December 16, 2020
Big year, bigger year coming. Read all about it - our annual project and activity update letter (and let's be honest, appeal for donations) is available now. Download the full letter with detailed trail project updates, as PDF.
December 5, 2020
Major upgrade this Fall to the rail trail in Groton State Forest nears completion. Many thanks to the folks at Vt Forests, Parks and Recreation who pulled together the resources and made this work happen!
Rail trail was completely resurfaced from northern edge of the State Forest near Marshfield Pond through to RT 232, and then again from Boulder Beach Rd through to the Rickers Mill trailhead parking at the south edge of the State Forest.
Between RT 232 and Boulder Beach Rd, spot improvements were carried out, including resetting some heaved culverts.
Also, larger stone was placed to build up and support places where the old railbed had slumped or been worn away - especially northwest of Lanesboro where beaver activity has caused plugged culverts and a variety of small washouts over the years.
Finally, gates are being installed at two more road crossings (Westshore Dr and Lakeside Dr). With these in place, there will be gates to control large vehicle access from RT 232 south to Ricker Pond. The bike/ped bypasses around the gates will be spruced up as well in time for next summer season.
December 4, 2020
Upon these muddy rusty pipes a rainbow arch shall ascend. Winooski Bridge Update: Deep foundation piles are being installed and tested now. Once they are squared up, concrete pedestals can be framed and poured. Racing the weather here, but our contractor reports that there is still a chance the bridge could be delivered and installed in the first part of winter. Or if not that then next spring for sure.
December 3, 2020
And that's a wrap. Tools are hauled out and the site is cleaned up for winter. The new bridge at the big washout in East Montpelier, east of Route 14 on the rail trail, is open, and the bypass trail is also open but still rough, so use caution. We will be back Spring 2021 to complete the trail to finished specs.
November 30, 2020
Done! The bridge on the bypass at the big washout of the railbed east of Route 14 is done. And more to go - This week we're doing a little more site cleanup to make things useable through the winter, and then will return in the spring to complete the full bypass trail.
This spot is about one mile east of Route 14, in East Montpelier. The original washout happened back during the storms of 2011. A lot of pieces had to get heaved into place to make the project happen, and it is good to see it all coming together now.
November 21, 2020
November 14, 2020
Bolted and braced, ready for decking.
November 8, 2020
Three up, none down.
November 2, 2020
At the Winooski Bridge, initial site prep is done, by our contractor CCS Construction. Waiting now for the arrival of specialized subcontractor to install the deep pilings that will support the bridge. Pile driving now anticipated for mid November. Actual bridge install will be some time after that . . . maybe still early Winter, but if not, then Spring for sure.
November 2, 2020
One up, two to go. Setting the I-Beams at the new bridge for the bypass around the Big Washout on the railtrail in East Montpelier, east of Route 14. We'll be chipping away until mid-November, give a shout if you are interested in joining in for a few hours at any point. Good chance to practice some winch craft.
October 26, 2020
The bridge abutments are ready for the I-Beams, at the new bypass trail around the big washout on the railbed east of Route 14. Finishing touches (read: dealing with more boulders and mud) done this past weekend by volunteers from Norwich University, and some local folks too, thanks all! Next up we'll start playing with ways to move the beams - still a bit of time to try some methods out before the seasons turn.
October 22, 2020
We've been measuring twice to level the sills this week at the Big Washout bypass bridge, on the railbed east of Route 14. It's all done up in decimal feet, rest assured; so if you come out to volunteer we guarantee no dealing with fractions, just straight ahead trail building.
October 5, 2020
Big yellow machines are on site for the Winooski Bridge project; getting underway in earnest.
October 2, 2020
Trail in Wells River, east of Blue Mt Union, is reopened. Thanks for Vt Dept Forests, Parks and Recreation for pulling all this together! The railbed is rebuilt around the concrete bridge (where a washout occured earlier this year), and furthermore the trail between the bridge and the intersection with Route 302 (going towards the village of Wells River) has been newly surfaced and built up, plus the parking and trailhead are completely updated - much better access from Rte 302 now both to the trail and to the river.
