KSA Built has been in the park since the end of May. Rosey finished up Exit Strategy so we could get that open.
From Exit Strategy KSA Built moved to Casey’s Cross to put a culvert in to fix our perpetual mud area.
Broken Handlebar North was next up for a major tune up. The table top has been improved with an ‘A’ and ‘B’ line for an exit. The ‘B’ line jump at the bottom that flows really well. Further down the rock face there is now a ‘jump line’. Please look at this feature before attempting to hit it. There is no roll over it is a ‘jump’. The rest of Broken Handlebar North received a tune up as well with some hip jumps, log jump.
Table top above
Jump line which does not have a roll off feature!
REMEMBER: Pre-ride, free-ride, re-ride!!! Broken Handlebar is not an easy access for first responders.
Rosey’s Rollover landing area received a little TLC. Next year the rest of this trail will be improved to make it more fun to ride.
Upper Halfpipe has gotten a significant upgrade. Many of the features that had been built in 2008 all needed some TLC. Lower Halfpipe is getting tuned up as well.
Upper Halfpipe getting a small reroute for better flow
Lower part of Furlough will have some drainage issues resolved. The water current runs straight down the trail tread which is not good for the trail.
Aaron’s Air will also receive some TLC before KSA Built leaves for the season.
All this repair work has been through an ERSA grant through the state. Pine Hill Partnership is paying out of pocket $11,000 as the quote and bid came in at different prices due to diesel being more expensive. Please consider becoming a member or making a contribution to help cover these costs. https://pinehillpartnership.org/membership/
Tom had another great adventure in the park this spring:
The first day of spring found Rocky and Muddy ponds both still covered in ice. A crow, Northern Cardinal and Tufted Titmouse were the only birds seen on my walk that day. But I had the most fun setting up my trail cam in a rocky cliff face along the Carriage trail in an attempt to capture video of what I believed was a porcupine denning in the rocks. Porcupine tracks leading to the area, porcupine scat, and distinctive porcupine chew marks on nearby trees all led me to believe a porcupine was denning in the area.
A few days later on March 23rd, I went on an evening walk and, while standing along the shore of Rocky Pond, observed a dozen turkey vultures soaring high above the Ledges there, and then start to slowly descend one by one onto and amongst the rocks. This is something I have observed many times over the years, always around the Spring Equinox. It makes me wonder if that area was closed to the public(something I am NOT proposing) would turkey vultures nest there? This day was also the first time I observed robins in the park. And, of course, gray squirrels were busy scurrying around.
The next day, I noticed that most snow was now gone from the lower trails, but increases as you go up in elevation. Bird courtship behavior was becoming more evident, with two hairy woodpeckers observed fighting each other over a nearby female hairy woodpecker. It was the first day I felt that spring had finally arrived. Red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, robin, tufted titmouse, black-capped chickadee, and white-breasted nuthatch were all observed. Both ponds were still completely frozen over with the exception of a small band of open water along Rocky Pond, and near the beaver dam on Muddy Pond. Eastern newts were seen in the open waters. Two pairs of Canada geese were seen in the open waters of Muddy Pond.
By March 26th, recent mild temperatures helped to melt snow, and there was much water flowing into Rocky Pond from the stream flowing under the walk bridge. The following morning walk was absolutely beautiful with my first seasonal sighting of chipmunks and Eastern bluebirds checking out the bird houses near the trail head. Song sparrows near the trailhead, red-shouldered hawks and broadwing hawks flying overhead, mallards and Canada geese at Muddy Pond, and a small pearl crescent butterfly flying about, all suggested that the great northern migration was underway.
On April 1st, I observed my first wild flower in the park, the Coltsfoot flower. Always the first flower to appear. Also observed my first mourning cloak butterfly, one of the first butterflies to appear in the park each early spring. Wood ducks, mallards, and Canada geese were seed at Rocky Pond and the Rocky Pond outlet area, a place I am sure wood ducks nest each year, though I’ve never seen an active nest there.
On April 3rd, Rocky Pond was finally ice free, and the forest was very quiet with only hairy woodpeckers and tufted titmouse being observed.
April 4th found nesting Canada geese, a dozen common mergansers, and a sleeping beaver all at Muddy Pond. A beautiful deer was seen near the 16A trail sign, and my trail cam showed a porcupine at that site on the Carriage Trail I had mentioned earlier.
