Significant washout of trail in East Montpelier needs your help.

trail severed by washout

The blowout makes a dramatic cut across the railroad bed. (Photo taken 8/30/2011.) You can see remains of the old stone block railroad culvert running parallel to the brook, at base of the opposite bank. Truthfully, the stream is probably happier to be free of that constriction. Any new crossing will also provide significantly more room for the river to pass through.

We are fixing the big washout.

Fall of 2017 CVTA purchased a permanent easement from Fairmont Farm for the trail across the property with the washout. Since then we have helped to maintain the smaller trail that has been created by users to make a "go-around" the washout. Thanks to all the spontaneous help from people who have been helping to keep this trail open!

Summer 2019 we have begun building a permanent bypass trail around the washout, with two new bike/ped bridges. The new trail will match reasonably the experience of the railbed, with a wide, firm, smooth treadway - but also add a little variety. This section will end up being bike/ped/horse/ski only, and not part of smowmobile trail, so it will be a narrower than the bed (five feet wide) and be more winding and flowing, matching the countours of the natural ground (which the old railbed could not do).

Work on the new bypass trail is ongoing. Give a call any time if you are interested in joining in. Money to purchase the materials needed for this work has been generously donated by: VSECU, Oakland Foundation, National Life Foundation, Outdoor Gear Exchange, North Country Federal Credit Union, Washington Electric Coop, Central Vermont Women's Giving Circle, and the Ben & Jerry's Foundation.

The blowout happened May 26, 2011 when an old railroad culvert on the trail in East Montpelier became plugged with fallen trees, stones, and mud. Stormwater swelled a small brook and the water washed around the culvert. By morning the trail between Rte 14 in East Montpelier and Country Club Rd in Plainfield had been cut in two. The washout is about 35 feet deep, and about 80 feet wide (and getting wider.) It is located about 0.9 miles west of Country Club Road and about 1.2 miles east of Rte 14. (This is on Cross Vermont Trail Map 5.)

For the forseeable future, the snowmobile trail will still use the alternate route to get around the washout that's been in place since 2011. This relocation was put together by the landowner (Fairmont Farms), and the East Montpelier Gully Jumpers and Barre Sno-Bees snowmobile clubs. It is not open for summer use. If you are interested in using the snowmobile trail system during the winter, you can purchase a Trail Maintenance Assessment (aka a trail pass) from a number of local businesses.

Numerous other locations in this area were also damaged by the 2011 storms, and all of those have been fixed now. The snowmobile clubs took the lead on this work. CVTA was able to raise a couple thousand dollars in donations to contribute to the contractor costs, and we did some pick and shovel work in 2012 to help out as well. (We planted trees to stabilize slopes, and we rebuilt ditches along the old railbed. The filled in ditches were part of what led to the damage in the first place.)

Help for the final repair of the big blow out is needed from all trail users. Help is especially needed from people who use the trail in the summer, and who use the trail in a non-motorized way, to cover the additional effort of repairing this section of trail in a way that will work for four season, multiple use.

repaired slump

The slump has been filled in as of October 2011.
Site clean up and revegetation was completed in 2012.

trail landslide

Slump of old railbed just west of the washout
and about 0.9 miles east of Rte 14 trailhead.


Fall 2012 at "the slump." Ditch is re-established. Grass is growing.
A couple dozen newly planted trees are out of sight
over the bank at the top of the photo.

We look forward to finishing the remaining work.

winter view of washout

Yup. Still blown out.

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