Category Archives: Pine Hill Partnership

New Skills Track

New skills track right at the front entrance is coming in nicely. It is not quite fully finished but in nice enough condition to ride in its current state. Check out some of the hard work by the local volunteers.

Read all about it at this link:

Pine Hill Partnership creates new skills track

Thank you Youth Works

We wouldn’t have our trail system today without Youth Works coming to Rutland every year. The hard work these folks put in without the benefit of using the trail system is amazing.

Summer of 2018 we have started a new trail near Intersection 36. It has about 1000′ of finished trail tread that still needs a few refinements next year. 2019 will bring another summer of working on this trail which when done will be roughly 3800′. It’s a very long, curvy trail that could use a lot more volunteers to complete it. We can only build about 1000′-1500′ of trail a summer depending on volunteer groups and weather.

Are you interested in learning how a trail comes to life?? Contact pinehillpartnership@gmail.com for more information on how to become involved.

Pine Hill Partnership over sees the building and maintenance of Pine Hill Park, Redfield Trails and the Carriage Trail. We are ALL volunteers, we are not paid by Rutland Rec or Rutland City. We raise all our own money to build, maintain the park. Please consider helping out with contribution, labor is always needed. If you can run a chainsaw and have safety gear we would love to add you to our list of sawyers primarily for downed trees. Could we count on you? Contact pinehillpartnership@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

 

News From 2018 Annual Dinner

Here is the slide show presented at our Annual Dinner held last Monday (3/26). We’ve added a photo reel  of some the the cool things happening in our park.

At the Annual Dinner we had some great guest speakers that told us what is going on in their neck of the woods. Minutes of the meeting are posted too. Enjoy.

2018 Photo Reel

Annual Dinner Presentation Slides

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18, March 26 Annual dinner minutes

Text of talk by Matt Baatz from Green Mtn Trails

Community Work Days

Update: Our May 12th work day starts at 9AM meet at the front entrance of the park. Projects will be clean up Exit Strategy and repair tire ruts plus clean up drainage’s on trails. We have tools and gloves for everyone bring water, bug dope and sunscreen.

2018 Community Work Days:

Saturday, April 28th at 9AM. Meet at the front entrance.

Saturday, May 12th at 9AM. Meet at the front entrance.

Will be working on the front gardens and cleaning drainage’s out.

YES plan starts June 6th and runs through June 19th. We are not sure exactly what days we will have volunteer groups.

Youth Works starts June 18th and 19th at 9:30AM at the front entrance. We work every Monday and Tuesday till the end of July. No group the week of July 4th.

Anyone is welcome to come join the fun.

Winter 2018 Wild Times in Pine Hill Park

We hope you enjoy Tom Estill’s exploration of the park in the winter time as much as we do.

Wild Times at Pine Hill Park
Winter, 2018

The official start of Winter in December of 2017 started off with bitterly cold temperatures and a forest covered in a few inches of snow.  Both Rocky and Muddy Ponds were completely covered in ice and snow. Birch seeds lying in the snow were a common site, especially at the base of adult birch trees. Many deer, rodent and carnivore tracks could be found throughout the forest, and many spots could be seen where deer and squirrels had dug through the snow to reach acorns and other food hidden beneath the snow. On a Jan. 2nd hike, the only birds I saw or heard were a hairy woodpecker, crow, and white-breasted nuthatches. I was happy to see porcupine tracks near the power lines on the Carriage Trail leading up to the rocky cliffs. The same cliffs which were the site of active porcupine dens in previous years. While sitting quietly next to the beaver den on the East side of Rocky Pond, I was treated to the sounds of groans of grunts of active beavers inside the den.

One day, during the second week of January, a warm front moved through the area bringing with it showers and temperatures high enough to melt most of the snow. During the night, the rain ended relatively abruptly followed by sub-zero temperatures which froze the water on the ground forming a layer of ice on the ground and a layer of shallow snow on top of the ice. The whole forest was covered in this ice/snow layer. Still, many gray squirrel food caches could be seen dug up in the snow/ice where squirrels were retrieving some of their food stores. On Jan. 14th, the only birds seen on my walk were a small flock of black-capped chickadees. Many rabbit, fox, deer and gray squirrel tracks could be seen.

Jan. 20th was a beautiful day with clear skies and temperatures in the low 40s. Typical winter birds seen included hairy woodpecker, tufted titmouse, pileated woodpecker, downy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, and white-breasted nuthatch. It was also the first time this season I had seen SNOW FLEAS at the base of many trees. Always a sign to me that the worst of winter was behind us. I came across coyote and deer tracks next to each other and decided to follow them. The tracks led me to a deer carcass. The deer was only partially eaten, so I knew the coyote and other scavengers would be back to finish eating at a later time.


The first week of Feb. found 4” of snow on the ground. White-breasted nuthatch, tufted titmouse, pileated woodpecker, and golden-crowned kinglets were the only birds seen. Both the kinglet and red squirrels were seen at Muddy Pond, which is one of the few places in the park where both those species can be occasionally found. Rodent, deer, coyote and fox tracks a common sight.

On Feb. 11th, 15”of snow was on the ground. Lots of deer and squirrel tracks, and uncovered food caches could be seen throughout park, and the only birds seen were white-breasted nuthatch, crow, and a small flock of common redpoll near the trailhead parking lot. Many signs of active pileated woodpeckers around lower trails.

The third week of Feb. found the area undergoing a warming trend with temperatures reaching 70 degrees F on Feb. 21st. Consequently, many bare ground areas could be found throughout the park. Many streams had flowing water, and Rocky and Muddy Ponds, though completely covered in ice, both had a thin layer of water covering the ice. Even saw a few small midges flying about. Saw a gray squirrel sticking its head out of an old abandoned pileated woodpecker hole, a most endearing sight.

On Feb. 24th, temperatures were back in the low 40s. More and more bare ground was appearing throughout the forest, with only north-facing slopes containing any appreciable amount of snow. Cardinal and tufted-titmouse could both be heard singing. Many gray squirrels seen running throughout the forest. And small areas of open water could be seen along the edges of both beaver dens on Rocky Pond.

The first week of March found a few inches of snow on the ground dropped by a nor’easter which came through the area. Bare spots of ground could be found where that ground was exposed to lots of sunlight. Dark-eyed junco, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, and crow were seen. Both ponds were showing open water in spots around their perimeters.

On March 4th, an otter was seen at Muddy Pond.

3 nor’easters came through the area in March. By mid-March, cold temperatures had returned, both ponds were once again completely frozen over, and there was an average of 8” of snow on the ground. On March 18th, a few days before the official start of spring, birds seen included crow, black-capped chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet, brown creeper and white-breasted nuthatch.

Bobcat were once again photographed in the park. The exact time and location is being kept secret in order to insure their privacy and protection.

That’s it for this season summary. Please stay on the trails and enjoy your wildlife viewing and experiences at Pine Hill Park.

For more of Tom’s reports, check out this page

2018 Annual dinner

Date for our annual dinner is Monday, March 26th at 6pm. Come join us for a light fare of soup and chili. We will hold short business meeting then move onto future plans for the park.

Do you have a skill set that you might be willing to volunteer to help Pine Hill Partnership out?? We have all kinds of small projects that do not involve shoveling dirt.

Come bring your ideas!

Hope to see you there!