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Trailhead

To reach the Springfield trailhead, take Interstate 91 to Exit 7 and follow VT-11 north toward Springfield for approximately 2.5 miles. Look for the Robert B. Jones Industrial Center on the right. There are many parking spaces here. 

The trail starts on the southern end near the intersection of US-5 and VT-11. A parking lot for trail users is located on the south side of Route 11, just north of the Hoyt’s Landing river access. Trails users are asked not to park at Hoyt’s Landing. The Town is making efforts to extend the trail to the Edgar May Health and Recreation Center. The trail currently ends just south of the Jones Center on Route 11.

Description

The Toonerville Trail is a multi-use path that was completed in 1999. Benches along the trail provide resting spots to take in scenic spots along the river. Toonerville Trail runs along the Black River, a tributary of the Connecticut, which used to power mills in the 18th and 19th centuries. While on the trail keep a look-out for kingfisher or blue herons.

The paved trail begins at the Robert B. Jones Industrial Center, just east of downtown. The first 2 miles of the trail follow a slight downhill grade along the Black River. At mile 1.5 the trail spans the Black River by way of a rustic former trolley bridge. Before crossing the trolley bridge at mile 1.5, feel free to venture off-trail for a visit to the 1795 Eureka Schoolhouse. It is the state's oldest one-room school, which now serves as a tourist information center.

Beyond the bridge the trail takes a short detour on Paddock Road before rejoining and passing beneath VT-11. The Toonerville Trail continues for another 0.5 mile before reaching a parking area for Hoyt's Landing at the junction of the rivers. The parking area at Hoyt's Landing at the junction of the rivers is a popular spot for fishing, swimming and canoeing. Beyond the landing, the trail crosses beneath VT-11 once more, ending 0.3 mile later at US-5.

The trail is built on the railroad bed of the Toonerville Train, the popular nickname of the Springfield Terminal Railway, originally a hydroelectric-powered trolley line that once provided transportation for passengers and freight from Charlestown, N.H., to downtown Springfield from the 1800s to the 1940s. Built in 1896, the Springfield Electric Railway ran passenger and freight traffic into downtown Springfield, until the line became the last surviving passenger trolley in 1947. The last freight train ran up the tracks in 1984.

Other Information

The Toonerville Bike and Recreation Trail was completed in 1999, and in 2000 was designated a Community Millennium Trail as part of the White House Millennium Trails 2000 project. It was built with funds from the Transportation Enhancement Program and private donations, as well as the diligent efforts of volunteers, Springfield Trails and Greenways, the Town of Springfield, and the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission.

ALLOWED USES: Walking/running, Bicycling, Rollerblading, Cross-country skiing (ungroomed), Snowshoeing

ADDITIONAL RULES:

1. Carry out what you carry in
2. When you see litter, pick up a reasonable amount
3. Respect property owners and their property
        • Use the trails as they have requested
        • Be quiet near homes
        • Keep horses and dogs off lawns
        • Keep dogs leashed when near homes or in areas with moderate to heavy use
4. Respect historic sites and markers

Trail Manager

For more information, contact:

Town of Springfield
96 Main Street
Springfield, VT 05156
Phone: (802) 885-2104

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