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VHC is sponsoring a ride from the Victory Hill campground on Sept. 7,8,9, 2012. We are planning another great ride, with a potluck supper Saturday night. If you cannot camp, come for the ride on Saturday! We'll plan to leave between 10:30 and 11. Remember to join VHC and get your NEKET pass. We hope to see you riding!

The Northeast Kingdom Equestrian Trails (N.E.K.E.T.) Committee is the corridor manager for an equestrian trail system located in the northeast kingdom.   The NEKET system is an ongoing project of the Vermont Horse Council.  The committee formed in 2000 to work with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to plan and develop equestrian trails in this remote area of Vermont.  The trail system opened in 2003.

A majority of the trail system is located on public lands, but significant segments are on private property.  The landscape of the area was shaped primarily by glaciers.  As you ride along, look for huge boulders or glacial erratics and many boulder-lined streams.  The area is home to a wide diversity of wildlife species.  You may see moose, beaver, coyote, deer, and a wide range of bird species. 

The trails include almost 100 miles of old skid trails and active logging roads.   There are two areas situated at opposite ends of the trail system that offer water, port-o-lets, fire rings and overnight camping for equestrians only.  The trail system is open to Vermont Horse Council members who purchase a NEKET Trail pass which cost $15 for the season and help to cover insurance and trail maintenance costs.  The trail system is open following mud season and closes on November 1st.


Riding in the Kingdom
By Kim Parsons

The Northeast Kingdom Equestrian Trails  (NEKET), are located  in the most remote region of Vermont but well worth a visit.   The northern section of the trail system is accessed through Island Pond and is approximately a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Central Vermont.    The southern portion of the trail system is accessed through xxx and is about an hour and a half from Central Vermont.   Rustic Camping is available in both sections.  There is approximately 100 miles of  logging roads and trails to ride on.

We were fortunate to have three days to explore the NEKET system in July.  The first day we started out at 10 AM.  Our goal was to ride a 15 mile loop at a fast pace.  We started out by taking a left out of the equestrian overnight camping area and then a right about 100 yards down the road over a small brook that emptied out a small tea colored beaver pond.  The pond was studded with dead trees, marsh grass and wild irises.  Like so many others that we passed you half expected to see a moose out  in the water grazing on the rich marsh grasses.  We traveled for about a half hour up a lush trail spotting a lot of moose tracks along the way. 

That stretch of trail is one of the only woodland trails on the Northern end of the NEKET system but hopefully that will change someday.  That trail emptied us out onto the power lines where we traveled for a few miles enjoying the most spectacular views Vermont has to offer.  Traveling the power lines can be full of surprises.  We heard a strange sound and looked up to see an osprey soaring the sky’s around us as if warning us off her territory.  After looking around a bit we noticed a huge nest on top of one of the power posts about sixty feet in the air.

It had been 24 hours since we had arrived and we hadn’t seen a car yet.  Most of the roads are open after Memorial day weekend but there isn’t really through traffic.  In three days we saw three cars and  talked to some of the drivers and they were just driving around hoping to spot moose.  Although we saw many signs of moose, we didn’t run into any on our horses!

We got back to camp and had the afternoon  to unwind and play with our horses.    The camping area is  about 2.5 miles in from Route xx on The South America Pond Road which is a well maintained dirt road.   It is approximately 100 yards by 300 yards and  can easily accommodate 6- 8 large trailers or a dozen smaller trailers. There is also an overflow camping area less than a tenth of a mile down the road.   The camping area is rustic  with hitching posts, an outhouse, a manure pit and a plastic water trough that is filled by a natural spring.  Sorry but no showers or electricity. The area is not overused and we have never encountered a problem with there not being space.   In fact it is sorely underused due to the remote location.   We were the only campers so had the place to ourselves until Saturday afternoon when some day riders showed up. 

We decided that it was well worth the three hour drive to get there.  The Northeast Kingdom Equestrian Trails are in one of the most remote areas of Vermont.  The drive can be daunting at first, if you are coming from Central or Southern Vermont but by the time you hit Danville, you start to realize that you have arrived in the “Kingdom”.

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