Hello, fellow riders! We wanted to share an update on all that's happened across the Mad River Valley trail network that your membership, donations and volunteering support.
40 Days and 40 Nights
Perhaps you noticed - it's been a wet summer! The record precipitation has saturated our trail network's soil, forcing us to close the trails in order to preserve the trails' beauty and sustainability. We know it's disappointing when the sun finally comes out and you’re looking to get outside and ride, only to see your favorite trail is still closed. The rainy weather has been especially hard on our Rippers youth program, which has missed as many Tuesday night rides as have taken place. Please understand that this is not a decision we take lightly. Our trail committee monitors the conditions of critical connector trails regularly and consults with our trail crew and trail stewards to determine when it is responsible to reopen them.
Huge shout-out to our amazing summer trail crew, the trail stewards, and all the members who volunteered their time and energy to sustain the trails in through the rainfalls. Despite all the water challenges, the MRR Trail Crew accomplished an amazing amount. Here's a quick recap.
Trail Crew Projects
They crew started the season with a multi-day trail building course in Rochester run by VMBA and LD Trailworks, culminating in field work on the lower berms. at Ridgeline's Old Gents trail.
The began their MRV work completing the big Revolution upgrade that centered on rerouting that problematic turn near the bottom via two new bridges over the creek. After Ribbon Trails handled the machine work, Jose and crew spent a week and a half polishing the work by hand. The result is not only smoother but also more erosion resistant.
After a few days pruning nightlines and doing general trail maintenance at the Blueberry Lake network, the Trail Crew headed over to tackle Catamount/Sugar Run. Between rain showers they improve drainage and hardened several chronically wet areas, replaced a bridge, added rock armoring in key spots, managed exposed roots on climbing lines, pruned the connection to Harris Hill Road, hardened the berms in the middle section of the trail, and straightened out that funky angle on the big jump near the bottom. They also added back vegetation along some trail sections that had been widened almost into double track. Higher up the ridge, the crew reworked the key burned turns to enhance drainage on Techy, raked out some bony areas, clarified the climbing line, raking out loose baby heads, and rock armored three stream crossings, pruned the connector to Harris Hill Road.
No doubt the most noticeable work occurred on Goodnight Irene. The trail crew, with help from James and Matt as well as a great volunteer day showing, put the finishing touches on the MRV's newest trail. They used hand tools to refine the initial machine work essentially from top to bottom. With a true rider's eye, they dialed in the flow, crafted berms and added a few optional features. Finally, they decked the bridge to complete the swoopy last section to the road. Working uphill, the crew reworked many of the turns on upper Busternut in order to extend the goodness all the way from Dana Hill Road down to Butternut. A few days almost went into GS trimming, removing downed trees, clarifying ride line for climbing, and improving two stream crossings transitions. Check out the video below to see what a great day of building and riding in the MRV is like!
At the Eurich Pond area (pronounced "Irish" Pond for our out of state friends), Ryan, Eli, Jose and Nate spent a week and a half shoring up the Ridgie by adding rock armoring to erosion prone slopes and restoring the shapes of the drops and jumps. Race got raking and blowing, drainage work and pruning. Maple Twist was also got raked, cleared of downed trees and had the climbing lines lines better defined. Misty Maple got some bench-cutting at the down and then had the downhill line clarified. The crew finished up with two days of weed whacking along Powerline and enhance a few natural features.
The crew will continue working into the fall. Stop and say "hi" if you see them! Follow us on social media to learn about new trail work and to get the latest news and events from Mad River Riders. To stay updated on the latest trail status, you can check out Trailforks or visit the trails page on our website, where we post regular updates. Ride safe and have fun!
We did it! After years of hard work, dedication and perseverance, we are thrilled to announce the formal opening of Goodnight Irene, the newest addition to the Mad River Riders trail network. Named for the late beloved Valley resident Irene Mehuron, Goodnight Irene is a testament to the power of collaboration, generosity and passion that drives our community.
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who made this project possible. First and foremost, we want to thank Mehuron's Supermarket for their generous donation to develop the trail and their unwavering support for our trail system. As Bruce Hyde, the owner of Mehuron's, said "for the long-term success of the MRV, increased access and upkeep of our trail system is a top priority. The Mad River Riders have taken this responsibility on and are a natural partner for our business. Mehuron's is proud to support their continued efforts."
We also want to thank the landowners who graciously allowed us to build this trail on their property. Without their cooperation and support, Goodnight Irene would not exist. They are true stewards of the land and we appreciate their vision and trust.
Last but not least, we want to thank our VMBA Mad River Rider chapter members, who not only contribute to our paid trail crew through their membership fees, but also volunteer countless hours to construct the bridge and finalize the project. You are the backbone of our organization and we couldn't do it without you!
Goodnight Irene is a 1.5 mile intermediate single track that connects the Busternut trail with Butternut Hill Road at the southern end of the Camel's Hump State Forest Howe Block trail network. It features numerous fun and approachable features including berms, rollers, and rock gardens - as well as several optional technical features to entertain expert riders. Designed as a downhill trail, GNI ends in spectacular fashion with steep, swooping berms and a beautiful wooden bridge. Combining Goodnight Irene with the top of Busternut, newly buffed out by our Trail Crew, provides a delightful 1.6 mile, 700' vertical decent. It's a great addition to our trail system that unlocks numerous big loops through the network. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
On Saturday August 12th, the Mad River Valley community will be celebrating the opening of Goodnight Irene with an afternoon of riding followed by swimming, food and refreshments at the newly opened Madbush Falls near the bottom of the trail from 3:30 until 7pm. Don't miss this opportunity to ride this awesome new trail and thank all those who made it happen.