Posted on behalf of Alex Wilson.
In this in-depth article, Friends of the West River Trail Steering Committee member and Dummerston resident Alex Wilson describes efforts going back to 1997 to formalize the West River Trail on the lower section of the West River Railroad bed. The article is from Views of Dummerston, Spring 2018. Click on pages 1, 12 and 13 to the read the article on the Views website. The full 3-page article can be viewed as a single document by clicking on this PDF – views-of-dummerston-from-dreams-to-reality-spring-2018
The mountain laurel is in bloom along the West River Trail. If you have not walked the trail to/from the Rice Farm Road trailhead lately, now is the time. Enjoy!
Kalmia latifolia, commonly called mountain laurel, calico-bush, or spoonwood, is a broadleaved evergreen shrub in the heather family, Ericaceae, that is native to the eastern United States.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.