Park Report | October 2021

   

Hard to believe that October is already upon us! The leaves are changing and fall conditions are starting to set in. With the park no longer open seven days a week, trail crew has been able to pay some extra attention to our more heavily trafficked trails. 

October marks the end of Thursduro, but Wednesday night uphill access will continue through the end of the month. Please note that none of our trails are artificially lit, so Wednesduro riders should come prepared with headlamps. The park will be open 9am to 5pm on Monday, October 11th. View our fall hours and get your passes here.

The days may be getter shorter, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. Keep reading for the details about ongoing trail work, a new surface lift, Highland Halloween festivities, and more.

Everything still looks the same over in Central Park, but that won’t be the case for long. Tucked away behind the trail crew building are the pieces and parts of a brand new surface lift, which will be installed between now and the 2022 season to service a soon-to-be revamped and expanded Central Park zone. 

Once sporadically serviced by a long-suffering shuttle truck (RIP) Central Park is currently only accessible via hiking or intermediate downhill trails–of which neither method is particularly welcoming to young kids or beginners. The addition of a surface lift (and an overall improvement of the area) will make it so that Central Park can be more readily utilized by all riders who are looking to develop and reinforce their skills.

Trail design and layout plans for the expansion are still in progress, but we’re looking forward to keeping you updated as the process picks up!

In other trail work news, some changes are happening out on the XC network. You may recall reading a park report over the winter that mentioned the beginning stages of an extension of 820. You didn’t imagine that! The first phase of the 820 extension has now been completed, creating a lollipop-style loop that connects back to itself or to the snowmobile trail. So far, all reports have been the same: “It’s really fun.”

Our XC network is free and open to the public, so come by and check it out any day of the week! The trailhead is located on the right hand side of Ski Hill Drive as you approach our parking lot.

The eventual goal is to use 820 to connect Highland’s XC network to other existing local trail networks, which will in turn connect Northfield and Tilton to trail systems around the state.

Highland has been working with the Foothills Foundation to help develop a master plan that would expand outdoor recreation in the areas of Northfield, Tilton, and Franklin. If you’re local to the community, or just interested in the project, check out the Foothills website and share your thoughts! 

On the topic of our local community, Highland Trails recently finished building the Eric Keck Memorial Pump Track just down the road in Northfield at Southwick Elementary School.

Students at Southwick School, where Dr. Keck served as the principal, can sign up to use one of the school’s bikes and ride the pump track during recess. On the weekends and outside of school hours, the pump track is open to the public. That includes you!

Okay, back to the mountain. The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching: join us on Saturday, October 30 to celebrate Halloween with a costumed race down Upper NE Style to Lower Happy Hour! Register for the race here.

Prizes will be given to the top three finishers in both men’s and women’s categories, as well as to the three best costumes we see on course. (Last year’s costumes were pretty incredible–we can’t wait to see what you come up with this time around!) All proceeds from the race will once again be donated to support spinal cord research at Wings for Life.

You don’t need to race to get into the spirit of it all. Costumes are encouraged for everybody all weekend, and there’ll be plenty of other fun to be had, including a mountain-wide pumpkin hunt on both Saturday and Sunday.

The last day of Highland’s 2021 season will be Sunday, November 14th. Mark your calendars now for that weekend and start preparing for this year’s S’Ender Bash. (We hope you like pirates.) 2022 Season Passes will go on sale starting November 1.

Still, there are plenty of laps to get in before this season is over! We’ve already broken out the flannels and hoodies and are leaning into fall.

This has been your October Park Report! Thanks for reading. Be excellent to each other, and we’ll see you on the trails!

 

Don’t Miss Out:

  • Check out the trailer for Highland Is Home: Season 2. First episode drops the third Friday in November.
  • Select rental and demo bikes from our 2021 fleet are now available for purchase.
  • New beanies, hoodies, and long sleeved shirts are in stock at the Highland Flagship Store. New flannel design coming soon.
  • We’re still offering  private and semi-private lessons every day that the park is open. Correct bad habits and dial in your skills!
  • Full-day and half-day Kids Camp programs are available on Saturdays through October.
  • Check out our newest trail video edits: in the latest, David Lieb tears through Lower Hellion.

In Case You Missed It:

  • The third and final stop in the 2021 Freebird Slopestyle Series took place on Saturday, September 25th. David Lieb, Amelia Capuano, and Finley Kirschenmann took home the day’s wins in the Men’s, Women’s, and U14 classes, respectively. Overall series winners were also announced, with Kaidan Ingersoll, Amelia Capuano, and Hayes Livernois taking the crowns. Check out the day’s highlight video here.