39 Steps at the South Londonderry Depot

The_39_Steps_1935_British_posterOn Tuesday, May 15, at 7 pm, the Friends of the West River Trail will present “The 39 Steps” a Hitchcock classic at the South Londonderry Depot.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be served.
South Londonderry Depot, 34 River St., South Londonderry, VT.

Connecting Communities: The West River Trail is Expanding  

wrt spring 2013 elin waagen 4Connecting Communities: The West River Trail is Expanding: Friends of the West River Trail and The Nature Conservancy Collaborate to Grow Public Access.

The Friends of the West River Trail Inc. (FWRT) recently secured 13.7 acres of woodland in South Londonderry, Vermont, achieving strategic goals related to enhancing and expanding the existing West River Trail (WRT) – an off-road path that is popular year-round with locals and visitors of all ages and abilities.

Overall, this opportunity brings the FWRT that much closer to realizing its founding vision of completing a 36-mile scenic, multi-modal trail linking the West River Valley towns of Brattleboro, Dummerston, Newfane, Townshend, Jamaica, and South Londonderry , once connected by the West River Railroad which ran from 1880 to the1930s.

For the past 25 years, FWRT has been working in partnership with state and federal organizations including Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Vermont Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy, as well as private landowners, to reclaim and reconnect remnants of the original railroad bed and adjacent lands for year-round recreational use and multiple resource values.

By acquiring this particular privately owned parcel, public access to what is known as the ‘Upper Section’ of the WRT (South Londonderry to Townshend Lake ) can be improved for an even better user-experience, says Greg Meulemans, current FWRT Board President.

“We are thrilled to finally secure this piece of property for all to use in the future. With ambitious fundraising to complete the transaction, clean up the remains of an old junkyard and redevelop this parcel, FWRT can move forward to preserve the very popular northern access point to the 16-mile section of the trail. Our plan is to enhance the access to the trail and the surrounding area by creating designated parking, building an informational kiosk and developing an expanded trail network.”

The FWRT concept of “an expanded trail network” is further supported by a concurrent neighboring land transaction by which The Nature Conservancy (TNC) acquired and permanently protected 102 acres adjacent to the Winhall Brook Natural Area, already owned by the Conservancy. The collective conservation of these parcels will help safeguard the West River itself and the freshwater species that rely on it for habitat, such as American shad, American eel, brook trout, and state-threatened freshwater mussels.

“This project is a great example of protecting a stage for biodiversity while also increasing public access to a community trail that helps connect people with nature. It’s a win-win to work with great local conservation partners like Friends of the West River,” said Jon Binhammer, Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy.

To donate online to the West River Trail Upper Section (credit card or PayPal), please click on the WRT DONATE page. Or, mail your gift to West River Trail (Upper Section), P.O. Box 2086, S. Londonderry, Vermont 05155

Posted on behalf of:

Greg Meulemans, The Friends of the West River Trail, 802-366-0689
Eve Frankel, The Nature Conservancy, 802.595.5000

Friends of the West River Trail
Organized in 1992, the Friends of the West River Trail Inc. (FWRT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to: develop and maintain a publicly accessible system of paths along the West River corridor for educational, recreational and alternative transportation purposes; promote public awareness and enjoyment of the recreational path system and of the history, geology and biota of the West River valley; and coordinate local, state and federal interests in planning, funding, construction, management and use of the trail system. Please visit: www.westrivertrail.org for trail maps, volunteer opportunities and current information.

The Nature Conservancy in Vermont is a leader in safeguarding the natural resources of the Green Mountain State. We have helped conserve over 300,000 acres of land, 1,200 miles of shoreline, and we manage and maintain 55 natural areas that are open for hiking, fishing, snowshoeing and hunting. The Vermont chapter is proud to be connecting land, water, and wildlife for over 50 years. To learn more and support our important work, please visit: www.nature.org/vermont.

Annual West River Trail Run


Registration is open for the annual West River Trail Run on Saturday June 4, 2016. Visit The Collaborative website HERE for details, trail map, trail run packet and registration information.

Walk or run along the river on the beautiful West River Trail! The run starts at the Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, Vermont and ends at the Jamaica State Park, 48 Salmon Hole Lane, Jamaica, Vermont. New this year is a 5K fun run/walk.

Participating in this event will support The Collaborative and help provide fun, healthy educational programs for youth in the Northshire and Mountain communities of Southern Vermont.

FWRT Annual Meeting and Open House

West River Railroad

A train departs the South Londonderry depot during the hey-day of the West River Railroad.

Friends of the West River Trail: Doings at the Depot!

The public is invited to attend an Open House and social hour, with refreshments provided, hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT), to be held on Wednesday, March 23, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in the South Londonderry Depot on Route 100.

At the Open House, visitors will be updated on the current projects involving both the West River Trail (South Londonderry to Brattleboro when completed) and the Depot itself. Representatives of both the Northern (Londonderry to Townshend) and Southern (Newfane to Brattleboro) trail sections will be on hand.

A highlight of the evening will be an update on the status of the West River Railroad Museum, being developed by the Historical Society of Windham County in their recently-acquired Old Newfane Railroad Station.

Plans for the 2016 West River Trail Run will be presented by a representative from the Collaborative. The 2016 event will take place on National Trails Day, June 4

The Open House will be preceded at 5:30 PM by a short business meeting of the FWRT Board, to which visitors are welcome to attend if they choose.

Please plan to join your friends and the Friends of the West River Trail for an enjoyable and informative evening.

South Londonderry Depot, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT 05155

Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense

Hitchcock - LondonderryAlfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense
Friday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Depot Visitors Center, 34 West River Street, South Londonderry, VT
Hitchcock famously said “Some films are slices of life; mine are slices of cake.” His career spanned forty years and many film eras. Film expert Rick Winston will discuss the evolution of Hitchcock’s craft, exploring his favorite themes, his relationship with his collaborators, and his wry sense of humour no matter how grisly the subject matter. By drawing on twelve film clips, starting with his 1925 silent The Lodger and continuing through to his Hollywood classics such as Notorious and Rear Window, Winston will illuminate the arc of Hitchcock’s brilliant career.
Free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public.
Contact Sharon Crossman at (802) 824-6246 for more information. A Vermont Humanities Council event hosted by the Friends of West River Trail.

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 info@thecollaborative.us 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 info@thecollaborative.us 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.