School Of The Forest Podcast: The Value of Outdoor Spaces

Recently Christopher Russell, Director; School Of The Forest and Lead Instructor; Jack Mountain Bushcraft School interviewed Steve Shriner and Kathleen about the West River Trail.

Click through to hear the full podcast – The Value Of Accessible Outdoor Spaces With Kathleen White And Steve Shriner Of The Friends Of The West River Trail.

School Of The Forest offers an environment in which young people and adults can learn outdoor skills that they can use for a lifetime. Christopher discovered the West River Trail a couple of years ago when scouting locations for his course on canoe poling, and recently reached out to learn more about the Friends of the West River Trail organization.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Russell, School of the Forest.

Support the West River Trail

Dear Friend of the West River Trail:

As 2017 draws to a close, we invite you to include the Friends of the West River Trail (Lower Section) in your year-end giving.

As you may know, the Friends have faced some legal issues arising from property ownership questions along the trail. While the court has ruled in our favor, this matter has considerably depleted our financial resources and our ability to carry on the maintenance and development of the trail.

Your year-end gift will help us to continue our work on:
Repair and maintenance of the trail surface and drainage culverts (including repairs of washouts and sand intrusion resulting from this summer’s heavy rains)
Control of invasive species in the Riverstone Preserve
Protection of rare and endangered species along the trail
Extension of the trail to the downtown Brattleboro railroad station, and south from there to the old railroad bridge that connects to a large network of New Hampshire trails
Potential acquisition of additional land adjacent to the trail
Promotion of trail usage through distribution of maps as well as our website and Facebook page

If you have not visited the trail recently, please do! At the Marina trailhead, you’ll find a new information kiosk with trail map dispensers. Under the magnificent new I-91 bridge, the trail is fully restored and there is a beautiful platform for viewing the West River. Just south of the Riverstone Preserve is a stone stairway to the river’s edge, constructed by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The trail is seeing more and more usage, year-round, by hikers, runners, cyclists, skiers and snowshoers.

Again, please help the Friends with a generous donation to permit us to continue to protect, improve and extend the West River Trail.

To donate online (credit card or PayPal), please click here. Or, mail your gift to West River Trail (Lower Section), 138 Elliot St, Suite 3, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301.

With all best wishes,

FRIENDS OF THE WEST RIVER TRAIL Lower Section steering and fundraising committees: Lester Humphreys (chair), Kathleen White, Jason Cooper, Malcolm Moore, Alex Wilson, Matt Mann, Wendy Harrison, Judy Davidson, Orly Munzing, Brett Morrison, Marcia Steckler, Tom Yahn, Martin Langeveld

Save the Dates! Two West River Trail Workdays Scheduled

West River TrailTwo West River Trail Work Days scheduled:

Thursday, June 9, 4 PM
Remove/control Japanese Knotweed on the cobblestone shoreline of the Riverstone Preserve.  Meet at the Marina Trailhead. Bring water, work gloves, snack, bug dope, wear work boots.  We have tools, but bring your own if you prefer–shovel and loppers. Help keep the Riverstone Preserve beautiful and able to support its native plants! Contact for more information on the June 9 workday.

Saturday, July 23, 9 AM
Meet at the  Fox Farm Rd access.  We will replace a culvert, work on drainage issues and do more work on removal and control of invasive plants.  More information to come. Contact for more information on the July 23 workday.

Many hands make light work!  Please join us!

Thank you for considering coming out to help maintain the beautiful West River Trail!


West River Trail Workday Sunday Nov 3 at 10 AM

West River Trail Workday Sunday Nov 3 at 10 AM

wrt 5Happy Fall!  We hope you can join us for an upcoming West River Trail Workday.
When: Sunday November 3, 2013 at 10 AM
Where: Meet up at the southern Marina trailhead
Who: All are welcome to join in, even just to chat, take pictures or lend moral support to the effort.
What: A bit of cleanup of the trail to get it ready for the winter – cleaning out some culverts, removing a few logs, putting up some new signs. This is all light work and should be quick with many hands.
Hiking shoes and gloves are advised. We have the tools.

Come and hear about future plans and help open a couple of trails to the river. The West River Trail now includes a new 21 acre piece of land along the river, The Riverstone Preserve. Get a close-up view of the bridge construction and hear about what the Agency of Transportation is doing and how the West River Trail will benefit.

Everyone is welcome to join us at the Marina afterwards for a beer or a hot drink.

Posted on behalf of Jason Cooper & Peter Yost.
Contact Jason at with any questions.