September 30, 2020
In addition to The Big Blowout on the railbed in East Montpelier that happened in 2011, at the same time also happened The Big Slump (or slough?, anyway) - the slump was mostly filled in shortly after the original storm, but the final tread and grade were a still jinky and slippery compared to rest of the railbed. While we had equipment on hand to work on the blowout, we also hauled in the surepack crushed stone to complete the full refurbish of the big slump. Finished that spot earlier this week, all things in time! And speaking of which, you can still help with the repair of the big washout. We'll be out there again this Saturday 10/3 and periodically thoughout October - call/email CVTA for details or if there are other days you might be able to join in.
September 24, 2020
We've been hauling in the material for the new bridge to bypass The Big Washout on the railbed east of Route 14 in East Montpelier. You can help, we'll be out there next two Saturdays 9/26 and 10/3 - call/email CVTA for details or if there are other days you might be able to join in.
September 18, 2020
BREAKING GROUND FOR THE WINOOSKI BRIDGE - YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!
We're Building the Bridge!
CVTA is thrilled to announce the groundbreaking for the Winooski Bridge.
Last fall we celebrated with the City of Montpelier as they cut a ribbon to open the newly completed Siboinebi Path extension to Gallison Hill Road. The world has since changed and access to outdoor recreation is more important than ever. CVTA is proud at this time to say construction has begun on the next step in realizing the vision of a safe and scenic multi-use path traversing the capital region.
It was a good day at the groundbreaking — to see so many people who have supported and pulled for this project gather together at one time and share their feelings on all we have put into getting to this point — from the folks who gave the first enthusiastic "great idea" 's twenty five years ago, to all the people who have helped us in our fundraising campaign over the past five years, to the U-32 cross country team whose current members weren't even born when the planning for all this started, but who will be running on these trails for decades to come.
A SINCERE THANKS
On behalf of Cross Vermont Trail Association, we would like to sincerely thank all our donors and supporters for being a part of something that will benefit many generations to come!
This keystone project was an initial focusing element and goal of our organization. Two decades in the making, it has involved securing easements with landowners, navigating several permitting processes, steel price hikes, patience and perseverance, and your generous support.
We owe great thanks to Senator Bernie Sanders' Office and State partners at VTrans for the Federal Highway Administration Funds that were a cornerstone to this effort, but raising the local match for a well over a million dollar project was no small feat for our organization. We could not have done it without those who showed up and contributed to our kick-off, the house party hosts, the cycle tour riders, the municipal champions, and those who gave every needed $10, and those who made the large donations that got us across the threshold needed to BUILD THE BRIDGE! We love to see it in writing.
The bridge is 200 feet of steel and wooden decking, but it feels like so much more than that. The bridge means a longer, more scenic ride from the City upstream in the beautiful river valley, a safe alternative to busy Route 2 for walkers and cyclists, new trail connections to the U-32 campus, a new view and access point to the mighty Winooski and an added amenity to bolster the growing outdoor recreation economy in the region.
It's been decades in the making. We're so grateful to all the landowners, donors, state partners and all-around project champions in the Cross Vermont Trail community that have worked so hard and persevered to bring this project to fruition.
The bridge is the centerpiece of a larger CVTA project that will continue rolling out over the next three years ultimately linking from Montpelier across East Montpelier to where the rail trail picks up east of Rte 14. With the means to cross the river secured, CVTA is confident of completing the remaining project phases and getting the full trail open. The bridge was the hard part! Now we are laser focused on going forward to the next exciting milestones.
Construction by CCS Crane Services out of Morrisville has begun. You'll see more and more activity on site this Fall and the bridge may be in place over the river as early as November (!) with any remaining finish work on the bridge site being done Spring 2021.
