Category Archives: Trail Running

Maximum Capacity, It’s Grand and It’s OPEN!

On Sunday, August 21 we opened the last new trail to be built in Pine Hill Park and we definitely saved the best for last. We celebrated with a little ribbon cutting, some refreshments, and a chance to say hello to long-time members as well as those just discovering the park.

Cutting the Ribbon — Grand opening celebration of Maximum Capacity trail at Pine Hill Park August 21, 2022

Prior to the official snip of the ribbon long time Pine Hill Partnership leader and project coordinator Shelley Lutz shared a few thoughts:

“Thank you, Rutland Recreation, for having the trust in Pine Hill Partnership to build and maintain trails in the park. This started around 2003 with Cindi Wight and Michael Smith, who had a vision of the asset that Pine Hill Park could be for the city, then Ejay Bishop agreeing with this vision. Now it’s Kim Peters and Tyler Dahlin. The Rec Department’s trust has been instrumental in getting the park to where it is today. Thank you all. 

Next round of big thank you’ s go to Tim Vile, who designed the bridges in the park, and more recently Nate Netsch, Leonard Bartenstein and Keith Wight who will still come down to help us out on major projects. 

Pine Hill Partnership board of directors: Andy & Peggy Shinn, Joel Blumenthal, Claus Bartenstein, Lindsey Johnston, Nate Netsch, Dave Jenne. 

A huge thank you to Josh Harris and Rosey for volunteering their time, energy and mini-excavator to build the jump line on Maximum Capacity. This started out as me casually mentioning to Josh one day there was a mini bowl area we discovered when Keith and I walked this trail 5 or 6 years ago. Josh immediately said I’ll donate my time and mini and get Rosey to help build a jump line. Thank you Josh and Rosey for all your time well spent. 

Josh Harris (left) and Rosey sample the jump line they volunteered their time and a mini-excavator to build on Maximum Capacity.

VT Youth Conservation Corp has had a big hand in building trails in Pine Hill Park along with Rutland High School YES plan, Killington Mountain School and Youth Works. YES plan and KMS programs will be back in 2023 and Proctor High School will be doing an outdoor education class 2 days/week this fall learning how to maintain trails. 

Josh and Rosey Playing on the jump line. Video by Claus Bartenstein
Riders take a tour of the jump line on the freshly-opened Maximum Capacity trail. Video by Claus Bartenstein

Claudia Sachs was a crew leader for our crew this past summer that built Maximum Capacity. 

Funding for Maximum Capacity has been by contributions from folks who use the park. Plus a Recreational Trail Program grant that Nikki Adams a former Rec employee helped write. Thank you Kim Peters for letting Nikki assist in writing this grant. “

The work done by the VYCC crew was hard, dirty and wet a few days but luckily they did not lose any days to poor weather. Even the mosquitoes didn’t carry them away! The spongy moths were buggers the first week but 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.

Hope to see you in the park trying out Maximum Capacity soon!

Park is OPEN

Saturday, June 4th: Jigsaw is now open.

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.

KMS Students

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.

10 k leaf chase

The Leaf Chase is back for 2021!!! This is a pretty cool event, it is in person this year. Course will be marked for participants. Anyone is welcome including walkers.

For more information and registration sign up here: https://www.rutlandrec.com/leafchase

RTP GRant Awarded

We are proud recipients of a Recreation Trail Program grant (RTP) through the VT Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation who administers the grant. Out of 23 applicants we were one of nine chosen to receive an $18,000 grant. This will pay for a 3 week VT Youth Conservation Corp crew in 2022. This crew will work on Maximum Capacity and Bone Spur which are both located near or off Milk Run.

We would like to thank Kim Peters and Nikki Adams at Rutland Rec for helping the write the grant. Joel Blumenthal and Nicole Kesselring were instrumental in helping with the maps and Act 250 questions that we had to answer. Without everyone’s help our grant would not have been a success.

With some luck, YES plan from Rutland High School will return in the spring of 2022 to help with our fantastic trail system.

Update on trails

UPDATE April 8th: Trails are riding great. With the wind we have been having trees are falling down so reports are appreciated. pinehillpartnership@gmail.com. Trails that are still closed Exit Strategy, steep hill on Droopy, Lichen Rock. Voldemort should be open later today April 8th.

UPDATE April 5th: Opening up trails this afternoon except for our normal winter closures. Hopefully our 15 degree nights are done. Thank you for being patient.

UPDATE April 3rd: Trails are still going through freeze/thaw cycles with the cold weather that is back. We have frost poking up on the trail tread. Please NO BIKES.

UPDATE March 29th: Trails are slowly drying out. With all the rain on Sunday(28th) things got pretty soggy again but it did drive the frost out of the ground. Snow is in the forecast for later in the week so we have to wait until after that event to melt. We will be monitoring trails regularly to see when we can open for bikes. We need a bunch of windy days to dry the park out. PLEASE BE PATIENT!

