Local News, Sports

Sherburne Trails now groomed for fat bikers

Volunteers pictured (l-r) Chuck Claffey, Jack Rasmussen, Sarah Rasmussen, Erik Rasmussen, Mark Fournier, Mark Paquette, Rebecca Claffey snowshoed to pack down trails prior to grooming.

The Sherburne Trails, located on Route 100 in Killington, which were first opened for the winter season in 2020-2021thanks to a new agreement with the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF), will now be groomed for fat bikes.

The Sherburne Trails are open for non-motorized use. While fat biking has always been permitted, until now the trail was not groomed.

After an incredibly busy bike season last summer and fall, and with bike sales up in local shops, it was perceived that there was a need for well-marked winter fat bike trails accessible from a maintained parking lot.

A trail of corduroy is fresh thanks to a group of volunteers with their new groomer.

“It has been our goal to provide the best experience possible for all winter trail use,” said Ben Colona, Killington Mountain Bike Club president.

Tony Accurso, owner of Alpine Bike Works, reached out to the Killington Mountain Bike Club (KMBC) and offered to donate an e-bike for winter grooming. The club built a grooming mat that is hitched to the back of the electric-assisted fat bike.

“E-bikes are not normally allowed on the Sherburne Trails,” said Recreation Director Sarah Newell, “However our partners at GMNF gave the club a special permit specifically for winter grooming.”

Ben Colona, the president of Killington Mountain Bike Association, pulls a groomer on snowshoes.

On Monday, Feb. 28 a group of volunteers got on the trails to groom for the first time. After a fresh snow, the trail must first be packed down by snowshoes. Then, depending on the depth and consistency of the snow, the first pass of the groomer can be pulled. With firmer snow, the e-bike can pull the groomer around the trails with great efficiency.

For recreators interested in activities that don’t involve a lift ticket, consider the Sherburne Trail network. It is a great dog-friendly option that is free to use.

KMBC partners with the town of Killington to maintain the trails. KMBC is currently fundraising for expanded operations, new trails, and important equipment.

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