News Archive

Swimming made more accessible on the Williams River

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Chester is nestled in the Green Mountains, and a small pull-off on the Green Mountain Turnpike just a mile from the Village Center will lead you down a newly constructed path to the Williams River.  Locals call this beloved swimming hole “Rainbow Rock” after the large and striated bedrock outcrop that protrudes into the Williams River just downstream of its confluence with the Middle Branch.  And there forms a large, deep, cool water pool – perfect for swimming!

Most hot days in Chester will find a few locals swimming at Rainbow Rock, sometimes with their dogs, often with their kids or friends.  Other days find anglers casting a line, or a volunteer from the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance collecting water samples.  And now walking down to the river’s edge is easier than ever before.

When the Vermont River Conservancy was first contacted by the landowners, the trail leading down to Rainbow Rock was a steep and direct pitch to the river, heavily eroded and festooned with exposed roots, a difficult descent for most.  And storm runoff would rush off Green Mountain Turnpike straight into the river.

Vermont River Conservancy, with funding support from Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Fieldstone Foundation, Jane B. Cook Foundation, VRC Swimming Hole Fund, and the generous support of many local donors, and in partnership with the Town of Chester and the Chester Conservation Committee, conserved public access to forever keep this swimming hole open to the public.

Immediately after purchasing the property, conserving it, and transferring it to the Town of Chester, Vermont River Conservancy built a new trail with a gentler pitch, a switchback, and improved drainage.  Now Rainbow Rock is easier than ever to visit, and will always be accessible for all.

VRC’s River Gala on October 20th!

Friday, September 29th, 2017

You are invited to the Vermont River Conservancy’s first ever River Gala on Friday, October 20th 5:00 – 8:00 pm at Fresh Tracks Farm & Vineyard in Berlin, VT. We look forward to celebrating rivers, listening to great music and enjoying cheese and wine with you! Please find more details and purchase your tickets here.

Many thanks to our event sponsors:

  • Summit School of Traditional Music & Culture
  • Katharine Montstream Studio
  • Vermont Creamery
  • Vermont Evaporator Company
  • Burton
  • Umiak Outdoor Outfitters
  • Habitat Restoration Solutions
  • Bluebird Barbeque
  • Hunger Mountain Coop
  • Clearwater Sports
  • SlopeStyle Ski & Ride
  • Bolton Valley
  • Jay Peak Resort
  • Local Motion
  • Capital Kitchen
  • Stowe Street Cafe
  • Darn Tough
  • Butterfield Beef & Berry Farm
  • Morse Farm
  • Caledonia Spirits
  • The Chocolate Barn

Clean Water Week in Vermont!

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The Vermont River Conservancy is all in for Vermont’s Clean Water Week, August 21st – 26th 2017! We are proud to be sponsors of this event. For more information, including a list of sponsors and events, check out this link.

North Branch Cascades Trail Workday – Saturday, July 29th

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

North Branch Cascades Trail Workday

Help begin construction of a new recreational asset along the North Branch of the Winooski! This trail will serve a variety of users, including families looking for a kid friendly hike, swimming hole enthusiasts seeking to escape summer’s heat, nature photographers, and paddlers.

Work will involve clearing an overgrown road bed and spur trails to the river. We also will begin constructing a stone stair case. Join us from 9:00-3:30. Please pack water and a lunch – and a swim suit for post work exploration! For more information and to RSVP, contact noah@vermontriverconservancy.org

Made possible with support from the Outdoor Gear Exchange’s Charitable Giving Fund and the Central Vermont Women’s Giving Circle.

Keep Rainbow Rock open for all!

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Help Protect Chester’s Favorite Swimming Hole: Rainbow Rock    

Rainbow Rock

The Vermont River Conservancy seeks your support to protect public access to this community treasure—a beautiful swimming and fishing hole on the Williams River.