We are in the middle of freeze/thaw cycles when the trails are super fragile. We would appreciate folks staying off the trails at this time. Hikers if you would stay on the Pond Rd that would be greatly appreciated too. Thank you.

Winter grooming under way

UPDATE 3/12/2021: Please no bikes until the park dries out in April. We are in a very trail tread fragile time of year with freeze/thaw cycles. If winter really shows back up again and everything is frozen solid you will want studded fat tires. Thank you for respecting all our hard volunteer work efforts into making Pine Hill Park such a cool place to play.

UPDATE 3/8/2021: We are done grooming for the year. With warm weather this week and wanting trails to unthaw for spring it is best to leave them alone. It has been a great winter for fat bikes, skis and hiking in the park. Not often we see snow that stays for a long period of time in Rutland.

As we approach spring with freeze/thaw cycles we are asking folks not to use the trails. It does a lot of damage to the trail tread when they are in that fragile state. When trails get rutted up water runs down that rut when it rains or when the frost is coming out of the ground. The water running down the rut then washes away all our hard earned soil we have moved by hand. We appreciate your cooperation. Thank you.

UPDATE 2/25/21: Nate N tried to groom today-Thursday 2/25. Snowdog kept falling off the track he had set earlier in the week. So instead of plugging long he headed back to the barn. Studs and ice cleats are highly recommended. Please do not ride/hike on the trails later Saturday or Sunday when temps get warm and turn everything to mush. Thanks!!!!

UPDATE 2/20/21: Nate N groomed more late this afternoon. Everything is in great shape. Check it out before the 45 degree weather shows up on Wednesday.

UPDATE 2/20/21: Nate N did groom some on Friday 2/19. He is planning on hitting more trails today to make them a little easier to walk and ride. Bikers and hikers if you are sinking in more than an inch please stick to the Pond Rd. When the bike tracks and foot prints freeze solid it’s not a lot of fun to walk or ride on. We can do some grooming but getting frozen tracks out of the trail tread isn’t something Snowdog can do unless we have fresh snow to smooth stuff out. So think about long term for trail use and what you would like it to be-smooth or rutted? Please 4″ or wider tires please. Thank you!

UPDATE 2/19/21: Nate N is planning on grooming later today(Friday 2/19) to try and get some of the foot and snowshoe prints out of the trail tread. The idea is with a little bit of snow and warmer temps he can smooth some of it out. Hearing the report on riding fat bikes in the park is not a lot of fun right now with all the frozen foot prints.

UPDATE 2/13/21: Nate N has been able to groom the last two days with the metal drag sled. Everything packed down really well and should be great walking, running and fat biking until next snow. Please leave a donation in Tinman or join Pine Hill Partnership to help offset the cost of running Snowdog. www.pinehillpartnership.org Thanks.

UPDATE 2/4/21: Nate N has done a bunch of grooming the last two days. It still might be a touch soft but should set up nicely. Hopefully we won’t get too much rain on 2/5. Here is a grooming map on what has been done.

UPDATE 1/19/21: Nate N did some grooming today. It’s still a little soft but we have a good track set. What is groomed: Escalator, Svelte, Sisyphus, Watkins, Shimmer, Overlook, Jigsaw Milk Run, Salamander, part of Droopy, Pond Rd. Plus a width swath on the ballfield.

UPDATE 1/16/21: It’s a soft and slushy weekend. We would appreciate folks to stay off the single track trails so they don’t form slushy ruts that freeze. Thank you.

UPDATE 1/13/2021: Park is riding super currently. We are asking 4″ or wider tires please. Please leave a donation in Tinman that will go toward our cool trail system. Thank you.

UPDATE 12/25/20: Christmas morning it is 55 degrees and raining out. We are very much hoping not to lose all our snow today. Once things freeze back up again and we get some snow Nate will continue to groom.

Nate N has started to groom in the park. We had so much snow last week that it was really hard for Snowdog to get through it. Waiting now for snow to compact and get some moisture in it so it will pack down. The plan is to try and get the trails highlighted in red groomed before the rain shows up on Christmas Eve. We’re hoping to get a solid base down and that it won’t all melt!

Snowshoers and skiers you could help us out by following these highlighted trails. It will make it easier for Snowdog .

Thank you.

2020 Races are on

Rutland Rec will be holding the Summer Sunset 5K race and Droopy Pedal Mountain bike race.

Summer Sunset series are happening!

