Bikers, hikers and paddlers, get excited: many Vermont trails are about to get a facelift. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) has awarded $547,571 in grant money from the Recreational Trails Program to fund improvements to fourteen significant trail projects across the state.
Grant funds are made available each year through the Federal Recreational Trails Program for municipalities and non-profit organizations to build and maintain public recreational trails.
“This is another banner year for this program,” said FPR Commissioner Michael Snyder. “We are able to fund some excellent and diverse trail projects all over the state. The health, economic and social benefits of trails are well-documented, and our Department is proud to support these community-based efforts.”
The goal of the Recreational Trails Program is to provide aid for development and maintenance of a wide variety of recreational trails and trail systems for public use throughout Vermont. This year’s grant awards will go towards the following projects:
- Northern Forest Canoe Trail: Construction of a new portage & river access trail in Richford.
- Westmore Trails Association: 1 mile of trail maintenance with extensive reconstruction on Bald Mtn. Trail & 1 mile of trail maintenance & drainage improvements on Haystack Mtn. Trails.
- Catamount Trail Association: Creation of a 5-mile cross-country ski connector trail to Camels Hump Challenge Trail in Huntington, with one new bridge.
- Episcopal Diocese of Vermont: Restoration of Holy Trinity Trail around Eagle Bay with two new footbridges.
- Town of Williston: Allen Brook Nature Trail expansion, including 0.55 miles of new trail & three new footbridges.
- Town of Killington: 5.3 miles of new mountain bike trails in the Green Mountain National Forest.
- Vermont River Conservancy: Construct 1 mile of the North Branch Cascades Trail along the North Branch of the Winooski River, adjacent to Rte. 12, in Worcester & Elmore, with a trailhead parking area.
- Green Mountain Club: Butler Lodge historic renovations & puncheon replacement along ridge top of Mt. Mansfield at Profanity Trail junction & at Eagle Pass.
- Town of Chittenden: 0.5 miles of new trail construction; 0.6 miles of trail improvements with an 80-foot universally accessible section near pavilion, linking the downtown to the school.
- Winooski Valley Park District: Phase I Archeological Survey work at planned trail construction sites within the Wolcott Family Natural Area.
- Vermont Mountain Bike Association/Mad River Riders: 1.4 miles of new mountain bike trails (Lookout Loop Trail) & .5 miles of trail improvements to the existing trail system at Blueberry Lake, Warren, VT
- VAST: Winter grooming of the statewide VAST trails system.
- Town of Newport Center: New ATV / multiple-use trail, approx. 4500 feet long in the town forest.
- Skitchewaug Trail Riders in Springfield, VT: New grooming equipment to maintain Skitchewaug’s trail system of snowmobile trails
Next year’s 2018 grant round will begin with pre-applications due in Fall of 2017. Full applications are due in February 2018.
With reporting by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.