Town-owned lands and trails have either remained open or re-opened recently for public use. A few conditions are necessary to ensure they stay that way:
- Be respectful and responsible. Outdoor spaces are essential for our collective physical and psychological well-being in times like these. Let’s not lose access to these valuable assets and opportunities due to a lack of thoughtfulness and kindness.
- Maintain appropriate social distancing standards, just like you would everywhere else. Keep at least 6ꞌ between you and other people.
- Don’t overcrowd. More people in a space increases the likelihood that social distancing standards can’t be met. If a parking lot is full, please find another place (see the list below for options) or come back another time.
- Respect private property at all times. The Town’s trail and recreational network may be built on public spaces, but it also relies heavily on privately-owned components as well. Treat all spaces – public or private – as if they were your own.
- If lands and trails are wet and muddy, please stay off. Look to use the dirt roads and paved sidewalks.
Where can you go?
For now, the following spots are open:
- Scrag Mountain Town Forest. There is parking available at the trailhead on Bowen Road. Please be mindful of conditions, and avoid using any sections of the trail that are wet. Upper sections are likely to be closed until conditions dry out – if so, signage will be placed on-site and notice provided to the community.
- The Austin parcel trail. Again, avoid sections that are wet.
- Access to the river can be found on the Tardy parcel, Austin parcel, and at Lareau swimhole.
- Flemer Field, also known as the polo field, is another option. Plenty of parking is available at the Town offices.
- The trails at Wu Ledges. This popular trail system has seen an increase in use in recent weeks. The Conservation Commission and Town remind users that the parking area on Hastings Meadow Road is limited to three vehicles. The loop used to access the parking area is privately-owned and maintained; please do not park elsewhere along the loop. Additional parking is available in Waitsfield Village (the Town owns a lot adjacent to the intersection of Route 100 and Bridge Street, for example); walking or biking up Bridge Street to Pine Hill Lane, and then up Pine Hill Lane to the trailhead there is a great way to access the Wu Ledges trails.
- The Mad River Path. For a complete listing of options, please visit: https://madriverpath.org/maps
The Mad River Valley Recreation District has compiled a listing showing what’s open, what’s not, and what guidelines folks should follow to use lands, trails, and rural roads safely, respectfully, and responsibly. To view the listing, please follow this link.
The Mad River Riders have opened most of the trail network. For updates, trail conditions, and recommended guidelines, please follow this link.
The Long Trail and its side trails are closed for mud season, but scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend (weather and mud allowing). For more information, visit the Green Mountain Club.
If you do walk, run, and bike along one of the many dirt roads in Town, please follow a few basic safety and etiquette guidelines: walk facing traffic (to ensure you can see motorists and they can better see you), maintain appropriate social distancing, and be safe (if you wear earbuds, for example, please make sure you are still aware of what’s happening around you).