  • Tuesday: 7/7 (Register by 7/5)
  • Tuesday: 8/11(Register by 8/9)
  • Registration 6PM | Race 6:30PM
  • Ages 0-17 FREE | Ages 18+: $5

Droopy Pedal Races: All skill levels are invited to participate. With 3 mile and 6 mile options, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

  • Enrollment minimum of 5 participants must be met by the Friday before @4PM to run this program.
  • Tuesday, July 14th register by 7/10 @4PM
  • Tuesday, August 18th register by 8/14 @ 4PM
  • Ages 0-17 FREE | Ages 18+: $5

Rutland Rec statement: COVID-19 GO PLAY RACE POLICIES UPDATED 6/17/2020

NEW THIS YEAR: With the safety and health of our community in mind, and in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, we will be requiring PREREGISTRATION for ALL GO PLAY RACES. Please refer to each individual event to see when preregistration will end. We will be limiting the number of participants to 25 MAXIMUM. All Go Play Races are done at your own risk, we are not requiring participants to wear masks during the race, but each participant is more than welcome to do so if they please. We do ask that ALL PARTICIPANTS wear masks when they are checking in at the registration table to receive their bibs, please take bibs and safety pins home with you after the race.

Park is now open for bikes

UPDATE MAY 2nd: We are open for bikes if you are driving less than 10 miles.

Please keep your social distance from others, step off the trail for others to pass. Studies are now show hiking, riding spacing should be 15′ or more as droplets be suspended for quite sometime.

We have not changed the heading on TrailHUB because as soon as we do an email blast will go out to over 14,000 followers. We do not need that information to get blasted out there.

We are all volunteers that work in the park. Please leave a donation in Tinman or make a donation via our webpage or snail mail. We are trying to raise money to bring a VYCC crew in to help replace our large volunteer groups this year that won’t be working in the park due to COVID-19 restrictions. https://pinehillpartnership.org/volunteer/

DOGS MUST BE LEASHED at all times. Animal control officer is patrolling the park.

UPDATE APRIL 24th: Trails are in good shape to ride. Carriage Trail is wet out past the powerline heading to Proctor. The big outer loop on Redfield trails is wet too. We would prefer folks not to ride those trails.

Please remember to keep your social distance from others, step way off to the sides of the trails . Studies are now show hiking, riding spacing should be 15′ or more as droplets be suspended for quite sometime.

DOGS MUST BE LEASHED please!

We will not be posting this on social media or updating TrailHUB. TrailHUB will still show closed to the right of your screen and it will stay that way for a little while.

UPDATE APRIL 10th: Trails are in good shape. It is currently snowing and it is slowly sticking to the ground so not sure what conditions will be like first thing Saturday 4/11. Please remember to keep your social distance from others, step way off to the sides of the trails . Studies are now show hiking, riding spacing should be 15′ or more as droplets be suspended for quite sometime. DOGS MUST BE LEASHED please! Please read March 27th update on why TrailHUB is not updated. Thank you.

UPDATE APRIL 4th: Trails are in good shape. We are asking folks to respect the social distancing and encourage all users to keep 6′ apart. DOGS MUST BE LEASHED at all times. Please leave a donation in Tinman for future trail work. Thank you.

UPDATE MARCH 27th: Trails are officially open for bikes. We will not be posting this on social media or updating TrailHUB. TrailHUB will still show closed to the right of your screen and it will stay that way for a little while. If the park is super wet we’re asking folks to be smart about riding. Remember your social distancing too. There are a lot of pedestrians in the park so please be courteous. Please have your dog leashed at all times. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE MARCH 25th: Trails are drying out nicely until we picked up 4″ of snow late Monday. As of late Wednesday there is still some snow on the ground so trails are soft. We need to have the snow melt completely then a few more days to dry everything out before we open to bikes. Please be patient.

When the trails do open it will be a quiet opening. TrailHUB will still show closed. If we change from closed to open an alert will go out to about 24,000 people. Needless to say we do not need to broadcast this to 24,000 people that park trails are open.

Exit Strategy, Lichen Rock and the steep hill on Droopy will be closed until they really dry out late spring.

We are currently hoping to hold our community work day Saturday, April 25th, 9AM at the front entrance.

At this point in time we are not sure about our volunteer groups coming this summer. We know Exit Strategy needs some TLC but as of now we’re not sure how it will be repaired at this point in time.

We are still hoping VYCC will be in this fall but we need to raise $15,000 for a two week crew. If you have not renewed your membership please do and we will take contributions of any amount which are tax deductible. We are applying for grants to help offset this cost but we could use your help.

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Well, folks it’s that time of year with the freeze/thaw cycles. We’re asking folks not to ride any type of bike with the the weather cycles we are currently experiencing. The trails are not freezing at night.

Someone decided to ride one of those warm 50+ degree days and basically destroyed part of Escalator. Our volunteers do not need extra work by repairing the ruts left by this one person who thought the sign at the front entrance did not apply to them.

We know folks are jonesing to ride but please be patient and not create more work for the volunteers who already have enough to do this year.