~ CVTA Board of Directors
September 16, 2020
The Genie model variable reach forklift, that's how. "How are you going to get those 50 foot I beams off the back of the tractor-trailer and a mile into the woods?" And while we had it on hand, brought in all the lumber and gravel too. It's a twitchy machine to thread down the narrow spots on the rail bed, wheels like a shopping cart they basically can spin all the way around - but only got stuck twice, and popped right back out with one wish to spare.
You can help build the new long term bypass around the Big Washout on the rail bed in East Montpelier, east of Route 14. We'll be out there next three Saturdays 9/19/, 9/26, 10/3 - call/email CVTA fo details or if there are other days you might be able to join in.
September 14, 2020
Trail condition update - east of Blue Mt Union, where the trail goes out on the old rail bed causeway before coming back onto Route 302 just outside of Wells River village - a storm this summer washed out around a large box culvert which had been blocked up by beavers. Vt Forest Parks and Rec folks have managed to line up emergency funding to hire a contractor and get the trail repaired - the work should be done asap this Fall. (In the meantime, you can still access this area by coming down the Blue Mt Trail behind the school, rather than from the trailhead on 302.)
August 28, 2020
Stone by stone, finished high lining for bridge abutments on the rail bed east of Route 14 in East Montpelier. Building the bypass trail to finally put in long term fix of the The Big Washout that happened back in 2011. You can help build this bridge - we'll be out there later in fall, Saturdays 9/19/, 9/26, and 10/3. Drop in any time 9 - 5 and say the code phrase "uhm, hi" to unlock a hard hat and set of tools for your use. Email or call us at CVTA for details, or to ask about other days (there will be ways to help on various days for next several weeks.)
August 21, 2020
The Big Washout on railbed in East Montpelier - we're picking back up to build the new permanent bypass trail. Digging and setting stone for bridge abutments this week. This is about one mile east of Route 14 trailhead. The whole bypass will be done this Fall - more to come!
August 7, 2020
Mini ad hoc volunteer crew pitches in on Telephone Line Trail in Groton State Forest. CVTA usually spends the month of August hosting volunteer trail crews with American Hiking Society and Volunteers for Peace. For many years these crews have been working incrementally to upgrade the multi-use trail network in Groton State Forest, to bring the trails more in line with guidelines for general accessibility. Due to Covid-19, the official crew programs were suspended for 2020, but some of the folks who have volunteered regularly over the years got together on their own initiative to do some good work anyway. Thanks all! And before you write in to clarify - yes, the RootSlayer brand serrated edge shovel, as shown in below photos, really does work as advertised, even in the primeval duff of Groton, and yes they are back ordered so ask for yours early.
August 2, 2020
More photos of culverts and trees. Earlier this summer CVTA's Vt Housing and Conservation Board Americorps crew was joined by a Vermont Youth Conservation Corps crew and together we cleaned out a culvert that was plugged by the "Halloween Storm" last Fall. It was storm water washing around this plugged culvert that lead to the trail damage on Richmond's Johnnie Brook Trail that we were fixing much of June and July this year. The crew built a substantial new stone headwall for the culvert and also planted many willow fascines to reestablish a vegetated bank along the creek. We are betting on the large stones, but we are rooting for those willows.
August 2, 2020
Major new trail easement secured in East Montpelier. CVTA has closed on a major new trail easement. With funding from East Montpelier Conservation Fund and the State of Vt we have purchased a trail corridor from Fairmont Farm across their "Haven" Property. This solves what has been one of the biggest hurdles to connecting the new trail to be built along Route 2 in East Montpelier up to Route 14. At the same time, Fairmont also put a conservation easement on the larger farm property west of Route 14, working with the Vermont Land Trust to permanently protect this land for open space and agriculture. It will be at least a couple of years before the new trail is built up and the property is open to the public - but with the easement in hand, the trail is just a matter of elbow grease and time. The trail corridor includes a previously discontinued section of old town road, which can now be refurbished again for public use. Refurbishment of the old station wagon that was apparently the last to drive down the road before it was abandoned may take more than elbow grease, though.
