RUTLAND - Pine Hill Park offers outdoor recreation to Rutland
residents and visitors every day of the year, but the park is
especially beautiful and inviting in the spring. The mountain bike
shop is now open inside the Giorgetti building offering rentals,
repairs and tune ups and the turf inside the building is being put
away to make way for the Flip Side skate Park.
Learning to mountain bike is not only a young person's pursuit
any more. The varied terrain at the park allows all ages to enjoy
the beautiful scenery and outdoor exercise peddling along the
paths. The Rutland Recreation Department also offers mountain bike
clinics, clubs and a race series throughout the summer.
The popular Droopy Peddle race series is held the third Monday
of June, July and August. The Sunset Series 5K running event, take
place on the second Tuesday of June, July and August. This summer
will mark the 12th annual event.
Pine Hill Park is open to mountain Bikers, runners and hikers
and new trails are always in the works. "We are working on a new
trail for the beginning of the trail network," said Shelley Lutz a
volunteer with the Pine Hill Partnership. "The trail will mirror
the existing escalator trail and reduce traffic at the trailhead.
We are working on a better map to make trail junctions clearer and
we a very excited to work on the Carriage Trail this summer."
The Carriage trail is a major route that will connect the area
behind the Proctor High School to Rocky Pond which is the crown
jewel of Pine Hill Park. It is at least six miles between the two
and with some considerable climbing required. This has been a
project that has been in the works for years now. When complete,
the park will be able to add that terrain to the 16 miles of trails
that it already boasts.
Trail work takes hundreds if not thousands of volunteer labor
hours and the Recreation Department and Pine Hill Park is glad to
have help, again this summer, from the YES plan. YES is an acronym
for Year End Studies and it is a program at Rutland High School
where students gain experience outside the classroom. Also this
summer, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corp (VYCC) will be at the
park working on trails. These young people will be able to camp
near the trail for days at a time and get a tremendous amount of
Volunteer efforts help make the park what it is.
"It's great to be a part of a community working for a common
goal," said Amanda Harding, who was raking leaves during a
volunteer work day last week in the recently renovated quarry with
her two boys, Alec and Jonas. "We come to the park almost every
week, all year long. I enjoy the women's mountain biking clinics in
the summer and snowshoeing or skiing in the winter. I think this is
one of the best resources Rutland has to offer." In between
raking leaves of the newly planted grass at the base of the quarry,
Jonas climbed around on the dramatic walls of the natural
amphitheater. "I mostly like climbing on rocks here," he said.
"And mountain biking too."
The Department of Recreation encourages folks to come help with
trail work during one of their "work days" held throughout
The next work day is scheduled for May 19 at 9 a.m. with a barbecue
scheduled for 12-noon. Several spring projects are in need of
attention. Visit rutlandrec.com for information on events,
volunteer opportunities and more.