A few days later, Eastern phoebes and a golden-crowned kinglet were seen for the first time in the park, and a pair of Osprey were seen at their nest platform at Muddy Pond. Eastern newts were mating at Rocky Pond.
As the days went by, more and more signs of spring were seen. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers had returned, a Cooper’s hawk was nesting in a tree along the 2nd Giorgetti trail, painted turtles were basking in the sun at Muddy Pond, and wood frogs were calling in the wetland area on the south side of Rocky Pond..
During the second week of April, trout lily started to appear on the forest floor, trailing arbutus and oak trees were now flowering, spring peepers and leopard frogs were calling, and hermit thrush were singing. Ring-necked ducks were seen at Muddy Pond. On April 15th I had the wits scared out of me when a ruffed grouse suddenly exploded into flight from a spot very close to where I was walking. So perfectly camouflaged are those birds.
During the third week of April, wood anemone, sedges, and barren strawberry were in flower.
A week later, I planted an American Chestnut tree seedling near Rocky Pond. The seedling came from a seed harvested by Mount St. Joseph Academy advanced biology students in the fall of 2022, and refrigerated until March of 2023. The students have been taking care of an orchard of 20 American chestnut trees since 2019 in the back of their school. In 2022, they harvested their first 27 viable American chestnut seeds, a first for a Vermont school.
During the first week of May you could find two-leaved toothwort, white violets, gay wings, bellwort, and wild strawberries all flowering. New birds seen included ovenbird and
In Mid-May red eyed-vireos, house wrens, great blue heron, great crested flycatcher, and veery could be seen and heard, and flowers blooming included Solomon’s seal, false Solomon’s seal, wood betony, foam flower, and starflower.
During the last week of May I saw the beautiful northern oriole at Rocky Pond, the stunning indigo bunting at its usual nesting place underneath the power lines on Carriage Road near Rocky pond, and the breathtaking scarlet tanager in numerous places in the park.
Chestnut-sided warblers and American redstarts were back in good numbers. New flowers in bloom included common buttercup, early azalea, garlic mustard, and common cinquefoil.
During the first week of June I planted a new American chestnut seedling up at Rocky Pond to replace one that died over winter, and saw my first Viceroy and Eastern Swallowtail butterflies. The Viceroy is easily confused with the Monarch butterfly, but is smaller and has a black line across the lower part of its main wings.
During the second week of June you would likely see the following birds in the park: Song sparrow, Canada geese, great blue herons, wood ducks, common mergansers, tufted titmouse, American redstart, chestnut-sided warbler, red-eyed vireo, yellow-throated vireo, scarlet tanager, indigo bunting, Eastern towhee, ruby-throated hummingbird, catbird, yellow-bellied sapsucker, Eastern pewee, barred owls, hermit thrush, veery, and ovenbird. New flowers in bloom would include: common fleabane, ox-eye daisy, ragwort, sarsaparilla and moccasin flower.
On June 19th, I discovered a great blue heron nesting in the wetland area just behind the major inlet to Muddy Pond at the west end of the pond. I also saw my first White Admiral butterfly of the season..
That’s it for this issue. Please stay on the trails and enjoy observing the wildlife at Pine Hill Park.
The beginning of winter found both Rocky and Muddy Ponds frozen over, and the forest birds were being regularly seen together in their loose association of black-capped chickadees, crows, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, and downy woodpeckers.
During the last week of December, I was pleasantly surprised to see a Cooper’s hawk flying near the trailhead, and a small flock of southerly migrating Canada geese. Chipmunks were still scurrying about, busy collecting and storing acorns and other food items in preparation for the cold weather ahead. A few inches of snow covered the ground, while ice covered many of the trails.
The last day of December found temperatures in the high 40s(F), and low 50s(F). Deer were seen crossing the Carriage Trail, and a barred owl was seen under the powerlines on the Carriage Trail on the way to Rocky Pond.
Jan. 1st weekend was the Christmas Bird Count for Pine Hill Park. Participants included myself, Shelley Lutz, and Dave Jenne. Birds seen and their numbers included: Crow(15), Black-capped chickadee(23), downy woodpecker(8), white-breasted nuthatch(17), tufted titmouse(20), mourning dove(7), cardinal(6), house sparrow(4), dark-eyed junco(3), Eastern bluebird(2), blue jay(1), red-bellied woodpecker(3), house finch(1) and brown creeper(4).
Jan. 2nd found me exploring rock outcrops near Rocky Pond and finding porcupine and deer tracks, with porcupine tracks and scat leading to an active den among the rocks.
