Just across the covered bridge from the rail trail in Jeffersonville, Vermont, is now the sight of a new picnic area, launch site, and trail to the access point for the Lamoille Paddlers Trail. Members of the paddlers club, which is a volunteer driven, community effort to improve recreational opportunities along the Lamoille River, were accompanied by members of Cambridge Rotary Club, the River Conservancy, Select board members and paddlers from Bakersfield, Jeffersonville, Johnson, Morrisville, Wolcott, Glover and Craftsbury, worked for several hours constructing and erecting signs and stairs for portage sites to create the new site.
A RiseVT Amplify grant provided the funding for the supplies needed to build the trail and do the site work. The Jeffersonville Rotary came through with the funds to build the BBQ grill that was installed by the volunteers as well as homemade picnic tables and temporary shade structures. This location is now a great picnic stop on the rail trail and the paddlers trail. The site, which can be used as a parking or picnic area, was graciously donated by the land owner and will hopefully be permanently conserved through the River Conservancy as a public easement.
The work day was the height of community building and it was thrilling to see the 25 volunteers, conservationists, town officials, and recreation enthusiasts come together to build something that can be used by the community. After the event, volunteers were rewarded with a lovely group paddle on the Lamoille River and a BBQ picnic to celebrate their hard work. There is hope that more projects can be completed to increase the number of well-maintained river access points, primitive campsites, and portage trails from the river’s headwaters west to Lake Champlain.
If you would like to learn more about the Lamoille Paddlers Trail, check out the web site. http://www.lamoilleriverpaddlerstrail.org/