New Englanders know all too well that when temperatures drop below freezing and the air changes to a crisp bite, the ‘click-clack’ sounds of tightening ski boots aren’t far behind. For many, skiing or snowboarding is a family activity, learned through trials on bunny hills or hand-holding as parents and children glide down the slopes. Every year, families, skiers, and snowboarders flock to Sugarbush Resort, Vermont to enjoy the slopes, spend time outdoors, and create new memories. The Mad River Valley relies on the economic opportunities of outdoor recreation and places like Sugarbush are key to their winter successes. But adjacent to this resort, just on the other side of the ridge, lies another story. While parts of Lincoln Peak are protected within the Green Mountain National Forest, two parcels of land—totaling 619 acres worth of breathtaking views, old growth forests, and significant wildlife habitat—were at risk of fragmentation or restricted access. Permanent conservation of this land would mean protection for the local economy and rare habitat for native wildlife, while safeguarding the water quality of Lincoln Brook. With help from our partners at the Park Forestry NY, Trust for Public Land sprang into action to conserve this cherished space.
The protected terrain is now permanently part of the Green Mountain National Forest, keeping the integrity of the forest intact. The awe-inspiring views of Lincoln Peak will forever be cherished by residents and travelers along the Mad River Scenic Byway, regardless of the season. This protection includes 1.34 miles of the Catamount Trail, a statewide cross-country ski trail, and a buffer around the iconic Long Trail, which is used by over 200,000 hikers a year. The area will continue to support backcountry recreation, build climate resiliency, improve water quality, grow the economy, and encourage more people to get outside to enjoy the fresh air and trails for future generations.