Bridge Benches

If you’ve been out on the trail lately, you may have noticed some beautiful new handcrafted benches at the I-91 Bridge to Nature viewing platform.

The benches were made by Steve Shriner and Tom Bodett at the HatchSpace. The seat planks are laminated wood, made by Bensonwood (left over from another project), and donated by the HatchSpace. Tom made the bases for each bench and Steve put them together. Steve and Jason Cooper transported them to the trail and installed them on Sunday, March 22. Huge thanks to the HatchSpace, Bensonwood, Tom, Steve, and Jason. The benches are beautiful! Thanks to Alex Wilson for the photos.

We invite all trail users to take a moment to rest and enjoy the scenery from the new benches! 

Other improvements along the West River Trail include a bike rack and additional signage.

Please follow safe social distancing recommendations. Enjoy the trail!

West River Trail Featured in The Manchester Journal

Photo courtesy of Kris Radder, Brattleboro Reformer via the Manchester Journal.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
– Rachel Carson

For those seeking “social distancing” the way that Henry David Thoreau described it — a silent communion with the woods — Southern Vermont offers many places for a walk, a ramble or a hike.

The West River Trail was featured in a recent Manchester Journal article by Greg Sukiennik, about places to find quiet, natural beauty in Southern Vermont. Read the Full article in the Manchester Journal. Photo courtesy of Kris Radder, Brattleboro Reformer via the Manchester Journal.

The West River Trail: The former railbed of the misbegotten West River Railroad is currently split into two trail sections, with future plans to connect them into a single 36-mile trail. The lower section stretches from The Marina in Brattleboro to the old quarry on Rice Farm Rd in Dummerston. The upper section stretches from the former South Londonderry train depot to Townshend Dam, with several parking lots along the way, and is home to the annual West River Trail Run, scheduled for June.

Enjoy the trail! Be safe, be well, and embrace nature and the outdoors.

Volunteer Wanted!

West River Trail, Rice Farm Road Access

The Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT) Lower Section Steering Committee has a rewarding volunteer opening for someone who can help organize and file the papers documenting the work of making the West River Trail accessible to all.

Do you have a special interest or skill in organizing files/papers? Do you love nature trails? Would you like to help organize and document the work of a local non-profit? Do you have a little extra time in your schedule to help support the West River Trail?

Please email us at lowersection@westrivertrail.org if you are that special someone. We look forward to hearing from you!

Or maybe you know of someone else who may be interested? If so, please share this announcement with them. Thank you!

About the FWRT:
Organized in 1992, the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the establishment of a 36-mile scenic trail through the West River Valley – eventually linking Brattleboro, Dummerston, Newfane, Townshend, Jamaica and South Londonderry.

The FWRT’s mission is to:
Develop and maintain a publicly accessible system of paths along the West River corridor for educational, recreational and alternative transportation purposes.
Promote public awareness and enjoyment of the recreational path system and of the history, geology and biota of the West River valley.
Coordinate local, state and federal interests in planning, funding, construction, management and use of the trail system.

Mountain Laurel in Bloom

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.

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.

Black Mountain Hike Saturday June 14

Black Mountain Hike Saturday June 14

west river trail june 2013 9Join The Nature Conservancy at their Black Mountain Natural Area on Rice Farm Road in Dummerston on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 1 pm for a trip to the 275-acre parcel they plan to acquire this summer. Walk through oak, pine and hemlock forest. The mountain laurel should be at peak bloom!
Trip Contact: Jon Binhammer, jbinhammer@tnc.org or 802-229-4425 ext 110.
Difficulty level: Moderate 4 mile hike–walking on logging roads.

Birding on the West River with the Vermont Land Trust

Birding on the West River with the Vermont Land Trust

birding on the west riverDATE: Saturday, May 17
TIME: 7:30 –10:00 am
PLACE: Riverstone Preserve, Brattleboro
River corridors provide important habitat for migratory and breeding birds. Grab your binoculars and join VLT’s Kerry Doyle on Saturday May 17 for a morning of birding along the West River Trail in Brattleboro. Co-sponsored with Friends of the West River. RSVP appreciated but not necessary. Meet at the Rice Farm Road trailhead access to the West River Trail. Click HERE to register. Click HERE for a map. If you have questions, contact Sharon at 802-262-1241 or sharon@vlt.org. Hope to see you there!

Birding on the West River

Birding on the West River

birding on the west riverRegistration is open for the Birding on the West River walk sponsored by the Vermont Land Trust.
River corridors provide important habitat for migratory and breeding birds. Grab your binoculars and look for birds along the West River Trail.
DATE: Saturday, May 17
TIME: 7:30 –10:00 AM
PLACE: Riverstone Preserve, West River Trail, Brattleboro, VT
Sponsored by The Vermont Land Trust. Click HERE to register. If you have questions, contact Sharon at 802-262-1241 or sharon@vlt.org.