Chris Wren for Vermont Magazine

“When it comes to the virtues of snow, John Morton is a visionary. He envisions cross-country ski trails where none exist, conjuring up a euphoric glide, a heart- pounding descent, or a breathtaking vista through woods that offer no hint of their potential as a winter playground until he makes it happen. “ 


“To define John Morton, as just a trail designer would significantly limit what value he brings to a project. His experience in abutter relations, construction techniques, natural habitat, forestry, municipal government, funding alternatives, volunteer coordination, wetlands and O'ya skiing and trail design are invaluable. Like an artist, the trails he creates have a style that takes into consideration all of the above factors and weaves them into a harmonious ribbon. For the swifter experts our trail is like an exhilarating roller coaster and for those that like to take it at a slower pace the turns and twists create a sense of vastness when many trails may pass only yards away. John's ability to efficiently utilize every attribute of the terrain is very impressive but you would have to doggedly track with him through the underbrush as I did to truly appreciate how so much goes into the layout to achieve such a great result.”


“Mr. Morton carefully surveyed a very large area and plotted challenging trails which we believe will meet all international homologation specifications. This alone would have been a very important accomplishment but Mr. Morton's support did not stop there. He also took the time to learn more about this area and especially the unique relationships between the landowners, the land lessors, loggers, and local residents to ensure everyone's needs and desires were addressed. Mr. Morton's counsel and recommendations were critical components to our project's success.”

Rist Bonnefond, Headmaster, Kents Hill School, Maine

“I cannot imagine anyone equaling John Morton in abilities as a ski trail designer. Utilizing the insights of a lifetime on skis, John brings great vision, patience, determination to his work, and the result is sheer artistry. 

John Eldredge, Chairman, Cumberland Town Lands and Conservation Commission - Cumberland, Maine

“As soon as we identified trails as a key feature of the site, we knew we wanted John Morton to be the resource to design those trails.” 

Bradford Bates, Head of School, Dublin School – Dublin, New Hampshire

“The new trail system is a point of pride for our entire community and for our school in particular. We even have local realtors listing "Olympic trails" as part of their local amenities section! You are helping us forge the next generation of skiers.”

Marc Gilbertson, Lamoille Union High School cross country coach

“The first really notable thing about John’s trail design was how quickly he was able to familiarize himself with our little piece of land.  I’ve been living here for years and messing around on this piece of land, planning trails in my head. John was here for about two hours and had a basic plan in place that became the system.  His ability to envision what the trails should be is pretty remarkable.”

Mike Hussey, Director, Rikert Nordic Center, Middlebury College

“Working with Morton Trails on trail design is nothing short of an excellent experience.  John and his team have a creative and innovative approach to terrain use that results in trails that are fun to use.  Combined with their professionalism it creates a great relationship.”

Rist Bonnefond, Headmaster, Kents Hill School, Maine

“John recently designed a new cross country trail system at Kents Hill. It encompasses approximately eight kilometers with the potential to be expanded to up to twenty. Throughout his time here John's work was noteworthy for its thoroughness, careful planning, and attention to detail. The result is that we have a trail that is the envy of our neighboring schools and which will serve our students for generations.
John is not only an extremely skilled trail designer but also a very hard worker. Time and again, when it seemed that we were getting bogged down in creating the trail system, John would arrive and infuse enormous energy into the project, personally clearing extensive sections of trail and providing an inspiration to others. John is a man of great integrity and warmth. Working with him is not only a professional but a personal pleasure."

Nina, Dublin School Nordic Team – Dublin, New Hampshire

“Thank you so much for designing the beautiful trails. They provoked interest throughout the whole campus, and we had many new skiers join the team. We had a great season and couldn’t have done it without you.”

John Eldredge, Chairman, Cumberland Town Lands and Conservation Commission - Cumberland, Maine

“With his customary warmth, easy going manner, and professionalism, John worked seamlessly with a group that included civil engineers, landscape architects and the Town's public works director to design a trail system that would make optimal use of the available landscape. Today, this site is known as the Twin Brook Recreation Area. The centerpiece is a beautifully laid out 1O-kilometer trail system that weaves through the fields and woods and crosses streams.”
“John's trails receive daily use by dog walkers, high school cross-country runners and recreational Nordic skiers. Twin Brook has been the site of countless running and skiing events. Next year the trail system will play host to the NCAA Division 3 Northeast Regional Cross-Country Championships and the year after the NCAA Division 3 National Cross-Country Championships.”

Todd Jepson, Executive Director Pineland Farms, Inc. – New Gloucester, Maine

“The trails showcase much of Pineland' s picturesque landscape, and John masterfully maximized the use of our woodlands to get not only the most distance out of them, but he also designed them to get the trail users to see some of the best views of the farms. He was an expert at finding the most impressive sections of our old-growth timber wood lots, and he marked his trail with precision to preserve these beautiful trees so that people can enjoy their magnitude and grandeur. He also brought sections of trails through beautiful fields and pastures, but worked cooperatively with the farm managers to keep the trails out of the way of farm animals and equipment. John is truly a team player.”
“John's knowledge of cross country skiing has helped to make these trails some of the best in southern Maine. His philosophy is that "you should always be doing something when you're skiing," and the trails are designed accordingly. There is no dull terrain or boring views on our trails, thanks to John. Best of all, John's customer service is outstanding. He listens to what his customers want, and creates trails that meet their needs. I recommend working with John highly.”

Andy Shepard, President/CEO, Maine Winter Sports Center

“We are very proud of the quality of our skiing infrastructure and know that it has largely been made possible because of the exceptional talents of John. I can highly recommend him for any outdoor recreational project for which he might be considered. I think it is important to add that I have found John, in my 15 years of association with him, to possess the highest personal standards of integrity, work ethic and commitment to his clients and can only imagine a positive experience in working with him.” 

Daniel F. Grossman, Coordinator of Trail Design and Construction, Thetford Academy – Thetford, Vermont

“John Morton knows the difference between roads and trails. Thetford Academy has the finest cross-country trail in the Northeast because John Morton thought about what trail users would see, feel, and experience as they came around each turn and crested each hill. John was eager to give users a trail that inspired, challenged, and moved them. John wanted this trail to transport its users in the spiritual sense, not the physical sense.”

Alexei Sotskov, Head coach New Zealand Nordic Ski Team, Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010

“The new Dublin School Nordic Center is very impressive. The quality of the course is compatible with courses found at locations that appear on the names of the Dublin Nordic Center trails: Oslo, Lake Placid, Sapporo. These trails are built with the clear goal of letting the strongest athlete win! The terrain is challenging enough, variety is great and the courses are fun to ski.”