Recent grant allows more progress for local organization
By Colin Anderson
9B Trails donors and volunteers have been busy blazing new trails, and a recent grant will help the organization continue to make more land available for non-motorized recreation. A sizable grant from the Innovia Foundation will help finalize two non-motorized trailheads by furnishing parking lots, signage, and the purchase of a new snow cat that can be used for trail building and winter grooming at Section 16 and Enchanted Forest, according to 9B Trails President Tess Rae.
The Enchanted Forest is 1,100 acres that is slated to offer 30 miles of trails, with 4.2 miles currently built. Section 16 is slated to offer 11.5 miles of single track, with 6 miles currently built, and also offer 3.2 miles of logging road.
“The Innovia grant bridges the gap between volunteers and committed donations by providing gravel, grading and costs associated with installing parking lots. Proper parking is crucial to maintaining our vision,” says Tess. That vision is “tocreate trails, while also preserving and protecting our natural resources for today, tomorrow and for generations to come.”
Both Section 16 and Enchanted Forest offer mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing and Nordic opportunities all very close to town. “Section 16 is awesome and provides a little bit of something for everyone. Not only are we seeing moms showing up with their small children to ride their bikes on the small loop, but we are also seeing experienced mountain bikers out on the bigger looped trail getting quite a cardio workout,” says Trail Chief Scott Bourassa.
Tess says she is most thankful for the great diverse team of dedicated trail volunteers who are making the plan a reality. “From mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, snowshoers and cross-country skiers, together our goal is to provide easy access for people of all ages to get outside without having to drive too far from town.”
With plenty of trail system left to build, 9B Trails is always on the lookout for a few more folks who enjoy a little time digging in the woods. Each Monday through the rest of the summer, volunteers will meet up at the Enchanted Forest on the Farnsworth property at 5:30pm. The trailhead and parking area is located at 456 Hoot Owl Road. You’ll find the parking area next to a green shed and port-a-potty. Tools are provided, and kids are welcome to attend as well. Each session lasts about two to two-and-a-half hours. For additional information, you can visit 9BTrails.org.