Sunday, February 19, 2012

More beaver ponds than you could shake a stick at.....Wait, what did he just say?

   If there is one single reason I delved into skiing three years ago, simply put, it was to to enjoy the outdoors and glide through the forest enjoying the ups and downs of it all.  As I awoke this Thursday morning, quite groggy  I might add, the first thing that came to mind was to continue skiing somewhere I had left off with Sarah a week ago. Sarah was busy with work, so naturally  I called Mike, the Chong to my Cheech- I'm sure he'll be absolutely flattered with that analogy.

So here it was Groton State Forest on a beautiful bluebird day in Vermont with temps in the 40's?! We used access across the lake into Groton SF. As you make your way across the lake you clearly see the granite cliff of Marshfield Mt. (elev. 2,154 ft). This was where Sarah and I  had left off to ski another day just last week when the temps were in the single digits. Now, however, we found ourselves on great Spring corn snow.

Sarah and I have BC skied at some great spots and more than a few are well guarded or well known for that matter.  Many of these spots need drive time, the info and well, the snow pack to get there. This year has been a bit different from last year and I believe last year had us just a little spoiled....OK more than a little spoiled. As things go here in Vermont, I hear most of you are out there making the best of it, which is all one can do.  One thing we really enjoyed last year especially in our "new" neck of the woods was skiing out the back yard or a short drive a way. This has always been at the core of what we believed in especially when we lived in Montpelier and found ourselves car-less.  Hubbard park was "the" scene as we were often there or in the Worcester Range, a slight distance away. 

A little bush whacking..

One of Mike's first descents although I think Odin may have beat him to it?
The cliffs of Marshfield Mt. 2,154 ft.
For awhile now I've been asking Sarah "Whats that beautiful granite peak in the distance?" and Sarah would say " I don't know - maybe we should find out?!"  After repeatedly asking Sarah and expecting her to know I finally found out myself via the CVT - Cross Vermont Trail - a rails-to-trails bike path venturing East to West across the state of Vermont; still a  work in progress.  Little did I know that one beautiful Fall day last year Mike and I would ride our bikes into Groton  SF and find ourselves at the bottom of that very same granite cliff; Marshfield Mt. So naturally we thought it would be great to ski out there as well,  so here we found ourselves exploring the beautiful ponds, forests and meadows of Groton SF. And I can stop asking Sarah what that mountain is!

The Birch trees were astounding

Groton SF has many places to explore whether on  foot, cycling, snowshoeing, paddling or skiing.  Many trails are multi-use and you will find that the CVT becomes a great avenue in which to explore it.  In winter the CVT becomes a snow mobile trail and is quite popular.
As I said " More beaver ponds than you could shake a stick at"

Access is a very touchy subject, especially here in VT and I think Groton SF is a shining example of what can happen when people come together and coexist. One can only imagine the possibilities when examining the trail system which encompasses Groton SF.  With trails and wonderful destinations such as Boulder Beach, Marshfield Mountain, and Kettle Pond, this is truly a place anyone can enjoy no matter how you choose to explore it.

    If a little adventure is what you seek, no matter the mode, Groton State Forest provides - all that is asked is that you find it for yourself, which is the best part. What ever you seek, however much or little snow you may find, make the most of it and remember: If you're not having fun out there then what the hell good is it anyways? Oh and remember don't take yourself too affects your turning ability......, it's scientifically proven...OK maybe not,  just have fun out there!



  1. State Forests are awesome. Living somewhere that is 95% government land, and coming from somewhere 95% private has been eye-opening with access rights. There's no NIMB, but there are secret places for sure. Glad you live close to the State Forest and maybe they'll need me to work there. hehe.
    PS: I love the corny title.

  2. Hi i am moving to the area in a few weeks. My gf an I like to ski the backcountry and we were wondering if you found any decent downhill lines or interesting stretches trees while skiing in Groton SF?

    The cliff i believe is Marshfield Ledge, and there is much established climbing there. It should be featured in a book coming out any day now called Tough Schist, the first VT rock climbing guidebook of its kind.

  3. Hey Rich,
    I didn't reralize you commented and I'm teribly sorry!! The stretch Mike and I explored was to the base of Marshfield mountain definetley waxless BC touring country with no real elevation gain, just really nice beaver ponds with glacial erratics. I have heard there are some more less heard of, secret lines in Groton SF which we will seek out next year. We didn't have the best snow pack year here in VT. I'm glad to hear you'll be moving to the area and will be able to enjoy the Green Mountains! Here's a good trivia question- Any idea what Marshfield mountains former name was?

    See you out there!