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.
When completed in 2021, that trail will link 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 will be accessible to people with disabilities.
We are documenting 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.
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.
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.
Like all construction, trail building is not without challenges. In this video, some tricky bedrock that got in the way of a portion of the gravel path was tackled.
Time for Timber
The last step before winter halted construction was framing the boardwalk, which was completed by a crew from Timber & Stone.
With the wooden skeleton in place, you can really envision just how much fun this trail will be.
In winter 2020-21, black locust trees were cut and milled in Putney, Vermont. The timber will be used to create the boardwalk decking in spring/summer 2021.
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
VT Forest Parks and Recreation
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
Newport City Downtown Development Corporation
Private donations from 140 individuals, families and local businesses