Huge thanks to the 5 volunteers who showed up to help repair the West River Trail.
Below is Jason Cooper’s report from the Trail Work Day.
We got an incredible amount done today!
Repaired erosion on the steeps of the I-91 bridge bypass.
Trimmed back brush and grass on the bypass.
Cleaned out and repaired many culverts from I-91 (mile 2) to just before mile 3.8.
Removed many downed trees.
Filled many holes in the trail.
The biggest surprise was the incredible washout on the Fox Farm Road access. It is as bad as it was after Hurricane Irene. This will take some structural redesign. There is also still some work to do between mile 3.8 and the foot bridge at mile 4.1, and a ditch at mile 2.8. Beyond the foot bridge there are several erosion cuts in the trail bed that will need fill trucked in.
Photos are on the Fox Farm Road trail access. Photos by Jason Cooper. The trail really needs your help! If you use the trail regularly, please consider lending a hand on the next workday or making a contribution to help maintain the trail. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As many trail users are aware, branches and stick barriers have been placed at the Rice Farm Road (RFR) trail head for some time now. More recently, the words “No Trespassing” and “Private -Keep Out” were painted on the ground. The area being contested is the RFR trail head, including a couple hundred feet south on the trail. Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT) has deeds and surveys showing FWRT ownership of the trail for public use. Furthermore, the public has been using this trail for decades and because of that, has the continuing right to use the trail (this right is called a prescriptive easement).
Recently FWRT brought an action in court to stop this obstruction. However, it will take several weeks to 3 months or more for the court to address the situation. In the past, trail users who have come in contact with the contesting party have been treated politely by him and even encouraged to use the trail. Unfortunately, our efforts as members of the FWRT to resolve or even discuss the situation have been met with hostility. Given the situation, it is up to each trail user to decide whether to use the RFR access to the trail. If you are feeling concerned about using the RFR trail head, you can access the trail from Fox Farm Rd or the Marina trail head. We regret the uncertainty and any inconvenience this is causing.
New Picnic Table on the Riverstone Preserve
Thanks to Jim Webster’s carpentry talents, there is now a picnic table on the Riverstone Preserve for all to use. It’s made of white oak and very pretty! Thank you Jim!
When heading north on the WRT, once you are on the preserve take the 1st trail. It leads to the water’s edge. As you get close to the shore, you will find the picnic table on a little rise to the right of the trail. Bring a picnic or just sit a spell. Let us know if you used it and how you like it!
Drainage Work Accomplished
Eight enthusiastic souls showed up for trail work at the Fox Farm Road Trail Access at 9 am Saturday July 23. John, a new volunteer who lives right in the neighborhood showed up with his Kubuto excavator, which was invaluable. Jenny, a hard worker from West Brattleboro, was also a new volunteer. Thanks to both of them! Paul, Lester, Jeff, Kathleen and Jim, veteran volunteers, also showed up, led by our intrepid trail work leader, Jason. The excavator helped us dig better drainage ditches in several areas that tend to overflow. A new 6″ plastic culvert was placed where an old rusty one was removed, and one culvert was extended with new pipe. We trust that when we finally get rain, trail users will see these sections of the trail stay dry or drier. Unfortunately, none of us remembered to take photos of the excavator and it’s driver, or the rest of the work crew and the work that was done. Sorry about that!!!
Thank you to everyone who worked that day to improve the trail for all users!