Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,389

    So I went for a walk yesterday....

    So I went for a walk yesterday hunting for property lines and familiarizing myself with the lay of the land on the East side of the Ridge behind my house. There is public and private land and an extensive network of rogue 4 wheeler trail that traverses every aspect of the land mass. I encountered 2 land managers of private land and had 2 very different experiences.

    First guy I saw I was in my car near the end of the maintained section of a public road. He was with his 3 kids playing around on a building site, just started. I stopped to chat with him about property lines ect. I told him who I was an what my interest was, trying to connect legal or tolerated routes from Berlin to Northfield.

    He was very concerned with how we are getting back and forth. He quickly went out of his way to tell me that he had recently purchased his land and was going to be enforcing no trespassing on the trails on his property. He said he didn't own up to the ridge where our trail is, but knew that Ry-Co, an out of state utility did and we should find another way around.

    I told him I was thankful that he didn't own the trail we used and that given current motorized use I felt good about hiking, skiing, and riding my bike up there. I asked him why he was concerned with public recreation on his land and he said, "Because it mine." I told him about the Land Owner Liability Act and asked him if he know how much of Vermont was privately owned. He said, "I don't care. It's my land. I bought it." Sadly, his kids were right there so another generation of closed minded folks are propagating over there. I bid him fare well.

    I went down the road and started hiking through public land and crossed onto private land again. No posted signs. I came out into a huge complex of hay fields and hiked up to the ridge on an old road through a very scenic old farm-scape. A good route was found!

    On my way out and pick up truck was coming up through the field towards me. I braced for another adversarial encounter.

    "Beautiful day for a hike!", the old Vermonter from behind the wheel said.

    "Has been all summer!" I replied, then inquired if I was on his land.

    He went on to explain he grew up in the house next door and that he was a care taker for the property owners who were from New Hampshire.

    He told me it was nice to see someone out enjoying the property and that the public was welcome there until hunting season. The conversation continued and I learned that these folks own 5000 acres on the east side of the Mtn. and that it was open for public enjoyment.

    We went on to talk about the history of the trails and how he had been back country skiing both sides of the ridge since the 60s. I told him we still were keeping those routes open and he gave me a fist pump!

    We parted company and I was struck with how these two interactions were indicative of a polarization. What rural life was....and what it is becoming.

    Most importantly to me, I located an ally, and a very large landowner who gets it. The Sample Farm, East side of Paine, is a throw-back to a more personal neighborhood. The Nimby D-Bag who is just moving in down the road....might be the future.
    http://www.uvlt.org/docs/landconserv...TLiability.pdf

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    108
    yes, but:

    1. the law won't protect you from someone trying to sue you. defending that will drain your piggy-bank too.
    2. my observation is that a minority, but still a lot, of mountain bikers are loud jerks, whooping it up as they charge along or shouting loudly when they briefly lose eye contact with each other. or parking like m*******s at the trailhead. I might not want that on my land either.
    3. out of control dogs-- what's up with that? not just bikers, but hikers too. I like dogs but I don't want your chocolate lab giving me a kiss while I'm trying to eat my lunch at the summit, or ranging through my land without master reigning them in, etc.

  3. #3
    beer thief
    Reputation: radair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    4,841
    Nice story, Dave. Except for the first guy with the "my beach, my wave" surfer mentality. Nice to find large landowners who get it and it sounds like you scored with that guy. Staying in touch with him to establish a relationship would be a huge benefit to your community..

    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteRash View Post
    yes, but:

    1. the law won't protect you from someone trying to sue you. defending that will drain your piggy-bank too.
    2. my observation is that a minority, but still a lot, of mountain bikers are loud jerks, whooping it up as they charge along or shouting loudly when they briefly lose eye contact with each other. or parking like m*******s at the trailhead. I might not want that on my land either.
    3. out of control dogs-- what's up with that? not just bikers, but hikers too. I like dogs but I don't want your chocolate lab giving me a kiss while I'm trying to eat my lunch at the summit, or ranging through my land without master reigning them in, etc.
    To your first point, it depends where you live. Maybe VT needs to strengthen their landowner liability laws. Here in NH, RSA 212:34 allows for landowners to recoup legal fees from people filing lawsuits: Section 212:34 Duty of Care. . It is strong protection for people who allow use of their land.

    <edit> check the VT statutes and get them changed if they don't allow landowners reimbursement of legal fees for defense. It's not difficult to get these statutes changed. I worked with our local Representative about 10 years ago to get bicycling added to the RSA referenced above. It was a fairly simple process.

    I agree with your last two points though; people need to learn to quiet down and act respectfully no matter where they are. Even people having an innocent beer at the trailhead after a ride get carried away and start dropping loud F-bombs with no regard for others nearby.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: River19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    788
    Sucks on the first guy. Was he playing on his building site? Just curious.

    As an avid hunter, biker, hiker, etc. I really cringe when I run into those folks. I have always felt that no one "owns" the land, we are caretakers of the land, someone "owned" it before us and someone will after us. If there were routes established through the land prior to my stewardship, and it didn't directly interfere with what I was planning, then I kinda feel like it is an obligation to the community to leave the routes open as is.

