Trail Construction at Bluffside Farm

In the summer of 2020 work began on an ambitious project to build nearly a mile of trail across VLT’s Bluffside Farm in Newport, including a boardwalk and bridge over Scott’s Cove on Lake Memprehmagog.

In September 2021 the work was completed. The new trail links with trails to the north and south of the farm, creating a seven-mile car-free experience for bikers, runners, skiers and more. And, the entire path is accessible to people with disabilities.

We’ve documented the construction progress here.


Trail Overview & Map

After we bought the 129-acre Bluffside Farm in 2015, we asked the community what they wanted to see the land used for. There was so much enthusiasm for recreation potential of the farm, which is located right on beautiful Lake Mempremagog. Without the Bluffside Farm section of trail, path users must travel roads to get from Newport City paths to the main trail north.

map showing trail

Summer & Fall 2020: Trail Construction Begins

After a lot of planning and some generous grants, we began to build an eight-foot-wide, gravel, multi-use path and a 10-foot-wide wooden boardwalk across Scott’s Cove.

construction drawing of a boardwalk cross-section with a biker snad two walkers on the path

 

The boardwalk will be constructed in a way that minimizes environmental impacts on the area’s wet soils, as explained by resident engineer Jeremy Dean in this video:

 

Helical Piles Form the Foundation of the Boardwalk

Hundreds of helical piles were installed to support the boardwalk. All of these then had to be leveled before the framing could be installed.

two workers install heilical piles

Time for Timber

The last step before winter halted construction was framing the boardwalk, which was completed by a crew from Timber & Stone.

crew of workers on partially completed boardwalk

With the wooden skeleton in place, you could start to really envision just how much fun this trail will be.

framed boardwalk trail curving into distance

aerial view of the boardwalk in late fall

In winter 2020-21, black locust trees were cut and milled in Putney, Vermont to create the boardwalk decking, which was installed in the spring of 2021.

The Bluffside Trail is Finished!

Crews worked in the spring and summer of 2021 to put the finishing touches on the trail in anticipation for a September opening.

aeril view of the trail in summer

view of the Bluffside Farm boardwalk curving into the distance

view of the bluffside farm boardwalk in summer

Videos and photos of trail construction by Kyle Gray

We Thank Our Trail Funders!

Northern Border Regional Commission

Vermont Housing & Conservation Board

USDA-Rural Development Community Facility

USDA-Rural Development Business Development

Vermont Community Foundation

Freeman Foundation

VT Forest Parks and Recreation

Ducks Unlimited

Northern Forest Center

VT DEC Watershed Grant

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

 

Casella Waste Systems

North Country Hospital

Community National Bank

Passumpsic Savings Bank

Columbia Forest Products

Jay Peak

NCIC

VT AARP

Newport City Downtown Development Corporation

Private donations from 140 individuals, families and local businesses