Veteran Hills Winter Fat Bike Trails
With fat bikes gaining huge popularity in the past several years, and Vernon Trails always looking to expand upon the great recreational opportunities in our beautiful landscape, we launched into another great project. With an already strong relationship fostered with the Viroqua VFW Post 3032, additional land access was granted. Other partnerships were formed; a fat bike groomer was donated by The Outdoor Recreational Alliance and a snowmobile used to pull it donated by Running Inc. Using the better part of the Veteran Hills Disc Golf Course constructed by Vernon Trails as a course canvas, fat bike trail grooming has begun. Here are a couple of the more frequently asked questions about this exiting new project, and some simple answers.
Click HERE for a printable map.
Where are these trails I keep hearing about?
The Veteran Hills groomed fat bike trails are located on the 50+ acres of land behind the Viroqua VFW located at 751 S. Washington Ave. The 3 mile loop is easy to follow and can be ridden in either direction. Trailheads are found at the north end of the large parking lot behind the lodge and also by the shelter.
Can I ride my standard (non-fat tired) mountain bike on the trail?
When the conditions are near perfect and the trail bed is very firm your standard mountain bike with tires around 2 inches wide will work okay. You will not have the cornering ability or the climbing traction that you would have with a 4-5 inch tire, nor the flotation. Keep in mind that fat bikes were first designed over 10 years ago to ride specifically on snow.
What is the “grooming” all about? When is it done? And is there anything else I need to know about it?
The groomer is designed to compact the snow and leave a firm surface after setting up. The tread is much narrower than the type of groomer used to create Nordic ski trails, so we can maneuver it through tighter corridors. We will groom several nights a week and make additional passes after any significant snowfalls. We do, in fact, groom at night to better the likelihood of keeping users off the freshly compacted trail for awhile so that it can “set up” overnight. We are asking that all users consider staying off the freshly groomed trail for several hours to improve the outcome.
Who are these trails open to?
We are asking that these great trails be used primarily by fat bikers. Snowshoeing could also be done on the trail as they also distribute the user’s weight more evenly. The impact that hikers make on the trail (especially after just grooming) is much more damaging and requires more frequent grooming to be done by the volunteers. The original hiking loop is still intact on the property and with the exception of a couple hundred feet, the fat bike trails do not interfere with the hiking loop at all.
Can I ride at Veteran Hills all year long?
The fat bike loop is laid out across most of the 18 hole Veteran Hills Disc Golf Course that Vernon Trails has been building, maintaining, and enjoying for the past couple of years, so when the snow disappears and the large number of disc golfers come back out to play, we will close the trails. There are over 40 miles of Vernon Trails built singletrack on other local properties for the rest of your mountain biking pleasure. Learn more about those trails HERE.
How can I help out?
Vernon Trails is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is committed to developing and maintaining silent sport opportunities in the Driftless region. We are volunteer based and financially operate through donations and events put on throughout the year. You can help through financial support and/or volunteer efforts at anytime.
You can learn more about how to get involved here.