a whole.”

Trail construction work was performed by Ide Ride, a Vermont-based trail building company, as well as groups of volunteers. Most of the upper portion of the new trail tread is constructed on bedrock, bringing a unique experience to users. Given the steep rock roll-out and challenging topography, Six Flags is rated a double black diamond and is likely to become a Perry Hill classic similar to the experience found on Joe’s Trail.

John Duston, WATA Program Director, recognizes the importance of the effort: “This new section is an incredible example of what Perry Hill has to offer. The community has been looking for more technical trails and by finding this vein of rock coupled with the talents of Ide Ride Builders, we now have a fantastic new section of trail in this State Forest.

"We tip our visor to WATA and FPR for such a wonderful trail,” said WATA business partner Noah Tautfest of Bicycle Express. “It's a really good addition to the network and it's great to see a technical trail being built. This is what our community has been waiting for."

The total cost of this construction project was $18,000.00. Annual WATA membership dues, along with the generosity of local business partners, helped cover the construction cost.

WATA is currently working with volunteers to perform the closeout work on Duct Tape Trail. Close-out work will include the installation of multiple water bars, the removal of culverts and bridges, and revegetation work that will support the old trail returning to a more natural condition. It is estimated that this work will take 90 hours of volunteer labor. If you would like to join in these efforts, please visit https://www.waterburytrails.com/events to see upcoming trail work dates.

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Founded by a dedicated and skilled group of local leaders in 2015, Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA) is the third largest Vermont Mountain Bike Association chapter with over 1300 members. WATA is a primarily volunteer-run organization that builds and maintains trails for a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable future. WATA represents a growing segment of trail users and businesses that are committed to enhancing and maintaining our Waterbury area trails for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is responsible for the conservation and management of Vermont’s forest resources, the operation and maintenance of the State Park system, and the promotion and support of outdoor recreation for Vermonters and our visitors

Photo Credit: Noah Tautfest