Early Winter 2017 | 25 Trails Report the state. Private landowners, other recreational users and even towns also contribute significant amounts of materials, labor and funding to keep these corridors open and passable for the general public. The importance of keeping them open is evident to many groups. As a result, the conditions of these roads will likely improve over time, benefiting all users and the overall quality of the landscape along and surrounding the road. When you are riding along one of these roads this winter, there should be some comfort in knowing that there is a good possibility that some of your TMA dollars have probably been spent on keeping that road maintained at some point in time. It is clear that a number of the Class 4 roads are in need of some maintenance in some areas! Keep this in mind in your early and late season riding. Meanwhile, we will continue to do what we can in conjunction with local clubs, towns and other user groups to improve these trail corridors. While you are out there riding, you may wonder how you might be able to tell if you are traveling along a Class 4 road? There may be stone walls delineating either side of the road, old foundations or fields and old scrubby apple trees alongside the trail. You’ll see remnants of the horse and buggy days when life was simpler and when Vermont was mostly farms and field. You may wonder why there are stone walls in the middle of the woods or strands of old rusty barbed wire in what would seem like an odd place. You may have been riding for some time along the trail with no house in sight, but years ago there was a homestead in this particular location. Vermont’s class 4 roads are full of them, and I urge you to slow down and take a look if you think you may be in one of these places. Our ancestors, the true pioneers of Vermont, once lived and struggled to make a living here in what is now the middle of the woods. If you slow down and take a look, you may find some very interesting things. These are possibly good places to mark on your GPS for a visit when there is no snow. Maybe do some research and find out the history of the area. An old Beers Atlas is a great reference that will show you a crude depiction of these roads and the names of those who dwelled there when the maps were created. It’s interesting to sit there and picture in your own mind what life may have been like back then, living in that location. In addition to the old cellar holes like the one shown in the photo, you may also find old cemeteries and other remnants of the bygone era. Forty to 50 years ago, folks like my grandfather used to find these areas and dig for old bottles. This is frowned upon today, but back in the day it was common practice among some of the old timers who knew the area or had at least studied its history. I urge you to do the same the next time you have a snowmobile adventure and find yourself on what you think is a Class 4 road. If you ever find yourself on one of these roads when the snow is gone, take a look at the trail tread underneath and compare it to what you are used to riding on in the winter. Take the time to realize how interesting some of the surroundings off the edge of the trail are and how much effort, funding and maintenance goes into keeping those Class 4 roads passable. Also, thank your towns for keeping these Class 4 roads and trails open and accessible to the public. Without these connecting roads, much of our trail system would be lost. Enjoy the scenery in Vermont and as with all of life’s adventures and take nothing for granted! Matt came across this old stone foundation located off from a Class 4 road while deer hunting this year.