That first week of Jan. also found a few small areas around the perimeter of Rocky Pond with open water and an otter coming in and out of a small hole in the ice at Rocky Pond with a small fish occasionally seen in its mouth. That was exciting enough, but what I saw on the way back to the trailhead had a profound effect on my view of nature. I have seen hundreds of deer at Pine Hill Park over the years, always a pleasure to see. But what I saw on Jan. 8th was different. While walking along the lower ledges trail, near trail marker 24, I was surprised, when not more than 50 ft. from me, three deer seemed to appear out of nowhere right in front of me.
I didn’t see or hear them until they moved, and then they just slowly disappeared into the forest.
I stood there and thought to myself how supremely adapted deer are to their environment. Their camouflage was perfect. Their gray bodies blending in with the large gray boulders, their legs with the tree trunks, and just enough white to help break up the gray. It took thousands of years of evolution for those beautiful animals to reach that point of perfect adaptation to their environment. That encounter changed forever my opinion about deer. Amazing animals
By the next day, both ponds were once again completely frozen over. The only birds seen on my walk were white-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadees and a hairy woodpecker.
By mid-January most snow was gone on the ground, and on a windy, cold Jan. 6th day, I saw only one bird, a white-breasted nuthatch. Rocky Pond was completely frozen over with long streams of featherly like snow drifting over its surface, which from a distance looked like wind blown waves on the surface of the ocean. It seemed odd to me that a small area of open water would be found near the eastside beaver den on Muddy Pond on such a very cold winter day.
The last week of Jan. found the forest floor once again covered in snow, both ponds frozen over, and numerous deer tracks found throughout the whole forest.
By the first week of Feb., the silence of winter had set it upon Pine Hill Park. Very few birds seen, bitterly cold days, and ponds frozen solid. One Feb. 2nd, I had a close encounter with a pair of black-capped chickadees who flew within just a few feet of me. They seemed very inquisitive and almost tame.
On Feb. 6th, I saw a Cooper’s hawk along the lower Giorgetti and a barred owl near trail marker
16. Also was lucky to find an abandoned broad-winged hawk nest, high in the white pine tree directly behind the Station #5 Sign on the Lower Giorgetti Trail. For years, I’ve observed a broad-winged hawk in that area and just knew it had a nest somewhere nearby.
On Feb. 13th, I had that feeling that the worst of winter was behind us and that signs of spring would soon start to appear. I started looking for snow fleas(springtails), a sure sign for me that we were over the “hump” of winter. Though Rocky Pond was completely frozen over, Muddy Pond had a few small areas of open water on the East side(it receives the most sun) near the large beaver den. A large deer was seen near trail marker #24, and birds seen included hairy woodpecker, tufted titmouse, black-capped chickadee, and white-breasted nuthatch.
Two days later, with recent warm temperatures, the lower trails were mostly devoid of snow and ice, while upper trails still were covered with snow. Rocky Pond had large areas of standing water, especially along the shores, covering ice beneath.
The first week of March I observed my first snow fleas. I set up a trail camera near Trail Marker 16 and when I checked it the next day, I got a picture of a fox, and an inquisitive deer with its nose up close to my camera lens.
The next day, I set up my camera near Trail Marker L, and saw that I got a picture of another deer. On the way back to the trailhead I saw my first turkey vulture of the season soaring overhead.
On Feb. 9th, snow was melting, some oak trees were showing buds, and 2 large areas of open water were observed on Muddy Pond. Birds seen included black-capped chickadees, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, crows overhead, downy woodpecker and red-bellied woodpecker. The next day, snow continued to melt due to relatively warm temperatures.
On March 13th, the ground was once again covered in snow due to recent big storms, and temperatures were noticeably colder. By March 18th, snow was about 6” deep. Lots of deer tracks were observed, Canada geese seen flying north overhead, and cardinals and mourning doves were singing(well, cardinals were singing, doves were “cooing”).
That’s it for this issue. Please stay on the trails, and enjoy your Wild Times at Pine Hill Park.
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.
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.
By the official start of summer, damage from the Spongy moth (formerly called the Gypsy moth) seemed to be tapering off. Much of the park had been affected by the moth, though interesting enough, there were some areas of the park which saw little or no defoliation.
