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Winter

In winter we have many managed backcountry touring zones and trails for skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking. Please have a look at our maps, the descriptions of the zones and trails. These zones and trails would have not been possible without a partnership of the Town of Dover, The Dover Town Forest Conservation Commision, Mount Snow, USFS and the private landowners of the Dover area. Please no unsanctioned work is permitted. SoVTA has invested thousands of hours of planning, mapping and working with land managers to have access to these areas. If you are interested in being able to do work please contact SoVTA, become a member and we can get you trained and covered under our insurance. We would also like to thank our sponsors which without their support we could not built and continue to expand the trails and backcountry touring zones. Please take a look at our sponsors page and show them some love.

GPS Map App

SoVTA has partnered with Avenza Systems Inc. To provide an offline GPS mapping application so you can view georeferenced maps on your phone. Digital maps are no replacement for having a printed copy and using a compass but is just another tool you can use to aid in you backcountry adventures. You can download the app from the Google Play Store and the Apple Apps Store. You can then search for SoVTA maps in the app or download them here.

Emergency Location Markers (ELM)

SoVTA has in conjunction with Dover Search and Rescue, Dover Emergency Services and State Emergency Services developed a Emergency Location Marker system that will aid emergency services in being able to locate you if a emergency situation occurs. Markers are located at all trail intersections and the top and bottom of all Backcountry Touring Zones. Please study the maps and make mental note of where you are located when you are out in our network. You can use the number on the sign that is closest to your current location to aid in Emergency Services determining your location in the network.

Safety On The Trail
  • The SoVTA Trail and Backcountry Touring Network is UNPATROLED, NEVER TRAVEL ALONE.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.  
  • Use equipment designed for the backcountry.
  • “Eat Before You’re Hungry, Drink Before You’re Thirsty” (i.e. fuel your body and stay hydrated!)
  • Bring a map of the area you are skiing, and a compass (and know how to use it!)  Do not rely exclusively on your GPS or smartphone, as reception can fail and batteries can die.
  • Be prepared for emergencies; see list of Gear for the Trail.
  • Avoid cotton clothing.
  • Before you go, familiarize yourself with any possible exit points. If your group has an extra car, it’s a good idea to leave one at a midway exit point in case some skiers want to stop early.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and the time of day. The weather changes quickly in the mountains. It also gets cold and dark very early.
  • Apply good judgment. This web page and CTA’s Guidebook are aids, not substitutes for common sense.
  • Be willing to turn back if circumstances call for abandoning a tour.
  • Bring a first aid kit.
  • Pack extra clothes, food and other aids to ward off hypothermia in case of emergency.

The SoVTA Trail and Backcountry Touring Network is UNPATROLED, often in remote locations far from any roads. Every effort has been made to keep the Trail well marked and free of hazards. However, conditions change throughout the winter.  An ice storm can bring trees down across the trail; a sudden thaw can wash out a bridge. In addition, snow conditions can change the difficulty of a trail section dramatically.  A trail section that is an intermediate ski in fresh powder is very different when that powder turns to ice or breakable crust.

Be prepared for all types of weather. Listen to a detailed, local weather forecast before heading out. Take plenty of warm clothes and always dress in layers. You may be warm and comfortable in the morning, but have the wind pick up and the temperature drop 20 degrees by the afternoon.  You will wish you had some extra warm layers available. Avoid cotton clothing.  Carry a functioning headlamp and extra batteries in case your outing takes longer than expected.

You should expect to eat and drink almost twice as much while skiing as you normally do, so prepare accordingly. Protect water bottles from freezing, and consider bringing a thermos with hot tea or cocoa. Even if you don’t eat all your food, someone else may be forever grateful for that extra brownie that got him/her across the last mile of Trail.

Blazes are sometimes pilfered, sometimes obliterated by blowing snow, or sometimes on a tree that fell in the last storm.  If you travel for some distance without seeing blue SoVTA blazes and are unsure of where to go, immediately backtrack to the last blaze seen and begin your search from there. (Keep in mind that in sections where the Trail follows snowmobile corridors, few if any SoVTA blazes may be found). Pay close attention to the SoVTA blazes, directional arrows, and the route descriptions when entering fields, clear cuts, log landings, and golf courses as it is easy to ski into the middle of one of these open areas and miss the proper exit point. 

Parts of the SoVTA network follow snowmobile trails through the generosity of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) and their local snowmobile clubs. Safety is a primary concern on these shared stretches of trail.  Snowmobilers cannot hear, and frequently cannot see, skiers and snowshoers before they come upon them.  When skiing these shared stretches stay alert and be prepared to step off the Trail at any time to allow snowmobiles to pass.  Ski single file and to the side of the snowmobile trail. Keep dogs leashed.  Step off the Trail to wax skies, adjust gear, or to have a snack.  Snowmobile activity is much greater on weekends than on weekdays so you may want to time your outing accordingly.

Maps
Dover Town Forest

The Dover Town Forest trail and backcountry Touring network is made possible through a partnership between the Dover Town Forest Conservation Commision, the Town OF Dover, The USFS and SoVTA. There are currently four backcountry touring zones.  Please be aware the part of the Rice Hill Trail is shared with the snowmobilers of VAST. Safety is a primary concern on these shared stretches of trail. Snowmobilers cannot hear, and frequently cannot see, skiers and snowshoers before they come upon them. When skiing these shared stretches stay alert and be prepared to step off the Trail at any time to allow snowmobiles to pass. Ski single file and to the side of the snowmobile trail. Keep dogs leashed.  

Horace Hill

The Horace Hill trail and backcountry Touring network is made possible through a partnership between the Town OF Dover, the Caplan’s and SoVTA. There are currently four backcountry touring zones.  Please be aware the part of the VAST Trail is shared with the snowmobilers of VAST. Safety is a primary concern on these shared stretches of trail. Snowmobilers cannot hear, and frequently cannot see, skiers and snowshoers before they come upon them. When skiing these shared stretches stay alert and be prepared to step off the Trail at any time to allow snowmobiles to pass. Ski single file and to the side of the snowmobile trail. Keep dogs leashed.  

The Ridge (Proposed)

The Ridge project area is a project that is made possible through a partnership with the Town OF Dover, The USFS and SoVTA. For the most current information please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53706. This area will be one of our largest, highest elevation and remote zones in the SoVTA network. 

Crosstown

The Crosstown Trail network is made possible through a partnership between Mount Snow, the Town of Dover and SoVTA. In winter the whole network is open to hiking,cross country skiing and fat biking. Please be aware the part of the Crosstown Trail is shared with the snowmobilers of VAST. Safety is a primary concern on these shared stretches of trail. Snowmobilers cannot hear, and frequently cannot see, skiers and snowshoers before they come upon them. When skiing these shared stretches stay alert and be prepared to step off the Trail at any time to allow snowmobiles to pass. Ski single file and to the side of the snowmobile trail. Keep dogs leashed.  Please click the map for trail descriptions.

Bulls Bowl (opening winter 2023/2024)

Bulls Bowl Will be the second highest, largest and remote area in the SoVTA Backcountry Touring Network. It will encompass roughly 200 acres and feature some of the oldest growth forests we havin the network. 

Cooper Hill (opening winter 2023/2024)

Cooper Hill Will have two small mellow Backcountry Touring Zones and three trails for snowshoeing. It will provide easy access for the Dover Hills Communities and will be great for early morning / late afternoon spring tours.