Trails: Recreation

Catamount Trail and Working Landscapes

The guidebooks connect users with details abou the trail.  There have been several editions since the trail's inception in 1984.  Pictured here are the 1993 and 2009 editions. On page 169 of the 2009 edition you can read about the Catamount Trail's commitment to and realationship with the working landscape.

Catamount Trail Association.

The Catamount Trail: The Length of Vermont on Skis

Trails bridge the worlds of work and recreation and provide pasage through Vermont's fields, forests, and waterways. The Catamount Trail is a backcountry ski trail that winds through the Green Mountains. Trails are shaped by and help to shape Vermont's working landscape.

The Catamount Trail: The Length of Vermont on Skis,<br />
About the Trail

Founders Skiing the Catamount Trail, c. 1984.

Examples of trail blazes that mark the trail throughout Vermont.

Catamount Trail Association Archives.

The Catamount Trail is an expression of Steve Bushey’s affinity for Vermont’s landscape. A graduate of the University of Vermont’s Geography program, his master’s thesis laid out the concept and planning for the Catamount Trail. Bushey is pictured here (center) with Paul Jarris (left) and Ben Rose (right) skiing the trail in 1984.

Catamount Trail Map

A map depicting the conserved land parcels along the Catamount Trail.  The trail spans the length of Vermont and is divided into 31 sections.

Catamount Trail Association.

Vision and Mission

Vision: The Catamount Trail is a fully conserved, well maintained public-access ski trail that spans the length of Vermont. The Catamount Trail and related trail networks are unique resources for winter recreation and important conservation and economic assets for the people and State of Vermont. 

Mission: The Catamount Trail Association (CTA) is a non-profit, member-driven organization that develops, manages, and conserves the Catamount Trail, a public-access ski trail that runs the length of Vermont from Massachusetts to Canada. The CTA builds partnerships to support the Trail, and fosters awareness and stewardship of Vermont’s diverse landscapes through promotion and use of the Trail. Founded in 1984, the organization also advocates backcountry and cross-country skiing for the quality of life, recreational, health, economic and educational benefits they provide.

Llamas and People

Experiencing the working landscape by way of the Catamount Trail, Section 28.

Sheri Larsen.

The Catamount Trail, Section 28: Experiencing the Working Landscape

Trail map of Section 19 from 1990.  Expansion and re-routing of the trail as well as re-naming of the sections resulted in the 1990 Section 19 becoming what is known today as Section 28.  Click the map to see the current map and the statistics of trail length and landmarks from then and now.

Taken from the Guidebooks, Catamount Trail Association, 1990 and 2009.

Section 28

Section 28 of the Catamount Trail crosses through the towns of Craftsbury and Lowell, in the north-central part of the state.  Over the past 24 years, the trail has changed in length, location and appearance, as is discernible in the section description of the accompanying guidebooks. This section of trail is preserved by easements between more than 25 private landowners and shares trail use with VAST and Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Recently, the Atlas Timberlands Partnership conserved 4 miles of trail across three sections of the Catamount Trail that spans 4 towns – Craftsbury, Eden, Elmore and Lowell.  The Partnership, created in 1997 by the Vermont Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy, manages approximately 23,000 acres of forest land.  This is the largest timber holding in Vermont and is host to the newly conserved segments of the Catamount Trail.

Catamount Land Documents

Top: Land Statistics

Bottom: Land owner agreement

Catamount Trail Association.

Private landowner agreements make access across 165 miles of privately owned land possible.  The agreements assure that  landowners are only allowing winter use of a small corridor of land and that the land is preserved for trail use even if the landowner intends to sell the property.

The Catamount Trail: Maintaining the Trail in Perpetuity

Top: UVM TREK program building a bridge over a section of the Catamount Trail in 1993.

Botttom: UVM TREK program re-constructing the bridge on the same section of trail in 2013. 

Catamount Trail Association. 


The University of Vermont’s TREK program has helped to maintain the Catamount Trail for 16 years.  The trail relies on the many hours of volunteer hours provided by individuals and organizations such as TREK and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. 

Boots and Skis

Hiking Boots: On loan courtesy of Jay Blanchard.

Skis: Wooden waxable skis donated by Mr. DiStefano of Montpelier.

Many different “tools”, including hiking boots and nordic skis, have enabled people to maintain and use the trail.