New Land Conserved in Central Vermont

Thanks to a generous donation by landowner Christina Castegren, the town of Fayston has a new Town Forest, as of Dec. 11, 2019.

The 93-acre property rises from the end of Boyce Hill Road and will be called the Boyce Hill Town Forest. It was conserved through the Vermont Land Trust, and offers stunning views of the Shepard Brook Valley.

“I think these views should be shared,” said Castegren. “The beauty of this place provides a sense of awe and peace that people seem to need these days.”

The future of the land, which is known to locals as Risley’s Pasture and Newis’ Field, had been uncertain since 2011 because of a permitted eight-slot subdivision.

“People can continue to hike, hunt, snowshoe and ski there,” said Liza Walker of the Vermont Land Trust. Starting in the spring of 2020, the Conservation Commission will work with the community to create a long-term management plan for the property to support trail development and conservation.

Also new for this winter, a new document that will determine the future of new ski trail and glade development on the 26,000-acres of public land that surround Camel’s Hump is expected to be finalized in January or February.

The Long Range Management Plan for the Camel’s Hump Management Unit, which dictates allowed uses and management practices for the Camel’s Hump State Park, Camel’s Hump State Forest, Robbins Mtn. Wildlife Management Area and Huntington Gap Wildlife Management Area, is expected to be approved and codified by the Agency of Natural Resources early in the New Year.

According to Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Michael Snyder, highlights of the new LRMP include the management of ski glades in the vicinities of Bald Hill in Huntington and the Old Callahan Trail in Duxbury. Other highlights include new cross-country ski trails in Huntington near the Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area and the official designation and maintenance of the Camel’s Hump Challenge Trail—a 13-mile ski route around Camel’s Hump peak.

Provisions have also been made for new ski glades off of the Catamount Trail in Honey Hollow in Duxbury and Bolton. A new backcountry hut was “conceptually approved” in the upper Honey Hollow area as well.

“I’m happy to tell you that this plan includes great things for backcountry skiing,” said Snyder in December.

Photo Caption: The new Fayston Town Forest contains popular walking and ski trails. Now it will be conserved in perpetuity. Photo courtesy the Vermont Land Trust

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