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November is well known as “stick season”. That odd time of year when Thanksgiving is arguably the highlight of the month.

Halloween is gone, fall foliage is nearly gone with piles of leaves to clean up and the trees are left barren and gray, like sticks in the wind. Hence the saying “stick season”. The good news is that there are still some fun events and sports activities to take part in.

Mountain Biking enthusiasts will be delighted

Courtesy of Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation

The Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation (MSTF) ski trail system has expanded onto Bluffside Farm in Newport City, which is owned by the Vermont Land Trust, purchased in 2015. The ongoing work continues by a number of Newport area people, generously providing their time an resources to the project.

MSTF is a nonprofit corporation with a mission to create and promote a system of high quality, easily accessible ski, snowshoe and mountain bike trails in the Derby-Newport area. XC ski and mountain bike trails await in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on the shores of Lake Memphremagog. One lake two countries!

Enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fat tire biking as well.

Photo by Pat Williams

The Vermont Land Trust worked with the City and Newport City Renaissance Corporation on the ambitious proposal to create a one-mile, multi-use path on the farm that would connect the popular Beebe Spur Rail Trail to the downtown via a bridge between the farm and the Prouty Beach Recreation Area. This was one of several efforts to improve and expand lake access and recreation.

The Bluffside Farm trails, are open to use by the public, and made possible by volunteer efforts, contributions from MSTF trail users and area landowners.. The trails are easily accessible from the rail trail that runs parallel to Lake Memphremagog (car parking available at the North Country Hospital off Prouty Drive) or from the dedicated parking on Darling Hill road near the green Barn…look for the small sign that says MSTF Parking.

Not limited to Biking Trails

Courtesy of Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation

The entire farm is open for pedestrian use, as well. In the summer months, when the fields are actively farmed and bald eagles are nesting, fewer trails will be open. However, running and walking can be enjoyed. The small parking area near the Bluffside sugarhouse, at the intersection of Bluff Road and Scott Farm Road, is also being kept open by MSTF for winter-time visitors to the farm.

For more information, and upcoming news & events, check out the MTSF Facebook group. This post is courtesy of Louise Whipple, the MTSF and the Caledonian Record.

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