280-Acre Farm Protects Catamount And VMBA Trails

Upon acquiring the 280-acre Marble Hill Farm earlier this winter, new owners Sebastian von Trapp, Georgia von Trapp, and Joey Nagy (with the help of the Vermont Land Trust) have officially and permanently protected a section of the Catamount Trail, along with four-season trails maintained by the Mad River Riders, a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.

These trails contribute to an expansive web that includes Fayston’s Chase Brook Forest, Camel’s Hump State Forest, and on several private properties whose owners have approved the land for public use.

Though the von Trapps and Nagys welcome anyone to use Marble Hill Farm’s trails, the families are actively farming and managing the land, which means visitors will need to make slight adjustments.

With recreational access comes responsibility, and visitors are asked honor the landowners’ privacy and the agricultural activities on the farm. In a press release, John Atkinson of Mad River Riders warns:

“Respectful use is integral to building and maintaining strong landowner partnerships and ensuring future trail access, regardless of easements or other protections.”

mhf-trail-map-2017Here are a few guidelines to follow when visiting the Marble Hill Farm trails:

  • Use officially designated trails. See map.

  • Do not bushwhack off-trail or through the fields.

  • Due to livestock concerns, dogs are not allowed on Marble Hill Farm trail sections, including parts of the Catamount trail, the Harris Hill loop and the bottom of the Techie trail. Hunting and camping are prohibited on Marble Hill Farm land.

  • Follow Leave No Trace principles.

In the near future, the Catamount Trail and VMBA will work with Marble Hill Farm families to plan and build a small parking area on Marble Hill Road, making access to these trails easier. Per the farm’s conservation easement, new connector trails are soon to come, expanding the its network and recreation potential.