    Lost a great hunting cover to some M-holes that give us MA natives a bad name. Came out of the woods to find the game warden, who defended our right to hunt there as we pleaded with the m-holes to leave their 180 acres of overgrown orchard open. They complained about all the old locals they find hunting early morning and late evening on their property and were going to post it shortly and knock down the orchard just to knock it down..........I mentally was palm slapping my head the whole time, kinda hoping my dog would piss on their leg.....
    2016 Pivot Mach 429er Pro 1X
    2008 Cannondale Rush
    2001 Ibis Ripley Soft Tail
    1997 Ibis Alibi HT
    Motobecane Lurch Fat Bike

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,389
    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteRash View Post
    yes, but:

    1. the law won't protect you from someone trying to sue you. defending that will drain your piggy-bank too.
    2. my observation is that a minority, but still a lot, of mountain bikers are loud jerks, whooping it up as they charge along or shouting loudly when they briefly lose eye contact with each other. or parking like m*******s at the trailhead. I might not want that on my land either.
    3. out of control dogs-- what's up with that? not just bikers, but hikers too. I like dogs but I don't want your chocolate lab giving me a kiss while I'm trying to eat my lunch at the summit, or ranging through my land without master reigning them in, etc.
    Oh I hear you on that. In this specific case, occasional use of a trail along the edge of your property, far from your house.....by your neighbors. Seemed prickish to me.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    7,228
    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    Lost a great hunting cover to some M-holes that give us MA natives a bad name. Came out of the woods to find the game warden, who defended our right to hunt there as we pleaded with the m-holes to leave their 180 acres of overgrown orchard open. They complained about all the old locals they find hunting early morning and late evening on their property and were going to post it shortly and knock down the orchard just to knock it down..........I mentally was palm slapping my head the whole time, kinda hoping my dog would piss on their leg.....
    I was going to guess it was someone from MA that moved up there. Same story a lot of me ME friends can tell: "F'in M*******s buy a place up here because there's lots of woods to play in, and the first thing they f'ing do is slap up 'No Trespassing' signs all over the place".

    (Lucky for me, I seem to live in a part of MA that doesn't roll that way - we have a bunch of super-generous land owners around here).
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  7. #7
    trail magician
    Reputation: GreenMtnRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    177
    I was approached by a landowner 2 weeks ago on a very popular loop in the Richmond area. He was sitting in his gator at the top of the hill seemingly just waiting for bikers to come along, like it was a game for him. Long story short, he just kept telling me to get off his land, get the trail off his land, and that next time he would take my bike. Very unpleasant man. the trail skirts his property and the particular stretch I was on was probably on his land by about 10 feet, for a stretch of about 30 feet. If I took 5 steps back I would be off his land. Based on the area, it wouldn't be rocket science to figure out who actually owns the land that the trail comes from and who built the trail. But rather than approach them and go about it in a civil, practical way, he sits in his gator and threatens people haplessly riding by. I can tell he hunts, so I wonder if that is what prompts his anger toward the trail and its users. Or maybe he just doesn't like sharing.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: iceboxsteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    750
    I've said it before, neighbor B is what I grew up around and how the trails in my New England town remain alive. But my home state is probably the worst of the neighbor A types. I'm just from a small rural part of it.

    It is sad those ways are going away in New England. I use to roam around everyone's land. In my case of my home town this approach has led to a very elitist feelings about the trails. Which now that I've been around the block, and country, and build trails; I find kind of sad.

    I wish more people shared and opened their land, but trails to me should be a community resource and not shrouded in shadows. That and sometimes this approach leads to plan ****ty trails.
    Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,150
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMtnRider View Post
    ...The trail skirts his property and the particular stretch I was on was probably on his land by about 10 feet, for a stretch of about 30 feet.
    Time for a reroute with the new trail being so close to his land it frustrates him every time he thinks about it.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    108
    I maintain a network of ski trails (mostly old logging roads) on some land that I do not own. A few years ago, the owner built a road and a house site at the entrance to the trails, and I got real worried. I contacted him, and said that while I understand it is his land, I have been working on those trails for the last 15 years and would love to work out some kind of agreement. I assured him I would not make the trails public (online, etc) and that it was for neighborhood skiing only. He promptly replied in the positive, and encouraged me to continue to clear and enjoy the land. I think if we approach these types of landowners respectfully, it usually works out ok. Usually...

    On the other hand, I used to own some land up in the NEK and had to post it because of people jacking deer at night and four wheeling in my hayfield. I told the neighbors and other people who had hunted there for years to feel free to continue to do so. Like others have mentioned, I think the main reason, not always, but the main reason people shut down land access is because of other people disrespecting their property and having no class. There will always be those who simply will say no because they feel like it, but in my experience most people who have closed off their land or shut down trails has been the a-hole users fault.

Similar Threads

  1. Walk of shame...the unfixable walk home.
    By squashyo in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 08-13-2013, 07:52 AM
  2. Walk Beside Me
    By Maadjurguer in forum Riding Passion and Stories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-12-2012, 02:27 PM
  3. ride up it, or run/walk it?
    By cunningstunts in forum XC Racing and Training
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 05-01-2012, 12:43 AM
  4. a dog 'walk' [o]
    By BlackCanoeDog in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-22-2011, 02:09 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2018 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.