SoVTA building trails in town forest

Volunteers cut roots and trim branches while trail-clearing in the Stratton Town Forest. SOVTA/Instagram

STRATTON - The Southern Vermont Trails Association recently broke ground in the Stratton Town Forest, a new four-season outdoor recreation area located in the town.
The project will develop a trail pod featuring roughly 10 miles of new machine-built trail, five new backcountry ski zones, and an adaptive-friendly trail.
The trail pod will consist of five non-motorized, four-season, multi-use trails and three backcountry ski zones. The project features a 2.5-mile advanced directional trail that will have specific bike features like berms, rollers, and jumps; a 2.3-mile summit loop boasting some amazing views of the valley below; SoVTA’s first directional adaptive-friendly loop and an access trail on the lower part of the property; two winter-use skin tracks to serve the backcountry zones; and the potential for two additional directional loops that can be developed in the future.
The Stratton Town Forest’s central location on the Stratton, Wardsboro, and Dover borders provides the potential for making easier connections to other trail projects in the area, such as the Velomont Project as it leaves Grout Pond.
SoVTA has been fortunate to receive several grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and its fundholders to appropriate funding for this project. The project first received a Spark Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation in April 2022. This allowed for planning portions of the project, such as the collection of GIS data for project maps, ensuring the trails and zones maintain their proper setback from ecological sensitive areas, and creating maps for planning and flagging the corridors of the trails and backcountry zones.
SoVTA then received grants from the Lyman Orton Fund and an anonymous local donor advised fundholder at the Vermont Community Foundation to support the implementation. The SoVTA board directed most of the Orton Fund grant to the execution of the first phase of the project that includes a parking lot, the adaptive friendly access trail and lower loop, a more advanced trail, and the creation of the first two backcountry zones.
Grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and its donor advised fundholders accelerate the pace at which these type of community projects advance and in some cases make them possible at all.
The Stratton Town Forest is slated to be built in two phases over the course of the next three years. Follow SoVTA on Instagram at @sovt_trails
 for updates. To learn more about the association visit

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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