UPDATE, 5/29/12: The Stowe Land Trust announces it has secured the necessary funds to permanently protect Cady Hill Forest. Read more here.
Eleven miles of trails wind through the 260 acres of Cady Hill Forest in Stowe, Vermont. It's just a few pedal strokes from the center of town, and one path picks up just across from Skier Shop, a locally owned outfitter that becomes Bike Stowe in summer. Shop owner Bobbie Roehm knows the trails intimately. "We call them the Town Loops," she says. "Those are the trails we ride, and we send customers and visitors to Stowe over those trails."
The land is a keystone parcel for the Vermont Mountain Bike Ride Center, a proposed trail network for bikers of all abilities based on a model pioneered by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. More than 70 million people live within a day's drive of Stowe, offering a prime audience of riders.
Through May 20, Bike Stowe is donating 10 percent of profits from mountain bike sales to the Stowe Land Trust to fund the purchase of Cady Hill Forest. A sale would allow the Stowe Land Trust to permanently conserve the property, which is zoned for development. So far, the Stowe Land Trust has raised $1.2 million of the $1.56 purchase price. Another community organization has pledged to donate $25,000 if Bike Stowe and other fundraising efforts can ring in $100,000 in April. The deadline for the nonprofit to complete the purchase is May 30. —Olivia Dwyer