Located just off Green Mountain Turnpike, only a mile from the village center, Rainbow Rock is a beautiful place to sit and enjoy the Williams River, play and swim with friends and family, and cool down or cast a line.Map of Rainbow Rock Parcel

VRC has been offered the opportunity to purchase Rainbow Rock and protect access forever.  We ask for your help in protecting access now.

Once protected, the Town of Chester will own the permanently protected 1.84 acre property, and residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy Rainbow Rock for generations to come.

The Vermont River Conservancy has secured most of the $50,000 in funding needed from Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and private foundations.

Now we need $2,000 by the end of August to ensure Rainbow Rock is protected forever.

Help us protect this community treasure: donate to Rainbow Rock today!

Please join this community effort to buy the land, conserve it with a public access easement, improve accessibility with natural stone steps, and ensure it is well maintained for all to enjoy.

Kingsbury Branch Public Access

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Enjoy paddling the tranquil Kingsbury Branch this summer,

using the public access off Coburn Rd in East Montpelier.  Exploring the river from your own canoe or kayak or SUP can be a fun and relaxing adventure for you or the whole family.  Can you observe the intact floodplain forests?  Can you see how rivers bend and meander?  What wildlife will you see?  How does shade and vegetation along the banks affect the river conditions for you and the fish?

Directions:  Directions:  From Route 2, turn onto Coburn Road and go approximately ¾ mile past the covered bridge.  Look for signs to the access on the right.

From Route 14, turn onto Coburn Road and go approximately 0.7 miles.  Access will be on the left before the bridge.

Learn more here

Contact Lydia to learn more, or to find out how you can help keep this site well maintained and cared for.

VRC’s Newest Site Steward Volunteer

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Vermont River Conservancy would not be where it is today without the dedication and commitment of the communities we work in, especially, local volunteers.  we welcome our newest volunteer to the VRC family Frank Peterson! Frank is our new Site Steward for Ladd’s Mill River Access as well as the Hancock Brook swimming hole.  Frank has been a resident of Worcester for almost 40 years.  With his time in Vermont, Frank continues to enjoy exploring Vermont’s mountain streams, discovering waterfalls, quite pools, water smoothed stone and all the life that lives along them.  With his help we will continue to keep Vermont waters clean, protected, and most importantly, available for all to enjoy!

If being a Site Steward is something that interests you, or you just want to get more involved with our organization, contact Lydia!

VRC Welcomes Adam Roaldi as Newest Member

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

This summer, Vermont River Conservancy is happy to add Adam Roaldi to the VRC team as our new Stewardship Intern.  Adam came to the Vermont River Conservancy to better understand Vermont’s initiatives and policies to protect its beautiful lands and waterways.  Hoping to further the interest of environmental conservation in his future endeavors.  Adam will be starting his second year of law school this fall at Vermont Law School, with the intention of focusing on environmental and energy law, specifically sustainable and renewable energy while still protecting the environment.

Adam comes to us from Buffalo, NY, receiving his B.A. from the University at Buffalo.  Before moving to Vermont Adam worked for the New York State Attorney General, holding a position in the Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau. However, his passion for the outdoors has drawn him to the Green Mountains so that he can now help to protect our environment.

Adam currently lives in South Royalton, Vermont and is an avid hiker, fisherman, skier, and musician.

VRC Fundraising Events at Local Restaurants

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

We are grateful to live and work in a state in which there are many local business owners who are invested in their communities and are committed to giving back to organizations that are working for the people and places of Vermont. The Vermont River Conservancy is teaming up with two such businesses and we hope you will join us on Tuesday, June 6th at Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier and Wednesday, July 19th at the Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington.  Both restaurants are donating a portion of their proceeds for those dates to VRC. Put those dates on the calendar and plan a night out to eat and drink for the benefit of our rivers!

Tell Us About Your Canoe!

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

We want to hear from you! Check out this short National Geographic movie, The Canoe.  The Vermont River Conservancy wants to hear about your canoe. Send us a picture and tell us a story about your favorite boat and favorite waters to take it to.  We’d love to feature your story in our summer newsletter! Email Richarda Ericson (richarda@vermontriverconservancy.org).

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