As I pedal up Cady Hill Climb (on one of the unfortunately rare rainless days the spring has blessed us with), I can’t help but smile as the sweat begins to bead and my muscles start to ache.

I’m smiling not just because I love getting out on trail, but because I live in a place that allows me easy access to the sport I love and offers a variety of terrain to continue progressing as a rider.

From Cady Hill’s flow trails and the technical climbs in Sterling Forest to beginner trails perfect for introducing friends to the sport at Trapp Family Lodge, there really are a seemingly endless number of trail options to suit every rider.

Stowe Trails Partnership continues to invest in the maintenance and construction of multi-use trails in our community, which would not be possible without our partners who entrust us with the responsibility to steward the trails on their land. In acknowledgment of these essential partners, Stowe Trails Partnership would like to take a moment to highlight and celebrate our land-access partners.

On this particular ride, I’m taking advantage of the sunshine and thankful for the opportunity to weave through Stowe’s lush maple jungle, up and over fern-covered hills and through land that has been conserved for multi-use recreation by multiple landowners.

As I pass through Cady Hill, which is owned by Town of Stowe and conserved by the Stowe Land Trust, I make my way through Strawberry Hill Farm. As I pedal along Pickle’s Path to the high school, I quietly thank the owners for allowing us access to their land.

I wave to the group of students practicing soccer on the field, cross the road and head onto land that is owned by the von Trapp family. As I pedal up several switchbacks, I ride past the Bierhall and Kaffeehaus — where folks are lounging in the sun with sudsy refreshments in hand — and into the woods, where my Trapps trail pass allows me to connect to some of the best singletrack in town, located above the lodge.

I make my way over to the Haul Road, but not before greeting the newborn lambs grazing in the orchard. I pass a small waterfall on the road up to Adams Camp, a trail pod that is owned by the von Trapp family and conserved through an easement held in partnership with Town of Stowe and the Stowe Land Trust.

I finally reap the reward of my long uphill slog and ride Hardy Haul down to the river, eventually connecting to the Stowe Recreation Path, which I take back toward town.

After a few zenful hours of riding, I’ve reached my car, nicely tucked away in the shade of the Cady Hill parking lot.

Stowe Trails Partnership is beyond thankful to have the opportunity to work with these landowners who allow our community and visitors access to and use of their land.

Our responsibility as trail steward is both an honor and a privilege. With our long-term goal of increased trail connectivity, this ambition wouldn’t be feasible without the generosity of our access partners — Town of Stowe, Stowe Land Trust, Trapp Family Lodge, Strawberry Hill Farm, and other private landowners. Our trail future is bright in Stowe, and that is made possible by all of the hard work and collaboration of our partners, sponsors, members and supporters.

Happy trails and thanks for being on this ride with us.

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