Many miles of the Catamount Trail and other popular backcountry trails cross private land with the permission of the landowner. If we are to continue to enjoy the privilege of recreational access to private land we must respect the wishes of landowners and go only where we are welcome. Please help us and all snow travelers maintain a positive image and a good working relationship with Vermont’s many generous and public-spirited landowners.
Here are just a tips that will allow us all to continue to enjoy the backcountry this winter:
1. Park conscientiously.
Unless you know it is okay to do so, do not block gates, driveways, or other obvious travel ways. Also, park as close as you safely can to adjacent vehicles to maximize room for additional cars that may arrive.
2. Avoid skiing within active sugaring operations.
In a good year, there is so much snow that the lines are buried and you cannot see them. Snow travelers risk significant injury to themselves and also cause real inconvenience and financial woes to landowners by traveling over and through the lines. Tubing is stretched, ripped down, unknowingly damaged by ski edges, etc., and then needs to be replaced — a labor-intensive and costly endeavor.
3. Introduce yourself.
If you are in new terrain and you aren’t sure where to park or where to travel, knock on a door, introduce yourself, and ask.
4. If you screw up, apologize and help fix it.
If you inadvertently cause any damage to private property (ie–if you know you’ve hit a sapline), report the issue to the owner and offer to help with the repairs.
5. Keep your friends honest.
Share these tips with them if you see they need a reminder. We all need a bit of guidance from time to time!
6. If nature calls, go off in the woods and visit her.
Don’t relieve yourself on the trail or in areas where people regularly work or congregate.
They are great ski companions. Teach them #6 and keep them within your control, or please leave them at home.
If you have taken the time to read this, chances are you probably are already doing these things. Thank you! If have additions to our list, send them our way!