Rice Farm Road Trailhead Access

West River Trail Rice Farm Road TrailheadThere will be a court hearing on the subject in the Newfane Court House 9 am on August 21st, 2017.

As many of you have seen, a plastic fence has been put up at the Rice Farm Road trailhead. About three years ago, Mr. Melvin Mayo purchased the lot and buildings above the trailhead on the West River Trail. As confirmed by the courts, he purchased only 2 acres down to the former West River Railroad. However Mr. Mayo is claiming ownership down to the river, based on the Dummerston tax map, which is incorrect.

People have been using this beautiful trail along the West River since at least the 1930s when the railroad tracks were taken up. So, the fence and the attempt to block the public from using the trail negatively affects many people in our community. There will be a court hearing on the subject in the Newfane Court House 9 am on August 21st, 2017. Please feel free to come to the public hearing and to add your stories about the trail in the comments section below.

Posted on behalf of Lester Humphreys, Friends of the West River Trail.

West River Trail Workday Report

 

WRT trail workday June 2017Huge thanks to the 5 volunteers who showed up to help repair the West River Trail.
Below is Jason Cooper’s report from the Trail Work Day.

We got an incredible amount done today!
Repaired erosion on the steeps of the I-91 bridge bypass.
Trimmed back brush and grass on the bypass.
Cleaned out and repaired many culverts from I-91 (mile 2) to just before mile 3.8.
Removed many downed trees.
Filled many holes in the trail.

The biggest surprise was the incredible washout on the Fox Farm Road access. It is as bad as it was after Hurricane Irene. This will take some structural redesign. There is also still some work to do between mile 3.8 and the foot bridge at mile 4.1, and a ditch at mile 2.8. Beyond the foot bridge there are several erosion cuts in the trail bed that will need fill trucked in.
WRT trail workday June 2017 - 2
Photos are on the Fox Farm Road trail access. Photos by Jason Cooper. The trail really needs your help! If you use the trail regularly, please consider lending a hand on the next workday or making a contribution to help maintain the trail. Email us at lowersection@gmail.com with any questions.

 

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

West River Trail Workday Sat July 23

wrt bridge july 2013Please join us this Saturday, July 23, 9 AM for a trail workday!

 We will be installing 2 culverts and cleaning some drainage ditches to improve drainage in heavy rains and do more work on removal and control of invasive plants.

The trail is in very good condition this year.  Our work will help keep the trail dry and easy to use.  Come help out for a couple of hours this Saturday morning! We will have fun and hope to have some refreshments.

Important:  This trip will be meeting at 9:00am. We will be  meeting at the Fox Farm Rd access.

Directions:  Fox Farm Rd is near the intersection of Black Mountain Rd and Rice Farm Rd. Fox Farm Rd is a right off of Black Mtn Rd from the Rice Farm Rd direction.  It is a left turn off Black Mtn Rd from the World Learning direction. Once on Fox Farm Rd, the trail head is a short distance down the road on the right.  Look for a group of volunteers congregating.

Bring: footwear for working in wet ground, gloves, a water bottle & bug spray. We have plenty of tools.  If you prefer to bring your own, we suggest: iron rake, hoe, or shovel.  Please label your tools clearly.

We look forward to working with you to improve the trail!  Thanks!

For more information, contact: Jason Cooper at jason.cooper10@gmail.com

 

The Conversation Continues on Route 30 Gateway Improvements

I-91 bridge Jan 2016The conversation continues on Route 30 gateway improvements. Excerpt from an article in The Commons.

At a May 24 informational meeting, consultants contracted to conduct the study released a draft existing-conditions report and sought feedback from an audience of approximately 20 people.

Alex Wilson of the Friends of West River Trail discussed plans for a pedestrian bridge across the West River to connect Route 30 to the trail. Plans for a cable pedestrian bridge slung under the new Interstate-91 bridge were abandoned, Wilson said. Costs for cabling were higher than expected and the bridge would sway too much, he said. Wilson, who also serves on the community advisory committee, said the Friends are instead investigating constructing a bridge at a narrower part of the river near the West River Park.

Full article available at The Commons website. Originally published in The Commons issue #359 (Wednesday, June 1, 2016). This story appeared on page A1.

For more information click on the Place Sense website.

Rocks in Trail

west river trailIf you’ve been out on the Lower (Southern) Section of the West River Trail this month, you may have noticed some pretty big rock chunks sitting in the trail. Plans are underway to clear them off the trail. In addition, Jason Cooper will be organizing a trail workday this spring. Stay tuned!
As always, if you have a questions about the trail, feel free to contact the Friends of the West River Trail via comments on this blog, or via email.
Photo by Malcolm Moore.

CONTACT
The Lower  Section
138 Elliot St, Suite 3
Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
Email the Lower Section

The Upper Section
P.O. Box 2086
S.Londonderry, Vermont 05155
Email the Upper Section 

FWRT Annual Meeting and Open House

West River Railroad

A train departs the South Londonderry depot during the hey-day of the West River Railroad.

Friends of the West River Trail: Doings at the Depot!

The public is invited to attend an Open House and social hour, with refreshments provided, hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT), to be held on Wednesday, March 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in the South Londonderry Depot on Route 100.

At the Open House, visitors will be updated on the current projects involving both the West River Trail (South Londonderry to Brattleboro when completed) and the Depot itself. Representatives of both the Northern (Londonderry to Townshend) and Southern (Newfane to Brattleboro) trail sections will be on hand.

A highlight of the evening will be an update on the status of the West River Railroad Museum, being developed by the Historical Society of Windham County in their recently-acquired Old Newfane Railroad Station.

Plans for the 2016 West River Trail Run will be presented by a representative from the Collaborative. The 2016 event will take place on National Trails Day, June 4

The Open House will be preceded at 5:30 PM by a short business meeting of the FWRT Board, to which visitors are welcome to attend if they choose.

Please plan to join your friends and the Friends of the West River Trail for an enjoyable and informative evening.

South Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155