Confluence Lantern Paddle

Lanterns, image courtesy Gowri Savoor.Something very cool is happening on the West River this month! Join a lantern lit paddle at the confluence of the West and Connecticut Rivers or come watch from the riverside. The Lantern Paddle is part of an extensive program of community events around the Confluence Project. Don’t miss out on this joyful parade of lanterns and luminaries to celebrate our rivers on Friday, May 25, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

For details and to register for lantern making workshops and the Lantern Paddle, visit the Vermont Performance Lab events webpage.  This flotilla will incorporate the handmade lanterns made by the community at workshops with artist Gowri Savoor on May 15, May 17 and May 19. Sign up for lantern making workshops at the River Gallery School. Participants are encouraged to join the paddle on land or water.

Co-organized by the Vermont Performance Lab and the Connecticut River Conservancy.
Sponsored by The Marina Restaurant & co-sponsored by the Vermont Canoe Touring Center.

From the Vermont Performance Lab website: The Confluence Project is an ambitious experiment in creative place-making that demonstrates an in-depth model for bringing arts, youth, community groups, regional planners and educational institutions to the civic dialogue table to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of watersheds.

 

Community Service on Earth Day

Christine needed some community service credits. While walking on the trail with her family a few weeks ago, she noticed there was trash that needed to be picked up and decided right then that she would like to give back to the trail. She contacted Friends of the West River Trail and asked if we would sign off on her community service and we agreed. On Saturday, April 21, Earth Day, she and her husband Joe and daughter Ella spent about 3 hours and accumulated 3 large plastic bags worth of trash from the trail. Thank you so much Christine, Joe and Ella! We are so pleased that you chose the West River Trail for your community service and cleaned it up for all trail users to enjoy!

Champagne Hikers on the Trail

The Champagne Hikers of Western MA/Southern VT were out on the trail in force on April 11! They hiked 7 1/2 miles from Black Mountain to the Marina, stopping for a break at the picnic table on the Riverstone Preserve. Malcolm Moore of the FWRT lower section steering committee was on the hike and overheard another hiker say “this trail is a treasure!” She’s right! Time to get back on the trail if you took a break over the winter. Come out and look for signs of spring.

Photos by Malcolm Moore.

Early Spring Trail Report (Southern Section)

The Southern Section of the West River Trail is emerging from the grip of winter’s snow and ice. Though patches of snow still hug the trail, the muddy sections are a sure sign of early spring.  Alongside the trail, hunks of ice cling to the banks of the West River, but the geese have returned to swim in the open waters. The rock cliffs are drenched with spring melt, the few remaining icicles disappearing rapidly, wildflowers to follow soon.

A Bridge to Nature

A short walk from the Marina Trailhead on the West River Trail sits one of two riverside viewing platforms. The other is located directly across the river, and can be accessed from Vermont Route 30. The twin platforms are part of the new I-91 bridge, completed in Autumn 2017. A short walk from the bustle of town, directly below a busy highway,  the viewing platforms sit close to nature and the flow of the river.

Winter Trail

The West River Trail is beautiful in all seasons. During the winter months, a walk along the trail and along the shoreline of the Riverstone Preserve can reveal a magical landscape of ice and snow formations. Photos of icicles and icebergs courtesy of Kathleen White and Jim Webster.

Support the West River Trail

Dear Friend of the West River Trail:

As 2017 draws to a close, we invite you to include the Friends of the West River Trail (Lower Section) in your year-end giving.

As you may know, the Friends have faced some legal issues arising from property ownership questions along the trail. While the court has ruled in our favor, this matter has considerably depleted our financial resources and our ability to carry on the maintenance and development of the trail.

Your year-end gift will help us to continue our work on:
Repair and maintenance of the trail surface and drainage culverts (including repairs of washouts and sand intrusion resulting from this summer’s heavy rains)
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
Promotion of trail usage through distribution of maps as well as our website and Facebook page

If you have not visited the trail recently, please do! At the Marina trailhead, you’ll find a new information kiosk with trail map dispensers. Under the magnificent new I-91 bridge, the trail is fully restored and there is a beautiful platform for viewing the West River. Just south of the Riverstone Preserve is a stone stairway to the river’s edge, constructed by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The trail is seeing more and more usage, year-round, by hikers, runners, cyclists, skiers and snowshoers.

Again, please help the Friends with a generous donation to permit us to continue to protect, improve and extend the West River Trail.

To donate online (credit card or PayPal), please click here. Or, mail your gift to 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 and fundraising committees: Lester Humphreys (chair), Kathleen White, Jason Cooper, Malcolm Moore, Alex Wilson, Matt Mann, Wendy Harrison, Judy Davidson, Orly Munzing, Brett Morrison, Marcia Steckler, Tom Yahn, Martin Langeveld