Nate N has been out grooming in the park as of Monday, January 23rd. He will continue to groom as we appear to be getting a little more snow on-and-off over the next 10 days.
With Rutland Cold-Rolled just around the corner (February 12th) we are kindly asking people to treat our groomed trails with care. That means lowering your tire pressures so you’re not leaving ruts. Run 4″ or wider tires PLEASE! No regular mountain bike size tires pretty please!
Walkers, runners—please use snowshoes or X-C skis. Those little toe divots are not fun to ride on, and are very tough to groom out once the snow sets up. If you need snowshoes the Community Center has them to loan out.
This is a huge event that showcases Pine Hill Park to the mountain bike community in the northeastern US. We really could use everyone’s help in keeping our trails in tip-top shape!
Tom Estill’s Wild Times at Pine Hill Park is hot off the press! You never know what Tom will find in the woods.
Sorry to say, unlike other years, no burs were produced by the Svelte Tiger America Chestnut tree this year due to the Spongy Moth infestation. During my park walk on the last day of Sept., I saw my first loose association of white-breasted nuthatch, hairy woodpecker, tufted titmouse and black-capped chickadee. Migrating yellow-rumped warblers, blue jay, northern flicker and a red-bellied woodpecker were also seen. Very surprised to see a Mourning Cloak butterfly flying about. Those butterflies will spend the winter under loose bark or other places providing protection from predators and the elements, then emerge in early spring as one of the earliest animals to do so.
Oct. 8th found the forest to be very quiet. The forest was at, or very near, to the height of the fall foliage season. At Muddy Pond could be found hundreds of migrating Canada geese along with a hooded merganser. The only birds I saw on my walk to and from Muddy Pond were a hairy woodpecker and migrating pine warbler. The pine warbler seems to be one of the earliest birds to arrive from the south in the spring, and one of the last to leave in the fall. A few plants were still flowering including the blue aster, wild chamomile, and white aster.
In Mid-October I was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time. While sitting at Rocky Pond I saw two merlins chasing one another. I had never seen a merlin at Rocky Pond before. The last time I saw one was over a decade ago, perched on a tree along the shore of the Patuxent River in Maryland. Otherwise the forest was very quiet. Numerous Canada geese were still resting at Muddy Pond, but mallards and green-winged teals were also seen. In the forest could be found a broadwinged hawk, white-breasted nuthatch, a small flock of dark-eyed juncos, red-tailed hawk, hairy woodpecker, and turkey vultures flying overhead.
The first week of November found temperatures in the low 70s, with about 50 Canada geese seen at Muddy Pond, and only a single white-breasted nuthatch.
One Nov. 11th, Muddy Pond was starting to ice over around its perimeter in a few places along the shore. Rocky Pond showed no signs of ice. Birds seen included a pileated woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, and crows.
By the first week of December, both ponds were free of any ice, and there was no snow on the ground. Hundreds of Canadian geese and a pair of Common Mergansers were seen at Muddy Pond. Gray squirrels were running about in high numbers. 3 does were seen near Trail Marker #24, and flying about the trees was a loose association of black-capped chickadees, hairy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, crows overhead.
By December 10th, both ponds were showing signs of ice along a few places of their shorelines. Still no snow on the ground. In the trees you could find a red-bellied woodpecker, black-capped chickadees, hairy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch and tufted titmouse.
By mid-December, both ponds were finally frozen over. Loose associations of forest birds were now seen almost on a regular basis. The loose association of birds provide extra protection for the birds, and improves their chances of seeing predatory birds nearby.
That’s it for this issue. Please stay on the trails while you enjoy observing the wildlife of Pine Hill Park.
The creative minds behind Überwintern and Winterbike are at it again! Mountain Bike Vermont has partnered with Pine Hill Partnership in Rutland, Vermont to offer a day of fatbike stoke on cold-rolled single-track this Super Bowl Sunday! Join us Sunday February 12th, 2023 as fatbikers from around New England and New York gather in Rutland to lead a charge with Old Man Winter, replete with group rides, demos, and hearty brews around warm fires.
