Summer 2017 | 29 another hidden beauty in the state of Vermont. The white rocks for which the area is named can be seen high on the mountainside while traveling down Route 7 between Wallingford and Manchester. While we were headed into the site, we ran into a section of trail that is in need of some excavator work. As you can see from the photo below, this involved a significant thought process and discussion amongst all involved! This corner will be leveled out for safer travel and grooming while the excavator is passing through. Since all work will be done within the existing trail tread, there are no hoops to jump through. Trails Report The current bridge is constructed of old poles and bounces significantly when you walk across it. Some of the hemlock railings have seen better years and it is simply time to replace this bridge. It will be replaced with steel beams and new decking. An interesting item that many riders may not know is that before these bridges can be replaced, they must be checked for bats. Little Brown Bats and Northern Long Eared Bats will sometimes inhabit the underside of the bridges. If there is evidence of bats inhabiting the underside of the bridge, mitigation efforts must be taken in order to lessen the impact to them while construction is taking place on the bridge. Luckily for all involved mammals, there were no bats living under the Homer Stone Bridge. We expect this contract to be issued sometime in July in anticipation of completing the work during the dry season to ready the trail for use during the 2017/18 season. This trail is used heavily by skiers and snowmobilers during the winter months. In addition to these two projects, there are approximately 15 others that are taking place on the USDA Forest Service property over the course of the next couple of years. Many of them are bridge repairs or trail tread improvements that are much needed. In the photo at the top of the page, you will see Shane standing near a wet area of the Fassett Hill section of trail in Hancock. The skid road seen in the photo is draining water into the trail. This is just one instance of many along this section of trail that is slated to be repaired this summer. We have also been working on a major trail relocation to reconnect Corridor 100 between Rochester and Hancock from Texas Meadows to what is locally referred to as Boyden Brook. This particular relocation has been years in the making. The USDA Forest Service continues to be a wonderful partner with VAST and we are looking forward to working with them on these and other projects over the course of the next few years. In addition to the USDA Forest Service agreements, numerous clubs across the state are also looking to make improvements to their trail systems and have utilized the VAST Grant-in-Aid Program to help fund this work. Reviewing and funding these projects will be the main course of action for the next few weeks. We hope that the majority of this work will be completed during the dry season, if there is such a thing this summer, and that the trails will be in shape for the start of the 2017/18 snowmobile season. If you can offer some help to your local club by removing brush or decking a bridge, or if you have a tractor or other piece of equipment you can donate for a few hours, please reach out and offer up your services and time. Hope to see you on the trail! Shane Prisby surveys a wet area of the Fassett Hill section of trail in Hancock. The skid road to the right is draining water onto the trail and must be repaired this summer. VAST trails staff, local snowmobile club representatives, USFS personnel and contractors took to the trails in early June to plan construction projects.