b'TRAILS REPORTBy Matt Tetreault, VAST Trails AdministratorWhat a winter it has been here inwork with the Trails Committee and the North Country! Trails have beenBoard of Directors at VAST to move great! We all despise the rain duringGeneral Manager of the New Brunswickour signing program to a simpler the winter months but hindsightFederation of Snowmobile Trails Rossplace! Change takes time, and I am being what it is, I have to say that theAntworth and Matt Tetreault. willing to put in the time to help VAST temperature and weather trends haveoperate more efficiently, enabling us to been great for base building, and thewere marked with red stakes with ancontinue carving out our niche as one results speak for themselves. As weorange diamond. This is what I sawof the places in the Northeast that avid close out the 2018/2019 snowmobilein the area I rode anyhow. As an outsnowmobilers just have to ride.season, I can only hope the spring,of towner having never ridden there summer and fall seasons are asbefore, I could easily and immediatelyI had a wonderful time riding and enjoyable and kind to us as the winterunderstand their signing system.learning and meeting with everyone was. May you all enjoy them! Within the first few miles of riding, Iin New Brunswick and Maine and In addition to experiencing somefelt comfortable with traveling alonglook forward to additional trips ahead mileage in Vermont this winter, I wastheir trail system. I am not saying thatwhere my depth of knowledge can also granted the privilege of riding inI would not feel comfortable along thecontinue to grow. It is nice to borrow Edmundston, New Brunswick andSSTS here in Vermont; however, I doideas and learn from one another, Shin Pond, Maine during the latter partfeel that we should eliminate more ofwhich is what these annual trips of March and into April. I am fortunateour stock signs and simplify thingsare all about. I have always respect (or unfortunate, depending on theeven more for our clubs and the ridersmy collegues form the other states context, I guess) that when I ride, itout there. With fewer signs to installand provinces and depend on their always somehow turns into work,comes fewer options to confuse thewealth of knowledge to help me and things I see along the variousrider! grow professionally and personally. I trail systems get my mind turningAnyway, it was a great ride in Newwill see many of them in June at the on how we can make the StatewideBrunswick, and I appreciated theannual Snowmobile Congress and Snowmobile Trail System (SSTS) inopportunity to meet with and discussam already looking forward to the Vermont even better than it already is.the trails program in New Brunswickopportunities that await, knowing that Sometimes it is not a matter of makingwith Ross Antworth, General Manager,I am helping the SSTS in Vermont be it better, but in some way simpler,and Kyle Good, Trail Manager for Newall that it can be! As I have heard from safer, and easier for our membership.Brunswick Federation of Snowmobileone of my fellow administrators in I look at signing, grooming, terrain,Trails. I have since reviewed theirQuebec, There are no problems, only bridges, membership, and multiplesigning guidelines and can hopefullysolutions!aspects of trail management. One of the interesting things I noticed while in New Brunswick was the simple and efficient signing that was placed along the trails by volunteers. I look at the sign room at the VAST office and wonder why we have so many signs, so many options, so many opportunities for the riders to get confused. Approximately seven years ago, Vermont reduced our signing inventory, asking clubs to remove approximately 12 signs from the trail system. This reduced some of the confusion and led to some more consistent signing along the SSTS, but New Brunswick has taken it to an entirely new level. While traveling along the New Brunswick trail system, the main signs riders saw were; SLOW, ARROW, STOP AHEAD, STOP, BRIDGE AHEAD, HAZARD MARKERS, WINDING TRAIL. There were also intersection signs with route numbers and arrows very similar to the standards in Vermont, and all fields Late Winter2019 | 11'