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Trails Connect Our Community

Posted on 11/22/2021 by Steve Robbins

“What does the Mad River Valley need most?’ Affordable Housing, Excellent Schools, More Snow, Perfect Government; I’ve wished for all of these and more in my 30 + years here.

When professional and volunteer planners pose this question, one of the most common answers is: a path. A path that goes from one end of the valley to the other. A place to walk, to run, to bike. A way to get from one place to another without a car. A trail to seek exercise, in any season, to get some views, to enjoy nature.

Certainly, no one path is going to provide all needs to all folks. 

And no one person, planning commission, path association, conservation group nor bike or snow machine club can do it alone.

To start, it takes a lot of landowners agreeing to host a trail on their property. Thanks to all the landowners who “volunteer” their land to the cause!*

It also takes many other volunteers to plan, build and maintain paths and trails of all types.

Expanding and connecting a network of trails is a big job and takes an ongoing effort by a very broad spectrum of folks. The process, the many acts of planning, building, and maintaining, the very shared intention to do so, these connect our community.

In the same way that water and wildlife do not stay within town borders, trails pass from one neighborhood to another, a literal connection.

Sharing a common path is certainly a great metaphor but it is also the right thing to do. 

I have attended planning discussions and workshops in a volunteer capacity over many years. And this one idea has always gathered wide consensus.

I hope everyone reading this gets out to enjoy a path and takes part in the effort, anyway you can!

*David Dion, who owns the building at Mad River Valley Real Estate, just donated an easement for the Mad River Path!

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