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Featured National Recreation Trail

The Cross Vermont Trail

Whereas many long distance trails in the Eastern US tend to follow mountain ranges, the CVT follows river valleys.

Photos by Jennifer Waite, National Park Service

Map of Vermont

Vermont is a small state but the Cross Vermont Trail is a grand idea. It spans the state 75 miles from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, crossing through 17 communities, 10 village centers, 10 state parks and close to at least 10 schools. The eastern third of the CVT is on the old Montpelier-Wells River railbed, and the I-91 trail underpass reunites two sections of the railbed that were split apart with construction of the highway 20 years ago.

photo of bikers and bladers
Opening day on the I-91 underpass on the Montpelier-Wells River abandoned railbed.

The underpass provides beautiful views of newly-protected fields, woods and wetlands that abut the trail, and bring the project closer to a continuous off-road route into Wells River village. It took ten years of planning, volunteer work, creative design and engineering, and funding from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the VT Recreation Trails Program, and the Bikes Belong program to make the underpass a reality. It was worth the wait!

Scissors were handed out and together we "cut the ribbon" to dedicate our new underpass trail segment, officially reuniting the two sections of rail-trail that were divided by the highway's construction over 20 years ago. The Underpass will make it possible for Blue Mountain School students to bike to school without riding on the busy I-91 and Route 302 interchange, and brings us several miles closer to the eastern terminus of the Trail at the Connecticut River

photo of log crib walls
The new I-91 trail underpass on the Cross Vermont Trail.

The Blue Mountain Union Grange grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and a number of people also brought other lunch offerings. After stuffing ourselves with the wonderful food, we took a tour of the connecting trails in the Wells River trail network namely the Boltonville Nature Trail and the Blue Mountain Nature Trail. This project would not have been possible without grants from the Vermont Agency of Transportation, The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Recreation Equipment International (REI), Bikes Belong Coalition, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and hours of time from many volunteers. It has taken over 10 years of dedicated work to create this incredible link that will serve the trail for generations to come."

For more information and a map, check out their website at www.crossvermont.org.

 

 

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The National Recreation Trails Program
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Photo of trail bridge
Wooden Block Bridge on the Cuyahoga Valley Trail (photo: Mary Shaw)

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