The Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry area is a recreational and natural treasure, and it holds a very special place in the hearts of many Vermonters. With over 90 kilometers of groomed and backcountry trails, the area hosts one of the largest and most beloved Nordic trail systems in the state and offers outstanding recreational opportunity. The Catamount Trail runs directly through the property, and there are connections to other popular backcountry routes and to the Long Trail. The land is also a critically important watershed and wildlife habitat area.
Section 22 of the Catamount Trail which crosses the Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry area, also known as the Bolton to Trapps Section, is one of the most famous backcountry skiing trails in the East. Each year the Catamount Trail Association hosts two major backcountry skiing events in this area to support its work to protect the Catamount Trail, raise awareness about this unique and spectacular environment, and spread joy and knowledge of backcountry skiing.
Currently, the Vermont Land Trust is working closely with the community to raise over $1 million in order to permanently protect the public’s access to more than 1,100 acres of Bolton Nordic and Backcountry land that the Ski Festival utilizes and explores. If successful, the land will be transferred to the State of Vermont as an addition to Mt. Mansfield State Forest.
The Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival (GOBSF) takes place entirely on the Bolton Valley lands which Vermont Land Trust is working to protect. This year, the 5th Annual GOBSF will take place on January 27, 2013. This event provides guided instruction for beginner and intermediate backcountry skiers and allows participants to try out new equipment as they tour the extensive backcountry trails. Participants can learn backcountry ski basics, how to make telemark turns, how to negotiate ungroomed snow, and what to pack when headed out on their own adventures. In addition, they have access to knowledgeable guides who can show them around the wild lands of Bolton Valley.
On March 10, 2013, the Catamount Trail Association offers the Trapps to Bolton Backcountry Race and Tour, hosted in conjunction with the Bolton Valley Nordic Center and Trapp Family Lodge. This event explores the celebrated Bolton to Trapp section of the Catamount Trail. Details and registration information for both events can be found on the Catamount Trail Association website: www.catamounttrail.org.
The Vermont Land Trust has raised 85% of the total amount needed to permanently conserve this land. Visit the Vermont Land Trust’s website at www.vlt.org/bolton to learn more about the campaign or to donate today.