The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers
Vermont is one of the most popular snowmobile vacation destinations in the eastern region of the United States. With a large amount of annual snowfall, the weather in Vermont make snowmobiling and other winter sports and activities make for ideal conditions where vacationers and guests will enjoy their winter hobbies. Another important aspect that adds to the enjoyable winter experiences of visitors is the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) organization. This is a group that maintains much of the Vermont landscape to keep it suitable for winter activities, especially snowmobiling.
The VAST is a volunteer group of like-minded snow lovers who consistently intend to make Vermont one of the premier winter vacation spots for nature lovers. One of their largest undertakings is to maintain and preserve the thousands of miles of winding snowmobile trails that are available throughout the state of Vermont. Making the trails smoother and safer for first-time and experienced snowmobilers is one of their main goals. They also try to direct the trails through the more scenic areas of the Vermont landscape by clearing trails and cutting down obstructions.
The VAST is a non-profit group of workers that survives mainly from contributions and proceeds from the newspaper that they publish seven times annually. The group is also maintained through events including raffles and donations, but the majority of the work is done by thousands of unpaid volunteers who just want to pass on their enthusiasm for the winter weather. The have been grooming and maintaining trails in the Green Mountain State for the last forty years and they intend to do it for many more years. With 40,000 members and growing, the VAST sponsors several charity, educational, and safety programs related to snowmobiling and other winter activities. The group strives to promote responsible snowmobile riding through legislative measures by working with the state and federal agencies.
With their headquarters in Berlin, Vermont, the VAST organization has helped to create over 140 local snowmobile clubs where enthusiasts gather to discuss and experience their love of snowmobiling. With an average of between 100 inches to 250 inches of snow annually (depending on the region of the state), snowmobilers have ideal conditions and ample opportunities to enjoy their winter hobby. The season extends from December (when hunting season ends) until mid-April, depending on the snow and weather conditions.
Another thing that the VAST organization does to encourage and enable snowmobilers to vacation in Vermont is to negotiate with private land-owners so that their land can also be legally used for snowmobiling. They talk to the property owners and obtain access to their land so snowmobilers will have full access to Vermont's landscape, provided that they do not abuse the privileges that the private land-owners are graciously affording to them. The use of private land is restricted only to snowmobiles and only for winter months so the pristine nature of the landscape is not disturbed or disrupted.
Along with all of these opportunities that the VAST volunteer organization establishes for vacationers and Vermont residents, they also provide constantly updated information on their website. Before the day begins, snowmobilers can log on to www.vast.org and find out what the weather conditions are expected to be before they even step out the door. Because of the efforts of the VAST members, Vermont has become one of the most popular places where snowmobilers from all over North America visit to fully experience the thrill and excitement that snowmobiling has to offer.