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Skiers : Help Protect the Grooming at Great Brook !

From: user 8.
Sent on: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:00 PM
Skiers : Help Protect the Grooming at Great Brook !

The Dept. of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) is implementing significant changes to the winter trail use policy at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. According to the new guidelines, several groomed ski trails will be re-designated as ? shared use? trails for both walkers and skiers.

Walking and groomed ski trails are not compatible! Ski touring centers do not allow walking on groomed ski trails because walking destroys the groomed snow surfaces which skiers pay to use and expect to enjoy, and because the resulting footprints can be dangerous for skiing.

The new policy invites walkers into the heart of the groomed ski trail network on Litchfield Loop, Chicken, Woodchuck Tr. and East Field. And once walkers are allowed on these groomed ski trails, it is inevitable that they will ?end up? on other trails as well. This will degrade the quality and safety of ski conditions and also create the potential for collision among the skiers, walkers, and dogs using the sloped and curvy trails they will be sharing.

This change came about as a result of persistent complaints from only a few vocal walkers. It is hoped that skiers, when given the opportunity to voice their opinions, can also have an effect on state park rules. If you value the future of groomed ski trails at Great Brook Farm State Park, express your feelings to the DCR leaders who helped to create this new

Priscilla Geigis, Director, Division of State Parks and Recreation

(617)[masked], email: [address removed]

Gary Briere, Chief, Bureau of Recreation

(617)[masked], email: [address removed]

For the past 28 years, Great Brook?s 10 miles of groomed ski trails have been open only to paid skiers during periods of adequate snowcover (which amount to about one month per year on average). Walkers, horseback riders, and others have been encouraged to use a different area of the park (west of Lowell
St.) where 4 miles of trails, plus additional contiguous town- owned trails, remain open regardless of snow cover.

Trails for walking are abundant but groomed trails for skiing are scarce. The town of Carlisle alone offers over 50 miles of walking trails while Great Brook Farm, the only state park in Massachusetts offering groomed cross country ski trails, holds one of New England?s smallest ski touring centers. Relatively few walkers make use of trails during snowy times but thousands of skiers can appear at Great Brook during these periods.

Please add your voice to the effort to restore a sensible, balanced winter trail policy for the park. Thank you!

Friends of Great Brook Skiing"

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