Dutch Hill ski mountain coming back to life
Nov 06, 2017 | 600 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Readsboro- Sounds of chain saws. Clusters of cars and trucks lining the road. Trees marked with orange flagging. What’s happening at Dutch Hill, the former ski area that went out of business in the mid 1980s? It’s now part of the Green Mountain National Forest, and the lifts and buildings were removed long ago. But skiers will be returning to Dutch Hill this winter.

To let the public know what is happening at Dutch Hill, the Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers will be holding a public information session on Tuesday, November 14, from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Readsboro Central School.

There is not any plans about the ski lifts coming back. Skiing at Dutch Hill will be the do-it-yourself variety, with terrain for backcountry skiing in glades and on former ski slopes, and trails suitable for intermediate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Plans even include enlarging the sledding hill that has been a local favorite for decades.

In fall 2016, the US Forest Service issued a management plan that covered timber harvest, wildlife enhancement, and recreation goals for the thousands of acres of Green Mountain National Forest south of Route 9. An 87-acre section that covered the north half of the Dutch Hill Ski Area was designated for non-motorized winter recreation. But Forest Service funds and staff weren’t available to do the work needed to re-open the overgrown ski slopes.

That’s where DHASH came into the picture. The Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers was formed as a chapter of the Catamount Trail Association to organize a volunteer effort to bring skiing back to the mountain. But interested people should not go up there and start cutting. The Forest Service has established protocols about what types of vegetation may be cut, when, and where. DHASH has signed an agreement with the Forest Service that lays out the scope of the volunteer work that will be done on the mountain. Volunteer work days began in late September and will continue until the snow flies.

DHASH members will share a brief history of the ski area, and Forest Service personnel will present an overview of the management plan. There will be plenty of time for questions. The Readsboro Central School is located on Phelps Lane. For more information email info@dhash4vt.org. To see the schedule for volunteer work days or to become a member of DHASH, go to dhash4vt.org.
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