Lamoille River Paddlers’ Trail Development Effort Underway

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

A community effort is underway to create new opportunities for paddling and fishing along the Lamoille River. Called the Lamoille River Paddlers’ Trail, the project’s goal is to establish a network of well-maintained river access points, primitive campsites, and portage trails from the river’s headwaters west to Lake Champlain, as well as to develop recreational guides for visitors. A steering committee of local community members has been assembled to coordinate this effort, facilitated by the Vermont River Conservancy.

Over the winter, meetings were held about the initiative in Johnson, Milton, and Hardwick. Over 100 community members attended the meetings, providing input into the conditions of river access points and helping to identify project priorities. These gatherings complemented efforts by University of Vermont students and volunteers to paddle the river this fall, collecting data on access points and portage trails while identifying potential locations for primitive campsites.

Thanks to a Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) 2015 Water Trails grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program, the steering committee is now working to develop a web-based guide to the river and to facilitate a series of stewardship projects.

This project will engage area volunteers, grade schools, and college students in an emerging community effort” said Noah Pollock, project coordinator for the Vermont River Conservancy. “For example, this spring we are working with three students from Johnson State College to build a web guide to recreation along the river and its natural and cultural history.”

The CVNHP grant will also support a series of volunteer service projects this summer, include improvements to portage trails, the construction of a new campsite, and a river clean up. Those who wish to get involved with are encouraged to contact Noah Pollock at noah@vermontriverconservancy.org or (802) 229-0820. The Vermont River Conservancy protects public access and clean waters by conserving undeveloped land along rivers, lakes and wetlands of Vermont. Since 1995, the organization has completed projects at over 65 popular local swimming holes, gorges and waterfalls, fishing and boating access points, and paddler campsites across the state.

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