A portion of the West River Trail was closed for a day on June 16. Unfortunately, we need to close that portion again (weather permitting) on Thursday June 25, to wrap up the work that was started on June 16.
FWRT has been contracting with Longview Forest to treat invasives on the Riverstone Preserve, a 26 acre parcel of land between the river and the trail. The closure will affect that portion of the WRT, plus the side trail that loops through the preserve.
Signs will be posted at the trailheads to inform the public.
The Riverstone Preserve area of the trail will reopen on Friday, June 26. We apologize for the inconvenience.
As you may know, FWRT has been contracting with Longview Forest to treat woody invasives on the Riverstone Preserve adjacent to the West River Trail (between the trail and the river). Access to the Riverstone Preserve will be off limits on Tuesday, June 16, because a follow up treatment will be occurring (weather permitting). Off limits will be the section of the WRT that goes through the Riverstone Preserve, as well as the smaller trail that loops around the preserve. Signs will be hanging at the trailheads to inform the public. The Riverstone Preserve will re-open on Wednesday, June 17. We apologize for the inconvenience!
The West River Trail is a trail for all seasons. In late autumn, with the leaves down, there is so much beauty to see along the trail.
With thanks to Lynn Levine for the photos.
Don’t be concerned about all the dead plant material you are seeing from the trail along the Riverstone Preserve area! This past Tuesday morning, lower section steering committee members Kathleen, Alex and Malcolm, had a tour of the results of the invasive plant treatments that were done on the Riverstone Preserve last fall, with Dan Healey of Long View Forest (who directed the treatment) and Jackie Comeau from the VT Dept of Fish & Wildlife (who monitors the work for the EQIP grant funds from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) . In order to receive grant funds to pay for follow up treatments, at least 90% of the invasive species that were treated last fall had to have been eradicated. As the photo illustrates, the effect on invasive plants was dramatic. Long View Forest will do a follow up treatment on the japanese knotweed and black swallow wort later this summer, and a third treatment in 2020. After that, volunteers will be needed to keep these plants (that will inevitably make a come back) at a manageable level. Along with the knotweed and black swallow wort, asiatic bittersweet, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, barberry and buckthorn were treated. It was lovely to see lots of ferns and other native plants springing up around the treated invasive plants–evidence of the effectiveness of the targeted treatment. For more information about this project, you can email email@example.com.
Volunteers needed for West River Trail work day!
Wednesday May 15
4 PM to 6:30 PM
We will meet at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, May 15 at the Marina Trailhead and plan to head out on the trail at 4 PM. We will mostly be doing drainage clearing, though a few people will be chainsawing downed logs. All in all the trail is in great shape, but we need to clear the leaves and debris out of the drainage ditches along the wetter areas of the trail. Bring mud boots, gloves, bug dope, water and an iron rake or hoe if you have one. We have extra tools, if needed. Optional gathering at the Marina Restaurant afterwards! For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working out on the trail with you!
As 2018 draws to a close, we invite you to include the Friends of the West River Trail in your year-end giving.
At a recent meeting of the Lower Section Steering Committee, we paused to take stock of all that has been accomplished this year and acknowledge how good we are feeling about the trail. The trail is in great shape, largely because of generous donations received from all of you.
With these funds, we were able to hire Jason Evans Excavation, this fall, to do major repairs to the large, deep washouts on the trail access from Fox Farm Road. He also fixed some smaller washouts along the trail under the power lines and added gravel to widen and improve the trail surface there.
Other accomplishments in 2018:
- Two productive volunteer trail work days in the spring and the fall.
- Recent receipt of a permit from the Town of Dummerston to reconstruct the kiosk at the Rice Farm Road trail head. The kiosk will be set in place next spring.
- With funds from a USDA grant, we hired Long View Forest to treat the invasives on the Riverstone Preserve this fall. 90% of the buckthorn, barberry, multi-flora rose, oriental bittersweet and japanese knotweed was eradicated. The black swallow wort will be treated next spring/summer and we will receive more USDA funds to do follow up treatment in 2020.
- Jeff Nugent, of the Windham Regional Commission, updated the trail map, which will be found at the trail heads and around the community soon. (Printing generously donated by C&S Wholesale Grocers).
Your year-end gift will help us to continue our work on:
- Repair and maintenance of the trail surface and drainage culverts
- Control of invasive species in the Riverstone Preserve
- Protection of rare and endangered species along the trail
- Extension of the trail to the downtown Brattleboro railroad station, and south from there to the old railroad bridge that connects to a large network of New Hampshire trails
- Potential acquisition of additional land adjacent to the trail
- Creating and printing a map of the Riverstone Preserve Trails
- Promotion of trail usage through distribution of maps as well as through our website and Facebook page
- Amenities, such as benches along the trail, a picnic table near the I-91 bridge, and a shelter on the Riverstone Preserve
If you have not visited the trail recently, please do! The trail is seeing more and more usage, year-round, by hikers, runners, cyclists, skiers and snowshoers.
If you love the West River Trail and want to see it continue to be protected, improved and even extended, please support the Friends of the West River Trail with a generous donation. Click here to make a secure online donation. If you prefer to donate by check, please feel free to contact us at:
West River Trail, Lower Section, 138 Elliot St, Suite 3, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301.
With all best wishes,
FRIENDS OF THE WEST RIVER TRAIL
Lower Section steering committee:
- Lester Humphreys (chair)
- Jason Cooper
- Niko Malkovich
- Matt Mann
- Malcolm Moore
- Kathleen White
- Alex Wilson
- Orly Munzing
- Brett Morrison
- Marcia Steckler
- Tom Yahn
Charlie, Jennifer, Sue, Jason and Malcolm, our enthusiastic trail crew for the day, got a lot accomplished. They planted a post for the chain at the Rice Farm Road Trailhead and cleared the area for the new kiosk (for which we recently received approval from the Dummerston DRB!) Grass was trimmed and overgrown brush was pruned back a mile along the trail from each end. Drainage ditches and culverts were raked out, leaving the trail in good shape! A big thank you to our volunteers!
We are having a Trail Work Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10 AM to 2 PM. We will meet at the Rice Farm Road Trail head. We’ll be doing some trimming along the trail, weed whacking under the power lines, clearing drainage ditches of leaves and debris, planting a post, putting up some new signs, etc. Wear boots, bring water, snack, work gloves. We will have tools, but you are welcome to bring your own, such as a shovel, clippers, pruner, rake. Lunch will be provided. It will be fun! We look forward to seeing you and are so grateful for your help. For more information or to let us know you’re coming, contact us at: email@example.com. Thank you!
The River Loop on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed on September 29th for 1 day only. There will be signs about the closure posted at the junctions of this trail with the West River Trail, and at the Rice Farm Road and Marina trail heads. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we deal with the important issue of invasive plant mitigation on this special piece of land between the river and the West River Trail.