July 22, 2010By Greg Duggan Observer staff
Williston mountain bikers will soon have new bridges and a rerouted trail to enjoy near Mud Pond.
The Fellowship of the Wheel, a local mountain biking organization, is using nearly $1,800 from the Williston Conservation Commission’s trail maintenance budget to improve the Mud Pond Loop.
“It’s a network of about 3.5 miles of trail that my group built quite a few years ago,” said Brooke Scatchard, executive director of the Fellowship of the Wheel. “It was getting regular use, so we decided it was time for bridges and other upgrades.”
Town Planner Jessica Andreoletti said the Fellowship of the Wheel submitted a proposal and budget for the work. The Conservation Commission agreed to buy materials for the improvements.
With the Fellowship providing the labor, Andreoletti said the town was willing to contribute money for the project.
“It was a good partnership opportunity,” Andreoletti said.
Scatchard said the work includes 10 bridges, spanning a total of 200 feet over areas of the trail that hold water after a rainstorm. He said the bridges tend to be 2 feet wide.
Work on the trail began approximately two weeks ago, and Scatchard expects to finish in about a week and a half. The Fellowship, a nonprofit group that supports mountain biking in Chittenden County, has hired four employees for the summer. Other members of the group will also help with the trail work.
Scatchard said other work will include rerouting a section of the trail that channels water.
The trail near Mud Pond in Williston leaves from the east side of South Road and passes through what Scatchard described as rolling terrain in a predominantly pine forest.
“It’s generally intermediate level terrain,” he said. “A lot of people ride over their lunch break, or if they don’t have more than an hour. It’s a good quick loop and it’s pretty fun.”
Andreoletti said the Mud Pond Loop is “pretty much our number one mountain biking trail system in Williston. Fellowship of the Wheel has done a good job being a steward of that trail system.”
Though trails designated for mountain biking in Williston are limited, the Fellowship maintains six other trail networks in six other Chittenden County towns.
For more information about Fellowship of the Wheel, visit www.fotwheel.org.