During the first week of summer, you would see American redstart, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, veery, hermit thrush, adult yellow-bellied sapsuckers feeding their noisy young, least flycatcher, kingfisher, mallards with young, pileated woodpecker and great blue herons. Green frogs and Gray treefrogs could be heard calling near Muddy Pond, schools of young brown bullheads could be seen swimming near the shores of Rocky Pond and a number of flowers were in bloom including, yellow loosestrife, wood sorrel, yellow hop clover, bedstraw, common fleabane, and thimbleweed.
At the end of June, spongy moths were starting to go into their pupae stage. On June 30th, I met two students from the University of Vermont testing frogs at Rocky Pond for the presence of RANAVIRUS. It was part of a statewide study on amphibian diseases in Vermont.
On a walk through the forest on June 30th, I saw a house wren (still nesting in their nest box on the boardwalk), American redstart, chestnut-sided warbler, red-eyed vireo, yellow-throated vireo, downy woodpecker, yellow-bellied sapsucker, Easter pewee, indigo bunting, Eastern towhee, catbird, and Great Blue Heron and Osprey at Muddy Pond.
During the first week of July, I saw the same birds as I did on July 30th, but also saw black-capped chickadees, scarlet tanager, hairy woodpecker, ovenbird, barred owl, hermit thrush, and a great-crested flycatcher. An osprey was observed successfully catching a fish at Muddy Pond, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers were no longer calling their parents for food. Flowers in bloom included Pointed-leaved tick trefoil, rough-fruited cinquefoil, heal-all, and yellow loosestrife. Red raspberries and honeysuckle were both in berries. Both bullfrogs and green frogs were croaking at Rocky Pond. Mourning cloak and great-spangled butterflies were flying about, adult spongy moths were beginning to emerge, and an absolutely gorgeous Widow dragonfly was seen flying at Rocky Pond. Many chipmunks and gray squirrels were scurrying about.
During an early morning walk on July 11th, I was amazed at how well the forest was recovering from the season’s terrible infestation of the spongy moth. Trees were regrowing leaves and the canopy didn’t look as bare as it had a few weeks earlier. I was also surprised at how few spongy moths were flying about, unlike last year when their numbers were astronomical. Queen Ann’s Lace had started to bloom, wood ducks were swimming about at Muddy Pond, and the mourning cloak, monarch, and pearl crescent butterflies were flying about.
In mid-July, 5 new American chestnuts were planted to replace 5 which had died. There are currently 50 planted American chestnut trees in the park and 2 WILD American chestnuts which were recently discovered. Both wild American chestnuts are producing burs, but the seeds inside are sterile due to the fact they were not fertilized by other American chestnut trees, which they have to be if fertile seeds are to be produced.
On July 15th, a magnificent doe was seen on the carriage trail, and a woodchuck and Eastern cottontail were both seen on the Crusher Rd. A broad-wing hawk was flying overhead and I’m sure had its eye on one of those small mammals. The Deptford Pink was once again seen flowering under the powerlines on the Carriage Trail. Next year, if you can remember, look for this beautiful pink flower, and look at it closely. In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful flowers in the park. And while you’re looking for that flower under the powerlines, listen for the call of the Eastern Towhee which nests in that area, and is a bird of beautiful colors, especially the red eyes.
During the 3rd week of July, new flowers blooming included white vervain, buttonbush (the flowers remind me of chandeliers), and steeplebush. Yellowthroats could be heard along Crusher Rd., and the beautiful Rosy Maple Moth was seen along the Carriage Trail. At Rocky Pond, you could see 3 different kinds of dragonflies, including the twelve-spotted skimmer, common whitetail, and the Elisa skimmer.
During the last week of July, I went on an evening walk the day after a major rainstorm. The trails were literally covered with red efts and young wood frogs.
On Aug. 1st, a walk through the forest proved to be very, very, quiet. The only new bird I saw was a ruby-throated hummingbird. Barred owls were still calling and a hooded merganser was seen at Rocky Pond.
During the first week of August, you could still find cardinals, white-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, eastern towhee, red-eyed vireo, yellow-bellied sapsucker, broad-winged hawk, pileated woodpecker, Eastern phoebe, Canada geese at Muddy Pond, indigo bunting, osprey at Muddy Pond, American redstart, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, black and white warbler, red-bellied woodpecker, Eastern wood pewee and American goldfinch. Many robins could also be seen starting to migrate south through the forest. Oh yes—active bald-faced hornet nests could easily be found here and there. Stay clear of such nests!
