West River Trail: Lower Section
Marina Trailhead, Brattleboro:
- From Exit 3 of I-91 at the north end of Brattleboro, go south from the Roundabout on Putney Road (US-5) 1.3 miles and make a hard right onto Spring Tree Road (just before the bridge over the West River). Turn left, then right, and go 0.3 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.
- From downtown Brattleboro (corner of Main and High Streets), go north on Main Street (US-5), which becomes Putney Road, for 1.0 mile and bear left onto Spring Tree Road (just past the bridge over the West River). Turn left, then right, and go 0.3 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.
Rice Farm Road Trailhead, Dummerston:
- Access this trailhead from the Green Iron Bridge in Dummerston. It is located just off VT-30, 1.5 miles south of the West Dummerston Covered Bridge, or 4.6 miles north of the Retreat Farm and Grafton Cheese in Brattleboro. At the far side of the bridge, turn right onto Rice Farm Road. The trailhead is 1.0 miles from the bridge on the right.
The Lower Section of the West River Trail is a 3.5 mile pathway on the bed of the former West River Railroad. The trail begins in Brattleboro near the Marina restaurant and follows the West River to the old granite quarry in Dummerston.
The trail is flat, well drained, and some sections have been surfaced with stone dust. It is popular with runners, bikers (mountain or hybrid bike recommended), families, and those seeking a leisurely stroll. A map of this section can be found on the Friends of West River Trail website (see link in the Trail Manager section below).
Note: Due to construction of a new bridge to carry I-91 over the West River, a short trail detour has been built around the work site.
Approximately one mile from the Marina Trailhead is the Riverstone Preserve. Its 25 acres of forest and 2200 feet of West River shoreline was recently purchased by Friends of the West River Trail. The Preserve protects the floodplain forest and the rare, ice-scoured riverine cobblestone ecosystem found here, and provides for recreational use. Ecological management, invasive plant control, and recreational enhancements, including a picnic area and future pavilion for educational groups, are underway.
Roads around West Dummerston can be used in combination with the West River Trail for extended bicycle riding. From the Marina Trailhead, you can pedal out the West River Trail and then follow unpaved Rice Farm Road and Quarry Road to the West Dummerston Covered Bridge. There is a Park and Ride lot on the west side of the bridge, just off VT-30. The distance is 6.0 miles one way, and the route is level.
Work is in progress to extend the Lower Section of the West River Trail another 1.6 miles along Rice Farm Road and Quarry Road to the old granite quarry in Dummerston.
The Friends of the West River Trail also maintain 16 miles of the Upper Section of the West River Trail in Townshend, Jamaica, and Londonderry. A map of the Upper Section can be found on their website.
Visit the Friends of the West River Trail online for more information and a downloadable map of the West River trail sections, or contact:
Friends of the West River Trail: Lower Section
138 Elliot St, Suite 3
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Check for nearby geocaches to West River Trail: Lower Section.
Leave No Trace Principle
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Be prepared for emergencies. Pack extra clothing, food, and water and also a flashlight, first aid and repair kit, matches/fire starters, whistle, signaling mirror, and pocket knife.