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News: Outdoor Recreation Trail Ethics

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Enjoying the Mill Trail

Over the past year Vermonters and visitors alike have found comfort and escape in the outdoors. Local green spaces have become even more important, and Stowe Land Trust (SLT) has seen visitor use increase at our most popular trail networks (see chart). On Stowe Trails Partnership-maintained networks including Cady Hill Forest and Adams Camp, the number of trail visitors increased 31% from 2019. According to the Green Mountain Club, average daily use count on the Long Trail was up 35%. At Vermont State Parks, out-of-state day-use was up almost 20%. Getting outside is so important to our mental and physical wellbeing and we want everyone to feel like they have a place on our trails. Anticipating that trails and parking lots will be busy this summer, we hope you’ll help make the experience of visiting an SLT conserved property fun for everyone.

  • Park close together to maximize the number of cars that will fit in a small lot. Visit properties at off-peak times – mornings, evenings, and weekdays tend to be less busy. Pick a different hike for the day if you arrive to a full parking lot.
  • Be considerate of neighbors. Most SLT conserved lands are adjacent to private property. Please do not block driveways or allow dogs to run through neighboring fields. Be thoughtful about how much noise your music or voices make when entering or exiting a property.
  • Be friendly! Say hello to those you meet on the trail.
  • Respect other visitors’ and wildlife's space. Dogs should be leashed or under voice control on SLT owned properties. This means they stay in your sight and come back when called.
  • Keep our special places clean! Check for trash that may have fallen out of your car or pocket in the parking lot. Pick up and dispose of dog waste off site.