Champagne Hikers on the Trail

The Champagne Hikers of Western MA/Southern VT were out on the trail in force on April 11! They hiked 7 1/2 miles from Black Mountain to the Marina, stopping for a break at the picnic table on the Riverstone Preserve. Malcolm Moore of the FWRT lower section steering committee was on the hike and overheard another hiker say “this trail is a treasure!” She’s right! Time to get back on the trail if you took a break over the winter. Come out and look for signs of spring.

Photos by Malcolm Moore.

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.

Riverstone Preserve Trail

Riverstone Preserve Trail

West River Trail, Riverstone PreserveI walked on the new Riverstone Preserve trail yesterday, along the shoreline, that the VYCC crew created.  It’s lovely!  But I missed the new steps!  Are they hidden?
Here’s an invitation to come out on the West River Trail and find the mysterious new stone steps.  When you find them, let me know where they are!

Riverstone Preserve Steps

Riverstone Preserve Steps

If you’re out on the trail this gorgeous sunny summer morning for the monthly I-91 Bridge Project Trail Talk, why not continue on to see the beautiful stone steps created earlier this summer by the VYCC crew.

Thanks again to the crew from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) for their hard work building the new steps at the Riverstone Preserve on the lower section of the West River Trail. Beautiful work! Thanks to Alex Wilson for the photos of the steps and to Jason Cooper for the crew photo.

The Riverstone Preserve Trail Work

The Riverstone Preserve Trail Work

A huge thanks to the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew for their good work on the West River Trail.

Posted on behalf of Alex Wilson: A few weeks ago, it was such a nice day that I decided to bike into work on the trail. I spent a while with the VYCC crew and checking out the new trail along the river in the Preserve. The new trail along the river in the Riverstone Preserve will be a better trail for walking than biking, since it’s pretty twisty. About a thousand feet of new trail represents about a day-and-a-half of work. Work that day included raking, gathering stone, and constructing steps for the access down to the water. Also pictured is a Canada Lily from the protected part of the Preserve. It was nice to see five or six of these beautiful, branching lilies in the Riverstone Preserve.

All photos taken by Alex Wilson.

Riverstone Preserve Presentation

Riverstone Preserve Presentation

riverstone preserveRiverstone Preserve presentation PPT
Click the link above to view a presentation of the River Stone Preserve.

At the recent annual meeting, FWRT board members Lester Humphreys and Paul Cameron gave a presentation on the Riverstone Preserve, a 23-acre parcel which the group acquired in 2013. The land sits one mile north of the Marina restaurant in Brattleboro, between the West River Trail and the river itself. The southern section subcommittee purchased the land for $97,000. One-third of the purchase price was raised in donations and the rest came from a grant from the Vermont Housing Conservation Board. The Vermont Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property.

Cameron gave an overview of the plant communities in the Riverstone Preserve, which include a sugar maple ostrich fern flood plain community; a river shore grassland that is home to several rare plants such as the great lobelia; and a river cobbleshore, where the FWRT are working to control invasive Japanese knotweed, the worst of several invasive plant species in the preserve. Cameron also reported that last spring a volunteer group formed to develop a management plan for the preserve. So far the group has completed a drainage project, built a trail connector with a board walk, removed an old shed, and continues to work removing invasive species. FWRT would like to build stone steps, picnic table, a pavilion or shelter of some type, and an information kiosk. More volunteers are needed for projects happening this summer, please be in touch if you are interested in volunteering.