Aug 2, 2020
Completed the reconstruction of boardwalks along Johnnie Brook Trail in Richmond. This section of the Cross Vt Trail was heavily impacted by the "Halloween Storm" last fall, but hopefully now redone in a way that will be accommodating of future storms.
July 19, 2020
Reinforcing with stone the new Johnnie Brook Trail "dogleg boardwalk" in Richmond. Good group of volunteers this weekend made it go fast (yet in a remarkably non macho manner).
July 5, 2020
CVTA is joining forces with Middlesex Conservation Commission to care for the new 3 Mile Bridge River Conservation Park. This land was purchased by the town after Hurricane Irene so people could move away from flooded homes, and is now conserved as open space and riparian buffer. We're maintaining the front part as a (occasionally) mowed park like area, and in the back we are promoting native riparian forest regrowth. Or . . . is the part by the river the front and the part by the road the back? Hmmm.
June 30, 2020
Things are hopping on the Johnnie Brook Trail. Thanks to Richmond's Resourceful Renovators for showing up in force to help set the foundation for extended boardwalk, joining with CVTA volunteers and our summer long Vt Housing and Conservation Board Americorps crew.
June 28, 2020
Central Vermont Cycle Tour, today would have been 18th annual - hope folks are getting outside responsibly in this beautiful summer weather (with occasional cooling rain), and hoping to see you at the Tour next year!
June 21, 2020
CVTA's 2020 summer Americorps crew has swooped in to start the season by polishing off the reconstruction of the rail trail in Wells River. Welcome Emily, Kate and Monte!
May 31, 2020
Domo Arigato, Mr. Takeuchi.
Finished with the big machine, laying out fresh gravel along the rail trail in Wells River. Boulders in place, no more heavy motors on the trail for as long as the eye can see, phew. Now the fun part begins.
May 29, 2020
Which character to play today - Eco? Power? Rabbit? or . . . Float?
May 14, 2020
Watching the flowers slowly bloom and the trees bud out at little more each trip back and forth placing new gravel along the rail trail in Wells River.
May 4, 2020
Back to work.
Resuming the rebuild of rail trail in Wells River, Takeuchi and train robber bandana to hand.
April 4, 2020
Our Covid-19 post. Here's hoping it is short and includes nature.
December 22, 2019
Our annual appeal - Now is a great time to make a contribution to Cross Vermont Trail. We have a giant list of projects lined up for 2020, and with your help we will hit the ground running next year.
Read our full Annual Appeal letter, and project maps, and song lyrics. (PDF 2 MB)
November 8, 2019
Beautiful day, between the snow squalls, for the dedication of the newest section of the Cross Vermont Trail statewide route - Montpelier's Siboinebi Path! About 100 people came out for the ribbon cutting and to take the first tour of the new path, and beyond to the site of the future Winooski Bridge, CVTA's big project which will continue the Montpelier bike path up to U-32 and on across East Montpelier. We're making the final push now to finish the fundraising and keep the path construction momentum going without delay next spring, thanks for all your help!
Read the Times-Argus coverage here.
October 30, 2019
CVTA is delighted to share the news: The City of Montpelier is celebrating the completion of the shared use path extension on November 8!
The new sections, which run between Taylor Street and Stone Cutter’s way and from Granite Street to Gallison Hill Road, will close the gaps to complete the continuous path through the downtown and further upstream, enabling people of all ages and abilities to walk and bike along a more safe, direct route.
CVTA will also be in attendance to provide exciting updates on the forthcoming Winooski Bridge project, which will pick up where the recently completed path ends at City limits.
