A new bicycle and trails advocacy group, Slate Valley Trails, was formed in Poultney during the summer of 2015. The volunteer group recognized an opportunity to use foot and bicycle trail development to build community relationships, support local economy, and encourage healthy lifestyles by advocating for increased access to local outdoor opportunities. Its founding board includes Chuck Colvin, Alexi Conine, Chuck Helfer, Gail Helfer, and several GMCers including adventure education faculty, prof. Andrew G. Bentley, adventure education adjunct faculty member Tim Johnson, past staff member Cody Gaylord, and alumni Peter Kunz.
Since its inception Slate Valley Trails has implemented a plan to develop a network of single-track type trails in collaboration with private and public landholders and is a registered chapter of the statewide Vermont Mountain Biking Association. For 2015 this included mapping 14 gravel road bicycle routes, which all radiate from Poultney. The routes range from a six-mile beginner loop to a highly challenging 43-mile loop to Pawlet. Currently Slate Valley Trails is developing over five miles of single-track mountain biking trail just outside of Poultney as part of a generous Slate Valley Trails and private land partnership slated for construction during summer of 2016. The group has several upcoming volunteer opportunities and invites the community to participate in a variety of roles, including summer trail building projects, mapping, and an upcoming seat on the board of directors. Further information may be found at www.slatevalleytrails.org/