Founded in the winter of 2013, the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, better known as RASTA, provides safe and sustainable multi-use trails for area residents and visitors. And what started with a focus on backcountry skiing on public and private land now includes a wide variety of non-motorized activities from hiking, running, and mountain biking to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Their trail system crisscrosses central Vermont and includes:
- Brandon Gap
- Green Mountain Trails
- Marsh Brook Loop
- Randolph Trails
- Rochester Valley Trail
- Braintree Mountain Forest
You can learn more about their trails on their website or by visiting the Gear House.
The Gear House
With a 3D sculpture of a skier on the side of the building, you almost can’t miss this hub for outdoor adventure.
Located on Pleasant Street in downtown Randolph, the Gear House is RASTA’s one-stop shop for all things recreation. Here you’ll find a 3D relief map of the Randolph/Braintree area, which has both roads and trails noted on it, as well as another featuring the entire state of Vermont that highlights the Catamount Trail and Long Trail. And of course, they have maps of the local trails that RASTA has built and maintains.
The friendly staff is also available to help you plan your next hike or ride, offering insight into the difficulty and length of various trails, to help you find just the right trail for your fitness level. And there’s something for every age group, from the young to the young at heart.
If you’re into biking, the Gear House is also home to a fully-equipped bike shop to help you tune up and outfit your bike for your next excursion.
As a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) and the Catamount Trail Association (CTA), RASTA hosts and participates in bike events throughout Vermont, from competitive team events to their own youth programs and those done in partnership with area schools.
In the winter they participate in Randolph’s annual Winterfest, offering guided hikes and snowshoeing on their trails, even tree identification hikes.
If you’re called to outdoor adventure, RASTA is the perfect place to start in your search for nearby excursions for all ages.
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