Supporters will have the opportunity on Friday, November 8, 2019, starting at 2:15 PM to join in to learn more about the completed project, the forthcoming project and to celebrate the new section:
Pre-Event Ride to Winooski Bridge Site: 2:15 PM | Barr Hill (off Gin Lane), gather in parking lot. Cross VT Trail Association reps will lead two waves (2:15 PM and 2:30 PM) of bike rides from the Barr Hill parking to the site of the forthcoming Winooski Bridge construction (6 miles, round trip). Walkers can also park at the Civic Center and walk the 2-mile round trip down the Powerdam Road (future Cross VT route) to the Bridge site and back to their cars.
Pre-Ribbon Cutting: 2:45 PM | Barr Hill. Food and drink will be available for purchase from Kismet and live music will entertain returning riders and early arrivers.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony (Hosted by the City and Barr Hill): 3:15PM | Barr Hill. All are encouraged to gather back at Barr Hill for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the official naming of the path. “Siboinebi” (pronounced see-bo-WEE-neh-bee), which means “River Water” in the Abenaki language, will be the name of the path. Present at the ceremony will be city officials and representatives from organizations and businesses that partnered with the city to make the long-awaited path a reality. Mayor Anne Watson, Jen Roberts from Onion River Outdoors, and a representative from the Cross Vermont Trail Association will be among the featured speakers.
NEXT UP: WINOOSKI BRIDGE PROJECT. CVTA is excited to celebrate the decades of work that have gone into making the Siboinebi path finally a reality – and to keep the momentum going and extend the bike path up to U-32 across East Montpelier, including reopening the old railroad bed with a new 200 foot bridge over the Winooski River.
The CVTA project is just weeks away now from final permitting, and will be ready to start construction next Spring. We invite you to come out on November 8 and take a tour of all the details of the final design, it's a beauty!
SUPPORTERS MAKE IT HAPPEN. All of our work to make bicycling safe, fun, and accessible in Central Vermont and along the entirety of the Cross Vermont Trail route relies on your generous giving. Please support the organization that is making your rides better by joining us today!
September 28, 2019
Beautiful day for the annual Foliage Ride on the Cross Vermont Trail!
September 17, 2019
Groton Forest Trail Run was pretty great this year, lots of smiling folks out on the trails, it was good to see. Also, some grimacing, later in the day, but that's grit, right?, and that's good too, right? The marathon and half marathon courses include many trail segments built by CVTA volunteer crews over the last ten years, including an 1/8 mile rebuild of the Telephone Line trail finished just in time for this year's event, whew!
Luckily, able to take some photos of the newly completed trail without smiling people in the way.
September 2, 2019
Thanks to sixteen folks who joined CVTA's August trail crew over the course of August! Another good year, upgrading trails in Groton State Forest for all users. Thanks also to our partner organizations American Hiking Society, Volunteers for Peace and (let 's be honest) Nagoya University of Commerce and Business.
August 19, 2019
CVTA's August volunteer trail crew going full steam on the final sections of the Telephone Line Trail that are way out of spec for general accessibility - closing in on the end goal of this multi year upgrade of the T-Line in Groton State Forest!
July 24, 2019
Laying down gravel through the dogleg on Johnnie Brook Trail - Jeff's new tractor comes through again, with only a very few homemade mods for dumping device attachment, surely not enough to void the warranty.
July 18, 2019
Setting stones for a strong foundation for the bypass around the big blowout of the railtrail in East Montpelier.
Work is ongoing periodically in July, August and September - give a shout to get involved, we're building two bridges and about 600 feet of new gravel path.
July 3, 2019
Johnnie Brook Trail in Richmond has a redecked dogleg boardwalk (easy for us to say). Next up, spreading more gravel in the remaining muddy sections, stay tuned. Lumber for the dogleg was purchased with membership donations to Cross Vt Trail Association - thanks everyone!
July 1, 2019
Good times at the Central Vermont Cycle Tour (an "Original Gravelgrinder") last Sunday. Over 100 riders of all ages enjoyed the scenic course and the home made food, while helping raise money to build the Cross Vermont Trail. Thanks everyone!