Vermont’s Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance Seeks Funds to Develop Glades

Vermont’s Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA), a pilot chapter of the Catamount Trail Association, has launched a summer fundraising campaign to support their backcountry initiatives throughout the Braintree Mountain Forest.

In partnership with the New England Forestry Foundation and former landowner Paul Kendall, RASTA has been working since 2013 to develop backcountry ski trails and glades throughout 1,547 mountainous acres in central Vermont. Last autumn, volunteers with the organization began maintaining glades on Braintree Mountain Forest’s Skidoo Mountain. Now, with fundraising help, the organization plans to construct a parking lot, renovate the existing Bell Gates backcountry cabin, build a trailhead kiosk and further develop glades throughout the forest.

RASTA Backcountry Glade, Cabin & Parking Project by T-Bar Films on

“The energy that our efforts stirred up here in the backcountry skiing community was great. The excitement, the enthusiasm…everybody loves skiing here,” says Zac Freeman, a founding member of RASTA. “This project is a first of its kind here in Vermont.

“A lot of RASTA members have felt that, by sharing our backcountry skiing zone, we’re bringing together a community, and we’re also creating more opportunities to ski,” says RASTA’s Angus McCusker. “Because of the success of our project, we are realizing we want to meet the demands of locals and visitors alike. This is going to be a pretty broad area of different backcountry zones spread over three different peaks.”

RASTA’s fundraising campaign seeks to raise $25,000 over the next two months. Learn more about their initiative at

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  1. What a treat to spend a July morning thinking about this project in the hills where I grew up! Wow. I know Zac from childhood days and would like to congratulate him and the rest of the R.A.S.T.A team on such an amazing effort. Huge kudos to Paul Kendall, too. What a gift! “Ski you this winter!”

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