People get some exercise on a sunny day at the West River Trail, in Brattleboro Vt., as they try to keep some distance during the COVID-19 outbreak on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Photo courtesy of Kristopher Radder, Brattleboro Reformer. Click through to the Brattleboro Reformer for the full photo.
“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.
Impressive clean-up effort near the West River Trail! Click link for the full story on the Brattleboro Reformer website. Photo courtesy of the Brattleboro Reformer.
From the Brattleboro Reformer, May 4, 2013. Click <a title="brattleboro reformer wrt article" href="http://www.reformer.com/localnews/ci_23170574/west-river-trail-land-purchase-works?nstrack=sid:313768|met:0000300|cat:0|order:10&%2F%3Fsource=dailymeHERE to go to the full article.
The Vermont Land Trust and the Friends of the West River Trail are close to finalizing a deal to purchase 21 acres of land along the West River which would allow the conservation groups to add trails to the popular system and preserve land along the river.
The Vermont Land Trust is working with the local organization to purchase the land, which is on the northeast side of the river, across from the professional buildings on Route 30.
The trail has become a popular destination for bikers, walkers and runners since the Friends of the West River Trail improved the kiosk at the trail head and developed the access point near the Marina Restaurant.
Lester Humphreys, a member of the Friends of the West River Trail board, said the trail has seen an increase in use since the group put down crushed stone along the path last year. “People are hearing about it and they are definitely coming out,” he said. “They love it.”
The West River Trail has been developed over the past 15 years and the group has been slowly acquiring land along the river. Supporters hope to eventually develop the old railroad bed 36 miles, from Brattleboro all the way to South Londonderry.
Members of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps are expected to do work along the trail this summer.
Humphreys said the land deal is still a work in progress and the group is trying to raise the money needed to complete the transaction(follow this page for more information on what they are doing to raise money. If the deal goes through the group hopes to develop new trails and also do culvert and drainage repair and surfacing in the area. The Friends of the West River Trail has a grant request in with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. If the deal goes through the group will own the land and the Vermont Land Trust will hold the conservation easement to ensure that the land remains open to the public.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will be asked to endorse the land deal at its board meeting Tuesday.