Local bikers have been repurposing old skid trails to make recreational trails on Victory Hill since 2009.
In 2019, trail use on Victory Hill was crippled by a controversial state Jurisdictional Opinion (JO) initiated by a reactionary faction within the town government of Victory. The JO claims that the trails require an Act 250 permit, because funds (for trail work) were being raised through trail user fees.
Act 250 is a costly, comprehensive and permanent battery of bureaucratic permits which are vital to protecting Vermont from irresponsible development. They are designed to regulate high impact commercial developments but are onerous and prohibitive when pushed on landowners who host public bike trails for no commercial purpose. Out of an abundance of caution, the trails were closed to biking in 2019, while the JO was appealed in environmental court. This appeal hearing has been postponed twice, once until 2021 and most tecent until mid-2022.
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.
Victory Hill obtained landowner permission to provisionally reopen many of the trails to bikes, in the second half of 2021. 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 heavy 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:
The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund paid for a team of high school age local youth from the Northwoods Stewardship Centers Youth Conservation Corps to camp out for two weeks on Victory Hill and rehabilitate the lower section of “Shakedown” and ” McGill’s Thrill” trails.
With generous funding from the Santa Cruz Bicycles’ company’s PayDirt Fund, Victory Hill will also be able to rehabilitate a lower section of “Leif’s”, one of our favorite tracks.
Victory Hill Sector is a club of volunteers which strives to keep the trails alive for the future.