The event will feature a vendor village, rides for all ages and abilities, and groomed packed powder trails for your fatbiking pleasure. Group rides will begin at 10am at the Giorgetti Athletic Complex at 2 Oak Street Extension (the Pine Hill Trailhead) where we’ll also convene for lunch at 12:00 pm. The remote aid station (aka party central) will be located at the overlook and will feature a bonfire and our favorite mid-ride refreshers. Lunch at Giorgetti will be catered by our friends at Ranch Camp (Stowe, VT).
“We’re beyond excited to bring the Cold Rolled back to Pine Hill Park – this trail network has some of the best fatbiking in the state, and the community rallies to maintain them all winter.” says event cofounder & Killington Valley local Nate Freund of MTBVT. “We’re stoked to bring the party to Rutland and introduce riders from around the northeast to these amazing trails!”
The $50 ticket price ($35 for the under 21 crowd) includes group rides, lunch (with both carnivorous and veggie options), and a signed original Cold Roll Rutland artist print. So air down those tires, break out the extra layers, and get ready to party MTBVT style.
Advanced Ride – This ride’s duration is up to 3ish hours. The pace is for avid riders that enjoy covering ground at a steady pace. You can expect up to 12ish miles of riding over variable terrain.
Intermediate – These rides are for most folks looking to have a good time, stop at the fire for a bit, and be guided around PHP. this ride will be three hours in duration with opportunities to bail out or put in a few extra miles.
Beginner ride – Beginner rides take folks on the easier terrain and no experience is necessary. This ride will bring participants to the remote aid station and back to base.
About Mountain Bike Vermont
Mountain Bike Vermont (MTBVT.com) is an online journal, events promoter, apparel company, and rolling party instigator. MTBVT’s dual initiative is documenting and promoting the Green Mountain State’s incomparable cycling community. Visit MTBVT.com for info on our annual event series, shop our online store, and peruse new and archived articles. #MTBVT
Have questions? Want to become a vendor? Contact email@example.com
KSA Built is in the park doing trail remediation work thanks to the Enhanced Recreation and Stewardship Grant that Rutland Recreation received.
We are super jazzed about how the trails that cross the upper power line are coming out. Arthur’s Chair(Upper Jersey) has had a tune-up. Strong Angel and Upper Jersey Turnpike have had a lot of work on them and will stayed closed until ground is freezes solid. Watkins Wood Rd spring area received a culvert to hopefully eliminate that spring mud hole.
Underdog, Salamander, upper Droopy Muffin, PA4J and Casey’s Cross all have been repaired. Where these trails cross the power lines and it’s sunny and warm(above 25 degrees) please stay off those sections of trails. The dirt has a lot of moisture in it being recently disturbed and will rut extremely easy. We would appreciate it if folks just be aware of tire and foot traffic leaving ruts in the dirt. We do not need to readdress these in the spring.
The work KSA Built is doing is fantastic with more refinements to come early next year. Broken Handlebar North, Halfpipe, Exit Strategy and Escalator will all get tuned up.
KSA Built is starting Thursday, October 27th in the park. Rosey will be working as late into late fall that weather permits. Some trails may be closed off as they are being upgraded. Please do not ride, walk, or run if you see a trail closed sign on that trail.
Broken Handlebar North and all of Halfpipe will see major improvements. Other smaller sections of trails will have drainage’s improved so water stops running straight down the trail tread. These improvements are part of the ERSA Grant Rutland Recreation received. Pine Hill Partnership is helping defray the higher cost of diesel some of our trails can see the upgrade they need. If you would like to make a donation directly to our trail fund please do so here https://pinehillpartnership.org/membership/ All contributions go back directly into Pine Hill Park trail system.
VYCC (VT Youth Conservation Corp) will be in the summer of 2023 to do more trail remediation work.
Our trails are being used heavily and need much needed TLC so please bear with this while the work is being performed.
July 20th Update: Maximum Capacity is complete and still closed. VYCC crew #5 did a great job in building this trail. They came in not knowing what they were getting into fully and came out seasoned trail builders understanding how to build a complete trail from scratch.
We will have a grand opening for this trail. We’re just not sure when. Stay tuned to social media and our webpage for updates.
The crew built 5 huge banked corners, two French drains under two of our banked corners. We built rock ride overs to protect tree roots or help to raise the trail tread in low places. Moved TONS of rocks literally. We taught them finish work how to build rolling grade dips complete with out-slope or in-slope a trail for drainage.
This rock weighed probably 800-1000 lbs. We dug it out and replaced it into a banked corner.
The crew members are from all over the US, college students needing a summer job.
The work was hard, dirty and wet a few days but luckily we did not lose any days to poor weather. Even the mosquitoes didn’t carry us away. The spongy moths were buggers the first week in the caterpillar stage even they slowed down thankfully.
Maximum Capacity is 2486′ long. When combined with Broken Handlebar, Jigsaw, Milk Run, Furlough and Exit Strategy it will be 12,215 (2.3 miles) foot long mostly downhill run.
Pine Hill Partnership applied for a Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant which we received to pay for this 3 week crew. Thank you to Rutland Rec for their help in writing the grant and the maintenance crew for their support in mowing VYCC camping site and equipment we can borrow when needed.
June 27th Update: VYCC has been here for one week and will be here until July 8th working on Maximum Capacity and hopefully Bone Spur. They are camping at the Community Center feeding all the mosquitoes.
Anyone who likes to make cookies or brownies VYCC would be grateful recipients.
The trail is CLOSED until it is completed and the trail tread has time to set up.
Folks have been hearing about Maximum Capacity for over a year now. The trail is coming to life with Killington Mountain School back in May and currently with YES Plan (Rutland High School students) in early June. The students have done a great job in removing organic material. We will continue to work on this trail with YES Plan and VT Youth Conservation Corp to hopefully have it open by the end of July. The trail is approximately 2500′ long.
If you have flexible hours and would like to help with finish work let us know. This is where we do all the raking to create a sustainable trail tread. Send firstname.lastname@example.org an email for more details. We do have a lot of trail broken open that needs finish work so many hands make light work.
Sunday, May 21st: Park is open today with Jigsaw being closed and roped off. There are still some tender places in the park so be gentle riding please. Thank you.
6PM UPDATE: Friday, May 20th. Park will remained closed for Saturday. We will reassess later Saturday afternoon to see if trails have dried up to open for Sunday. We still have standing water on a lot of trails. Please stay off the trails it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Volunteers will be checking the trails late Friday (5/20) afternoon to see if they have dried up. We had another .2″ of rain on Thursday evening. We are hoping the trees leafing out and a little bit of wind this afternoon things will dry out for the weekend. Stay tuned. Thank you.
We have had to temporarily close the park due to the amount of rain last Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. We have standing water on a lot of our trails. The water needs to drain out before we reopen for all users.
Thank you for respecting our temporary trail closures.
Water on Strong Angel, Jigsaw and Sore Elbow, Tuesday, May 17th.
Thank you to Killington Mountain School for a solid morning of removing organic material on Maximum Capacity. The students, coaches and administrators broke open about 900 feet of trail in 2 hours. This is 900 feet less than the VT Youth Conservation Corp will have to do in late June. Thank you KMS!
Rutland High School YES Plan is back in early June. We will continue to work on Maximum Capacity.
It is fantastic to have these work groups back in the park.
Pine Hill Park is conducting an Economic Development & Marketing Research Survey to better understand the actions and habits of our visitors and park members. We hope to learn more about the activities and opportunities that attract individuals to visit Pine Hill Park, financial patterns associated with visits, as well as how to better reach our visitors and park members.
This survey will take between 5-10 minutes to complete. Please take your time and answer each question as accurately as possible.