Brownsville Saved, But Closed to Bikes

On July 30, representatives from Stowe Land Trust and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation signed a permanent conservation easement on the 750-acre Brownsville-Story Ridge Forest in Stowe. The project was the result of a long community effort to conserve the largest remaining undeveloped tract in the town of Stowe, land that was previously owned by the Story family.

The Stowe Land Trust received more than 750 donations to fund the project, totaling $6 million. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, which now owns the property, is drafting a Long Range Management Plan for the Worcester Range Management Unit, which the property is now a part. In the meantime, the property is open to the public for hiking, hunting, skiing and snowshoeing—but not mountain biking.

The Story family had historically allowed mountain biking on the land. As of late August, the state was in the process of assessing the existing trail network on the land and had deemed that “the trails do not currently meet standards for sustainable use,” according to a press release from the Stowe Land Trust.

For information about trail regulations and closures, visit

Brownsville Forest ribbon cutting on August 22, 2019. Photo courtesy Stowe Land Trust.

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