Would you believe that dozens of people each day were out on the West River Trail? Windham Regional Commission has expanded its pedestrian count program to the winter months, and recent data both surprised and pleased us. Counts on the West River Trail in Brattleboro from December 11, 2018 through New Year’s Day 2019 were only about 15 percent lower than the long term average for non-winter months. It was probably the short days as much as, if not more so, than the cold though that kept people from getting out. We came to this conclusion because while weekday counts for that period were lower than average, weekend counts, when people are more likely to have an opportunity to get out during daylight hours, were exactly the same as the long term average for data recorded in spring, summer, and fall. On Christmas Day we recorded 110 “trips” on our West River Trail counter. A “trip” is one person passing in one direction on the trail. At a place like the West River Trail where most people go out and back, we can estimate the number of persons using the trail to be about half the number of trips. This would mean about 55 people were out on the West River Trail on Christmas Day, about 50 on New Year’s Eve day, and about 68—our highest daily number—on December 29.
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.
Save the Date! West River Trail Volunteer Work Day.
Saturday, October 20 (with rain date Sunday, Oct 21).
Time: probably 9 AM to 1 PM.
We will put in a post, put trail markers along the trail, clear ditches, do some mowing. Stay tuned for more info as the date gets closer. Hope you can join us!
RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATE! The West River Trail will be open again from the Marina trail head to the Rice Farm Rd trail head, starting Wednesday, Sept 5, for the rest of the week and until further notice. The trails on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed this Wednesday and Thursday, due to the invasive plant treatment. There will be signage explaining which trails are closed.
There will most likely be more trail closures announced during the fall for this purpose.
Thank you for your patience!
RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE
The Friends of the West River Trail received a grant from the USDA and have hired Long View Forest, Inc to treat Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose, Black Swallowort, Buckthorn, Japanese Barberry (and possibly a few others).
Monday, Sept 3 and Tuesday, Sept 4 the Riverstone Preserve portion of the West River Trail will be closed for treatment on invasive plants. The main West River Trail will be closed where it passes along the Riverstone Preserve. Trails within the Riverstone Preserve will be closed. There will be signs at the trailheads at the Marina and Rice Farm Road, and at either end of the section of the Main trail that will be closed. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
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