Who We Are

Who We Are

Who We Are Vermont Photobook

One of the things I love most about working for an independently owned mountain bike magazine is the freedom it provides to explore genuinely worthwhile stories—and to continually learn and grow through the process of bringing each article to life.

It constantly amazes me how much there is to discover. The deeper I dive into the details, the further I am from actually getting to the bottom of a story.

This is certainly the case with this year’s photo book, dedicated to the great state of Vermont and its time-honored tradition of year-round outdoor recreation. I’m fortunate to have ridden many of Vermont’s best-known trails, and I already knew it was one of North America’s finest mountain bike destinations. I’ve experienced the richness of the dirt and how evenly it blends with the rocks and roots that permeate its lush hardwood forests. I thought I understood the reasons why the Green Mountain State is such a magical place to play outside.

Yet it was not until I was buried in the production of this book—after countless conversations with the passionate photographers, writers, riders and trailbuilders who lent their expertise to this project—that I realized what makes Vermont truly special. It’s the people, and specifically their signature ability to work candidly together toward common goals despite sometimes conflicting interests. Regardless of their differences, most Vermonters are united in their love for the land and their desire to protect and share it.

Sharing the land is no easy feat, however, as much of Vermont is privately owned—posing challenges to the creation and upkeep of extended trail systems. But throughout this small state, so many townships have taken a proactive stance in partnership with the broader community, forging agreements with landowners that allow trails to connect from one property to the next. Trail advocacy groups have formed to focus on local interests, securing public grants and private donations to help maintain existing networks while expanding and improving them to meet the demands of an ever-growing body of users.

Today, Vermont has more than 1,000 miles of mapped trails, half of which are on private land. And major organizers insist this is only the beginning. Owners of family-run ski resorts are making huge investments in bikepark infrastructure and opening surrounding parcels to multi-use singletrack that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s a peaceful revolution for the people, with easy access to nature as its principal cause.

This book is a tribute to Vermont’s trail revolution and a visual celebration of its booming outdoor recreation scene. As we put the finishing touches on this issue, it’s clear that the hardworking people of Vermont are just getting started.

- Brice Minnigh, Editor in Chief

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