As you may know, FWRT has been contracting with Longview Forest to treat woody invasives on the Riverstone Preserve adjacent to the West River Trail (between the trail and the river). Access to the Riverstone Preserve will be off limits on Tuesday, June 16, because a follow up treatment will be occurring (weather permitting). Off limits will be the section of the WRT that goes through the Riverstone Preserve, as well as the smaller trail that loops around the preserve. Signs will be hanging at the trailheads to inform the public. The Riverstone Preserve will re-open on Wednesday, June 17. We apologize for the inconvenience!
Recent maintenance work on the West River Trail tackled clogged drainage ditches and fallen trees. Trail workers cleared drainage areas and chainsawed downed logs. A huge thanks to trail volunteers for their hard work!
Don’t be concerned about all the dead plant material you are seeing from the trail along the Riverstone Preserve area! This past Tuesday morning, lower section steering committee members Kathleen, Alex and Malcolm, had a tour of the results of the invasive plant treatments that were done on the Riverstone Preserve last fall, with Dan Healey of Long View Forest (who directed the treatment) and Jackie Comeau from the VT Dept of Fish & Wildlife (who monitors the work for the EQIP grant funds from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) . In order to receive grant funds to pay for follow up treatments, at least 90% of the invasive species that were treated last fall had to have been eradicated. As the photo illustrates, the effect on invasive plants was dramatic. Long View Forest will do a follow up treatment on the japanese knotweed and black swallow wort later this summer, and a third treatment in 2020. After that, volunteers will be needed to keep these plants (that will inevitably make a come back) at a manageable level. Along with the knotweed and black swallow wort, asiatic bittersweet, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, barberry and buckthorn were treated. It was lovely to see lots of ferns and other native plants springing up around the treated invasive plants–evidence of the effectiveness of the targeted treatment. For more information about this project, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The River Loop on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed on September 29th for 1 day only. There will be signs about the closure posted at the junctions of this trail with the West River Trail, and at the Rice Farm Road and Marina trail heads. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we deal with the important issue of invasive plant mitigation on this special piece of land between the river and the West River Trail.
RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATE! The West River Trail will be open again from the Marina trail head to the Rice Farm Rd trail head, starting Wednesday, Sept 5, for the rest of the week and until further notice. The trails on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed this Wednesday and Thursday, due to the invasive plant treatment. There will be signage explaining which trails are closed.
There will most likely be more trail closures announced during the fall for this purpose.
Thank you for your patience!
RIVERSTONE PRESERVE TRAIL CLOSURE
The Friends of the West River Trail received a grant from the USDA and have hired Long View Forest, Inc to treat Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose, Black Swallowort, Buckthorn, Japanese Barberry (and possibly a few others).
Monday, Sept 3 and Tuesday, Sept 4 the Riverstone Preserve portion of the West River Trail will be closed for treatment on invasive plants. The main West River Trail will be closed where it passes along the Riverstone Preserve. Trails within the Riverstone Preserve will be closed. There will be signs at the trailheads at the Marina and Rice Farm Road, and at either end of the section of the Main trail that will be closed. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
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.
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.
I 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!
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.