Springtime on the West River Trail

Spring has sprung on the West River Trail! The river is running high, the trail edges are greening up, the wildflowers are blooming, and the trees are leafing out.

Many thanks to PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. for their efforts to keep the West River Trail open during all phases of bridge construction. Trail users should exercise extreme caution at the intersections between construction access and the trail path. As an additional safety precaution, users of the West River Trail are reminded to keep pets on a leash, especially in the construction area.

Please note that demolition of the old iron bridge over Route 30 will begin by the middle of May. During bridge demolition above the trail, personnel will be stationed to provide warning to pedestrians when work is occurring overhead.

Please also note that some users have reported trees and rock slides across the trail. Enjoy the trail, but be observant, and stay safe.

If you would like additional information about the bridge construction, please contact Bonnie Clark, Public Relations Officer, at bclark@pcl.com, PCL Civil Constructors, Inc., 41 Spring Tree Road, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301, 802-251-0709, www.pcl.com.

A Spring Ski on the West River Trail

A beautiful spring ski along the West River Trail, through the Riverstone Preserve and down onto the river shore. Snow-slides along the cliff edge created hilly terrain on an otherwise flat stretch of trail. Along the river edge, fresh snow covered ice floes, left behind on the banks when the river thawed.

Story submitted by Kathleen White. photos by Jim Webster, from a ski trip in early April. Probably the most unusual environment they’ve skied on!

Soon the snow will give way to spring ephemeral wildflowers. Enjoy the trail in all its glorious seasons. Happy Spring!

 

Brattleboro I-91 Bridge Walk: A Bridge to Nature

 

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 4, 2017, hundreds of visitors, young and old, braved freezing temperatures to walk across a major interstate highway, before it opened to traffic. Visitors rode bright yellow school busses from the Brattleboro Union High School and were met at the south approach of the new Vermont I-91 Brattleboro bridge by representatives from the design-build team. After walking across the bridge, the buses drove visitors back to the high school. It was a wonderful opportunity to walk high above the West River Trail and the West River Valley, on a stretch of roadway, soon to be dominated by motor vehicles traveling at high speeds.

The design-build team of PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. and Figg Bridge Engineers, Inc. in conjunction with the Town of Brattleboro, invited the public to participate in the walk across the 1,036-foot, three-span segmental I-91 Brattleboro Bridge. During the walk, the community had a chance to take pictures, take in the view and ask questions about the bridge design and construction.

 

The West River Railroad

The West River Railroad is featured in the current (Winter 2016/2017) issue of Vermont Magazine. Ghost Train – a fond look back at the West River Railroad, written by Glenn Annis, with historic black and white photos from the author’s personal collection – is a wonderful glimpse of the history behind the current West River Trail.

A Southern Vermont Trail for All Seasons

West River TrailA letter from Friends of the West River Trail, Lower Section:

Dear users of the West River Trail,
The Trail has become an important feature in our local landscape and we hope you have had a chance to experience the trail for yourself recently. If so, you may have encountered other trail users walking, jogging, x-c skiing, snowshoeing, birding and biking, and you no doubt noticed improvements to several sections of the trail. During June and July, volunteers completed essential maintenance tasks of replacing damaged culverts, moving fallen rocks and leveling trail surface to control erosion, cover roots, and fill in holes. New this summer in the Riverstone Preserve is the installation of a beautiful picnic table hand-crafted from locally harvested white oak. Looking ahead, we’d like to embark on professional removal and suppression of invasive species that – despite on-going volunteer efforts to combat them – have taken hold and threaten the rich biodiversity along the trail. Please consider making a donation to help support the effort to maintain and improve the trail for all users.

To make a secure donation, click on the DONATE link or click on the tab above to go to the West River Trail DONATE PAGE. Checks may be mailed to Friends of the West River Trail, Lower Section, 138 Elliot Street, Suite 3, Brattleboro, VT 05301.Please help our community enjoy the trail for seasons to come by making a donation. Thank you!

Friends of the West River Trail is a registered 501 (3) (c) organization.

Please feel free to contact us via this website, by clicking on the CONTACT tab above.

Friends of the West River Trail Steering Committee: Lester Humphreys, Chair, Jason Cooper, Matt Mann, Malcolm Moore, Kathleen White & Alex Wilson

Friends of the West River Trail Fundraising Committee: Judy Davidson, Chair, Martin Langeveld, Brett Morrison, Orly Munzing, Marcia Steckler & Tom Yahn

American Painter Milton Avery and the West River

Milton Avery (1885–1965), Blue Trees, 1945. Oil on canvas, 28 × 36 inches. Neuberger Museum of Art, Gift of Roy R. Neuberger, Purchase College, State University of New York. © 2016 The Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Milton Avery (1885–1965), Blue Trees, 1945. Oil on canvas, 28 × 36 inches. Neuberger Museum of Art, Gift of Roy R. Neuberger, Purchase College, State University of New York. © 2016 The Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

This is the last weekend to catch the Milton Avery exhibit at the Bennington Museum.The exhibition brings together dozens of the paintings, watercolors, and drawings Avery made on family visits to the West River Valley region of Vermont between 1935 and 1943. Read more at – https://www.incollect.com/articles/green-mountain-idylls-milton-avery-s-vermont.

Excerpt from article:
A humorous anecdote related by Sally Avery about her husband’s painting Blue Trees provides insight into the tension in Avery’s works between their formal qualities, their emotive power, and their dependence on subjects drawn from the real world. She related how a business tycoon, wanting to buy a painting, made a studio visit; nothing pleased him. Looking at one landscape, he exclaimed, “That tree is blue—I never saw a blue tree in Vermont.” To which Avery replied, “This was New Hampshire.” In fact, the painting, which the tycoon acquired, was based on studies executed in Jamaica, Vermont, looking south into the West River Valley from the slopes of Ball Mountain, into the area that is now largely occupied by Jamaica State Park. https://www.incollect.com/articles/green-mountain-idylls-milton-avery-s-vermont.

Photo credit: Milton Avery (1885–1965), Blue Trees, 1945. Oil on canvas, 28 × 36 inches. Neuberger Museum of Art, Gift of Roy R. Neuberger, Purchase College, State University of New York. © 2016 The Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

The West River Trail in Autumn

The West River Trail is open and looking gorgeous in its autumn finery!

When passing through the bridge construction area, follow signs and take extra care at intersections between trail and construction work. As an additional safety precaution, please keep pets on a leash.

Trail Talks
The next trail talk will be held November 5th. Interested participants should meet the PCL+FIGG Team at the West River Trail trailhead at 8 am and the talk will begin at 8:15 am. For more Information about the bridge project, please contact Bonnie Clark, Public Relations Officer, at bclark@pcl.com.