When the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) conserved the 284-acre Tenney Farm property at the top of Marble Hill Road in Fayston, it was thinking about recreation as well as agriculture. Per conditions of the sale of the property to local farmers and business owners Sebastian von Trapp, Heather von Trapp, Joe Nagy and Georgia von Trapp, the land will have permanent easements for multi-use trails.
"We've been doing a lot of trail planning up there over the past year," Mad River Path Association executive director Will Flender said of Tenney Farm. Already, the property has several existing trails, but they are not officially open to the public or easily navigable.
Moving forward, the path association plans to update some of those routes as well as build new trails for walking, mountain biking and skiing. This past year, they hired consultants Sinuosity of Morristown, "and they went out and did a little bit of reconnaissance in the woods," Flender said. The trails that Sinuosity proposed would connect to existing routes at the top of nearby Harris Hill Road, as well as those in the Chase Brook Town Forest and the Catamount Trail, which would be updated in that area "to be more of a four-season trail," Flender said of the cross-country ski path.
Part of the trail planning process, Flender said, is gathering feedback from the new property owners "to figure out what works for them," he said, as they will be granting the permanent easements. Already, the two parties have discussed building a parking lot with space for five cars on Marble Hill Road, just downhill from the owners' houses.
Scenery-wise, there is a lot that a new trail network at Tenney Farm could take advantage of, Flender said. "There's a really nice viewpoint," he said, that looks out over the Northfield Ridge, and "We're hoping to be able to let people get to it."