Victory Hill Sector is a non-profit group striving to keep our recreational trails alive for the future. Our main trail head and parking area can be reached by entering a field entrance opposite 3000 Victory Hill Road in Victory, Vermont.
Local bikers began repurposing skid trails into bike trails on Victory Hill in 2009. In the following decade, the trails were used for the annual CircumBurke race and more singletrack was created. As more people came to enjoy the challenging trails on Victory Hill’s forested mountainside, the trails became popular with enduro riders. We hosted the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of the Eastern States Cup Enduro Series.
In 2019, Victory Hill Sector’s existence was jeopardized by a controversial JO (Jurisdictional Opinion) issued by the Vermont’s Natural Resource Board, claiming that a permanent Act 250 permit would be required on the land which hosts the trails. The JO asserts that the trails are a commercial project and thus required to undergo Act 250 review, because trail users fees were being levied to fund trail maintenance. Act 250 is a costly, comprehensive and permanent battery of bureaucratic permits which are vital to protecting Vermont from irresponsible development. While an effective tool for regulating high impact commercial development, Act 250 has proven to onerous and prohibitive, when pushed on landowners who host public trails out of generousity – and for no commercial purpose.
Faced with the Act 250 threat, the host landowner of our trail system, decided to close down the trails indefinitely, to avoid continuing to offend the Natural Resource Board. The trails remained open for hiking but closed to biking in all of 2019, 2020 and the first half of 2021, while the JO was appealed in environmental court. This appeal hearing has been postponed twice with the most recent hearing date scheduled for mid-2022.
In July 2022, Victory Hill obtained landowner permission to provisionally reopen some of the trails to bikes. Although the trails had been largely unmaintained over the two years of dormancy, we were able to reopen some of the trails, with financial support from the Tillotson Family Fund in New Hampshire and Santa Cruz Bicycle’s PayDirt program. These funders allowed us to rehabilitate 1.8 miles of trail last summer with help from volunteers, the Northwoods Stewardship Centers’ Youth Conservation Crews and IdeRide Builders.
Victory Hill hopes that the state legislature will see fit to revise Act 250’s regulatory power over recreational trails, so that Victory Hill can reopen permanently for public biking.. As long as there is no Act 250 Jurisdiction on the trails, the land will remain open for biking in the future.
The trails close for 24 hours after any significant rain. Trail maintenance is very limited. Users should “ride at their own risk” . All users must sign a waiver and check-in each time they visit at 2428 Victory Hill Road. For more information on rain closures and trail conditions call 802 695 3355.
To improve our ability to reopen and keep the network accessible to the public in the future, several organizations have come to Victory Hill Sector’s rescue: