For the first time since the club was formed in 1968, the Mad River Ridge Runners will have a home this year.
The home will be a garage/barn/maintenance facility to store the club’s groomer and other equipment. It’s located near the Fayston town garage on land leased from the town. The garage will consist of two 40 feet by 8-feet cargo containers that were donated by club members, over-spanned by a roof. The entire structure will by 40 feet by 50 feet when it is completed. There will be a covered port area at the back end to accommodate the groomer.
The project received approval from the Fayston Development Review Board last September and site work got underway along with electric service.
In October 2022, they launched a “Truss-tee” fundraiser to raise money for the purchase of the trusses needed for the barn. They have received donations from 18 “truss-tees” and pledges for three more. The MRRRs have also received a $5,000 donation to be used for covering the roof.
Club president Doug Wilson said trusses cost $500.
Club member Skip Wallace said that the new facility would allow club members to have one central location for all its equipment, which includes the groomer, chainsaws, UTVs, sign shop and more. That equipment has been spread out throughout The Valley at club members’ homes.
Wallace said that when the whole project is completed, it will look like a garage, with pine siding and a large garage door.
Wilson said that “truss-tees” would be recognized with plaques on the building when the project is complete.
In addition to donations for trusses, the club has also received donations from the community and the club just received a $10,000 grant from Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., as part of its Outdoor Access Initiative. This grant will connect the Ridge Runners’ organization with other Yamaha grant recipients including off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding groups, state and national land managers and local government agencies across the country.
To date, the 140 club members have done most of the work themselves, with help from the Fayston road foreman and crew, Stuart Hallstrom, Tony Long and Josh Livingston as well as help from Chris Griffin and Mike Quenneville.
“To get the first phase done we need about $30,000 and I think we’re at $22,000 now. To complete the entire project will cost about $87,000,” Wilson said.
“The plan is to do the roof this spring. We still need to raise approximately $10,000 to get this phase done. We want to have everything in place so it can go quick,” he said.
Wilson said he hopes the rest of the work, siding and the garage door can be done by the fall so that the building is fully enclosed for the next winter.
The Ridge Runners was founded in 1968 and grew organically for many years – but by the early-1980s, membership had dropped. Wilson and several others reformed the club in the mid-1980s. Wilson was the original owner of the groomer and the club’s groomer for many years, but the club has owned the equipment now for the last six or seven years, he said.
The Mad River Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club is a 501(c)(7) nonprofit, fully volunteer organization maintaining nearly 65 miles of winter use trails in the towns of Waitsfield, Fayston, Moretown, Duxbury and Waterbury, with 26 of those miles in Camel’s Hump State Park. Their Valley trail system allows access to many local businesses and also provides three critical trailheads which connect The Valley to the 5,000-mile VAST trail system.
Donations can be mailed to Mad River Ridge Runners at P.O. Box 248, Waitsfield, Vermont, 05673.