West River Trail Work Completed by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

West River Trail Work Completed by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps

Recent West River Trail improvements are the result of the hard work of a crew from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. In their three weeks on the West River Trail, the crew rebuilt the bridge by the beaver dam, including stone work underneath, new locust posts set on new stone pilings and lashed railings in place. Wooden mile marker posts have been set every ½ mile, more drainage work was completed, all the old car metal debris and tires have been hauled away and a 1/2 mile of new trail will be cleared, north of the Rice Farm Rd Trailhead, on The Nature Conservancy land. A big thanks to Corps crew members Roslyn Peters, Emma Rubalcava, Gray Barret, Dylan Berger, Amelia Barton, Kate Stevens, Nick Martiros and Zach Sullivan and crew leaders Brittany Kusserow and Alec Harris of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps for their good work.

The West River Trail Fundraising Run/Walk

The West River Trail Fundraising Run/Walk

West River Trail Benefit RunWe had 18 participants, and raised $401 at the West River Trail Fundraising Run/Walk on a beautiful Saturday morning, July 27.
Thank you to Tim Fleming who conceived of the idea, did much of the organizing and publicity, and ran all the way to the Townshend Dam! Thank you to his daughter, Elsie, for running with him to the Rice Farm Rd trailhead, and to his wife Rebecca for providing water and snacks at that end of the trail for the runners and walkers. Thanks also to everyone who supported the trail by participating and making a donation, and to those who didn’t walk or run but made a donation anyway.  And thanks to Malcolm Moore for being there to help with parking, take photos and ride sweep to check on participants; and to Jim Webster for helping Kathleen White with registering participants and having water and watermelon available back at the Marina Trailhead, for those who went out and back.  A fun time and a successful event!

Report on the 1st Annual West River Trail Run

Report on the 1st Annual West River Trail Run

The 1st Annual West River Trail Run held on June 1, 2013 was a huge success! Runners were blessed with spectacular weather and a beautiful trail. A big thanks to the runners, volunteers and spectators, and to our partners – Friends of the West River Trail, Southern Vermont Technical Rescue, Winhall/Townshend Campground and Jamaica State Park. A big thanks also to our sponsors – Stratton Mountain Resort, TimberQuest, Prospect Rehabilitation, Real Sports, Peabody’s Apiaries, Taylor Farm, Maggie’s Farm and Grandma Millers.

More pictures can be found on the West River Trail Run Facebook page. Hope to see you again next year!


West Trail Run June 1st: Calling Runners and Race Volunteers

West Trail Run June 1st: Calling Runners and Race Volunteers


Calling all runners and race volunteers!! Please join us for the annual West River Trail Run on Saturday, June 1st! Please contact us for more information about the event or if you are interested in helping out! Hurry! Registration is limited and closes this Friday, May 24, 2013. Email us at or call us at 802.824.4200. See poster for more details and contact information.

The Collaborative will be hosting its first Trail Run on June 1st, 2013. This is an annual event to help the Collaborative to provide fun, healthy educational programs for youth in the Northshire and Mountain communities. Please check THE COLLABORATIVE WEBSITE for more information and to register.

Run along 11 of the 36 miles of the West River Trail in Southern Vermont. The run will start at Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155 and end at Jamaica State Park, 48 Salmon Hole Lane, Jamaica, Vermont 05343

Relay teams of 3 or individuals are invited to participate. Runners have the option to ride the bus from Jamaica State Park back to the start after the awards ceremony. Relay teams are allowed one car during the run to transport. Teams are responsible for their own transportation.

Runner 1: 4 miles of flat trail. Runner is on the main rail-trail, which provides a more gentle grade and relatively easy travel. Trail follows the campground road through the campground and over a single-lane bridge crossing the Winhall River.

Runner 2: 4 miles of uphill and switchback, single trail. From the south trailhead of Winhall Campground, the surpack surface of the West River Trail continues along the river’s edge. Becoming a footpath through the forest, the single-track section of trail involves several short uphill jaunts and a variety of stream crossings. This is considered the most challenging section of the trail.

Runner 3: 3.5 miles of gradual downhill and flat trail. The switchback trail traverses back and forth across the steep face of the dam, arriving in the river valley as a footpath. The trail follows the river down stream, crossing the Cobb Bridge. The West River Trail continues along the old railroad grade. This section of trail is well-used and provides easy running with lovely views of the river.

To register, click HERE. Registration closes on Friday, May 24, 2013. Registrations may be mailed to The Collaborative c/o Trail Run, PO Box 32, South Londonderry, VT 05155.  Email us at or call us at 802.824.4200. 

The Run will start at 9 am on June 1st.
Packet-pick up:
May 31, 6-8:30pm: Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155
June 1, 7-7:45am: Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155

Thank you to our sponsors and partners: Friends of the West River Trail, Jamaica State Park, Ball Mountain/Townsend Lakes.
For more information and to register, check EVENT WEBSITE.