UVTA’s Executive Director, Russell Hirschler, was interviewed by WCAX on the Trailside Services feature on Trail Finder! Click HERE to watch the broadcast.
QUECHEE, Vt. (WCAX) – Hiking and biking trails are a big draw for locals and tourists visiting the region. A trail finder website can be a great resource to help you pick the perfect spot in Vermont or New Hampshire. Trails are not the only thing you can find on the site.
Information on more than 6,000 miles of trails across New Hampshire and Vermont, like the one at the Quechee Gorge, are available online and only a click away. And now, local businesses connected to those trails are in the mix.
“A lot of people come to the Quechee Gorge from all over,” said Harry Gorman.
Gorman is a distiller at Vermont Spirits which is located just down the road from the gorge. The trail that gets you to the bottom is not the only one in the area.
“There is a trail system in this forest right behind our distillery that allows you to get from the Appalachian Trail right to our distillery without going on any roads,” Gorman said.
“We try to get them down the roads less traveled,” said Jayne Trailer.
Trailer works for Hanover Adventure Tours out of Norwich. The business rents bikes and boats to those looking to explore the great outdoors.
“They go, ‘Where should we go?’ And we wanted to provide anything we could, from the water to the back roads to a tour. Whatever it may be,” she said.
So what do an outdoor adventure business and a distillery have in common? The answer is the region’s tourism economy.
“The idea is, if people are going to be outside recreating, how can we connect them to those local businesses that provide services for people who recreate,” said Russell Hirschler with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.
The Trail Finder website is an online database with about 750 trails across the region. Businesses can now sign up for the interactive map in the trailside services section.
“So, there is a synergy between people recreating locally, bringing tourists from outside the area and then having businesses serve both of those recreational communities,” said Hirschler.
Directly or indirectly like lodging, restaurants, and yes, even an occasional spirit shop can benefit.
“You know, people like to take a nip along with them on the trail I guess. But certainly after. Après-walking,” Gorman joked.
Currently, only about 50 businesses are mapped on the site. However, any business connected to the trail economy is encouraged to apply online. There is no fee to join.
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