The State of Vermont
By Allison Flint | January 10, 2012
A six thousand mile snowmobile trail system awaits you in Vermont.
The Vermont landscape is mostly rural with dense forest in the center of the state, and fields and light woods throughout. To really see the countryside, winter adventurers can register to cruise most of the state on an extensive snowmobile trail system thanks to VAST, the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, founded almost forty years ago.
VAST trails are open to snowmobilers all winter, depending on conditions, and are maintained year-round by the private non-profit groups. Through the generosity of landowners, six thousand miles of trails cross through fields and mainly private land, as well as state and national forest. VAST is a statewide organization with 138 local clubs of connected volunteers, comprising over 35,000 members combined.
To preserve the integrity of the trails, access is granted in spring, summer and fall to walkers and hikers (no wheels are allowed).
Locals ride the trails as the abundant system runs through populated areas close to, or a short distance from, their homes. But travelers from out of state can enjoy the Vermont trails as well and stay in hotels and eat in restaurants along the trail.
The VAST website is designed to make your ride around Vermont convenient. The site divides the state into six segments, providing trail maps and updated conditions. Once you’ve chosen your route, explore the amenities along that trail – lodging, restaurants, gas and convenience stores.
The statewide club holds various functions during the year but particularly in winter. Upcoming in January, you may find an all-day safety course for teens in East Randolph, a Poker Run (group ride) in Alburgh, and a spaghetti supper for fundraising and fellowship in Danville.
To support the upkeep of trails, riders must register with VAST for a season pass - $80 (early-bird) to $105 for a Vermont resident or non-resident landowner on a regular snowmobile. Non-resident fees are $110 to $145. There are lower rates for older snowmobiles (referred to as “classic” 1997 and earlier).
Family discounted rates are always available, and some clubs and counties require additional dues. One way to significantly reduce your cost to ride is to volunteer with a local club. VAST also offers a five-day pass at $90.
The clubs maintain the trails because sledding allows them to maintain their way of life - snowmobile riders get to see, and travel, Vermont in a unique way.
Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST)
26 Vast Lane, Barre, Vermont 05641