On August 9th, during a morning walk to Rocky Pond, I saw numerous Cedar Waxwings among the softwoods on the south side of the pond. I ask myself why it is that I always see Cedar Waxwings in this same area, this same time of the year, year-in and year-out?
In mid-August, acorns were starting to appear on oak trees, with gray squirrels having a good time feasting on the nuts. Indian tobacco was in flower.
On August 24th, I found the forest very quiet and saw only an Eastern towhee, broadwing hawk, yellow-throated vireo, and a ruby-crowned kinglet.
Pickerel and green frogs were seen at Rocky Pond. On September 3rd, I measured the height and DBH (diameter breast height) of a second wild American Chestnut discovered in the park by Shelley and Nate. The tree was 68 ft. tall and had a DBH of 13.3 inches. The seeds found in the burs were all infertile, unfortunately.
In mid-Sept., the forest had become very quiet. Many migrants were gone, and I was seeing more and more of our winter year-round resident birds including blue jay, white-breasted nuthatch, and black-capped chickadee. Yellow-throated vireo was seen, one of the first migrating birds to return in spring, and one of the last to leave. Goldenrod and flat-topped wood aster in flower.
On the last day of summer, I noticed very few acorns on the forest floor compared to other years and attributed that to the fact that the oak trees of pine hill park were decimated by the spongy moths this year. Looks like a poor MAST season for sure. A few flowers were still in flower, including New England aster, a few other species of asters, and goldenrod. 3 does were seen together, along with pileated woodpeckers, northern flicker, tufted titmouse, and white-breasted nuthatch. At Muddy Pond could be found about 50 Canada geese, and a few wood ducks and mallards.
That’s it for this issue. Please stay on the trails, and enjoy the Wild Times of Pine Hill Park.
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.
UPDATE: May 3: Steep hill on Droopy Muffin and Lichen Rock are now open. Exit Strategy and Voldemort are still closed.
UPDATE: April 13: Trails are open for pedestrians and bikes. Lichen Rock, steep hill on Droopy and Exit Strategy are closed. Power company is doing work on a the power-line up by the Crusher. Please be aware of large vehicles on the Pond Rd.
UPDATE: April 11th: Trails are open for pedestrians only. We finished the new boardwalk this past weekend. Bikes you’ll have to be patient a little bit longer. Thank you.
Update: April 1st.
Trails are now closed to all users. Trails are in the process of thaw/freeze cycles and are very susceptible to trail damage. All our volunteers would greatly appreciate it if folks could hold off on riding and walking.
The park is closed to pedestrians this year also. We are hoping to open soon for pedestrians but trails need to dry out more.
NEMBA has a really great explanation on why we need to give trails a break in the spring.
We will be holding our annual meeting virtually this year. It will be held Tuesday April 5, 6:30-7:30pm. If you would like to attend the Microsoft Teams meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with Annual Dinner in the subject line.
We will give a brief overview of the coming year’s project plans along with a short business meeting.
Would you like to join our board of directors? Do you have some time and energy to give back?? Think about joining our board of directors. Let us know via email at email@example.com.
Our weather is all over the place. The warm weather towards the end of February definitely gave us some boiler plate ice that is now covered with a little bit of snow. Plus there is frozen bare ground that is covered in snow. Fat bike folks you will prefer studded tires but be wary as the snow is not sticking to the ice fully. That might change in the near future with warmer temps. We do not have enough snow to groom.
Pedestrians most likely will prefer some sort of ice gripper. Not necessary but depends if you like landing on your butt at unsuspecting times.
Speaking of warmer weather….long range weather report is showing a warm up then getting cooler again. However, as we approach the end of March the trails start the dreaded freeze/thaw cycle. What does that mean for Pine Hill Park???
When we feel it’s appropriate the park will close to all users. Bikes, pedestrians, everyone. The freeze/thaw cycle we are asking all users not to utilize the trails. The trails become muddy, ice is pushing up out of the ground and with foot traffic and bike traffic it destroys the trail tread. We are asking folks to be aware of our conditions. We will have a white board at the front entrance letting folks know if trails are open or closed. If you use social media it will be the easiest place to find if trails are open or closed. We understand folks want to get outside after a long winter but we are kindly asking not to use our trail system once the freeze/thaw cycles start.
Our trails are being used hard by many folks and trail degradation is happening faster than our core volunteers can maintain. Please consider making a donation to Pine Hill Partnership to help pay for a VYCC crew and a professional trail builder to come in and help repair some of our older trails.