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Trail improvements at Brewster Uplands this summer

  • 5 Min Read
  • May 13, 2024

Restoration work will close trail sections and some parking areas in June, July and August

Public trails at Brewster Uplands in Cambridge will receive a major lift this summer!

Upgrades on nearly two miles of trails will enhance accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. They will also improve stream health and clean water in the Brewster River watershed.

The seven miles of trails at Brewster Uplands are frequented by community members from the Cambridge and Jeffersonville area and visitors from further afield.

Trail work this summer will take place on the Loggers’ Loop Trail network and the Pond Loop Trail. Two associated parking lots on Junction Hill Road and West Farm Road will also be affected. Work on both trail sections will be done by Rabbit Tracks Trail Works, LLC of Eden, starting in June.

The Loggers’ Loop network will be closed for the first two weeks of June, and the Pond Loop trail will be closed from mid-June through the end of August.

Map of trail closures
Visitors are requested to stay clear of work areas and respect all trail and parking lot closures during construction.

“Brewster is a special place to so many in the community,” said VLT’s Annalise Carington. “We’ve worked closely with the Cambridge Trails Committee and other community members to develop these projects to make this popular trail system more welcoming and more sustainable. We’re grateful to all our partners and the local community for their ongoing support!”

Loggers’ Loop Trail network and Junction Hill Road parking lot closed first half of June

Starting the week of June 3, the Loggers’ Loop Trail network will be closed. The network includes the Loggers’ Loop trail and these adjacent trails: Junction Hill, Canyon Road, and the Old Carriage Road.

Several lifted culverts will either be reset or replaced with shallow ford crossings that allow water to flow naturally across trails and forest roads. Visitors will recognize the feel of these shallow crossings from the recent work done to remove breached culverts on the nearby West Farm Trail.

In addition, new water bars and grade reversals will be installed to improve drainage and help mitigate erosion and muddy conditions. These upgrades will improve stream and wetland function and enhance flood resilience in the watershed.

The Loggers’ Loop project is slated to take two weeks. The parking lot on Junction Hill Road will also be closed during that time.

Pond Loop Trail and upper parking lot on West Farm Road will close for two months

Once the Loggers’ Loop work is complete, the crew from Rabbit Tracks Trail Works will transition to the Pond Loop Trail to work on accessibility upgrades for that trail, the pond overlook spur, and the upper parking lot on West Farm Road. This work is scheduled to start in the second half of June and should take eight weeks to complete.

The entirety of the trail and the upper parking lot will be closed during that period.

Trail upgrades will incorporate best practices for universal trail accessibility provided by the US Forest Service. The upper parking lot on West Farm Road will be improved to feature new ADA (American Disabilities Act)-compliant parking, better drainage and surfacing, and an improved driveway entrance.

“The benefits of time spent in nature are well known,” added Annalise, “and we want the lands that VLT owns and manages to be welcoming to everyone, regardless of age, ability or experience-level in the outdoors. The Pond Loop Trail was intentionally selected with input from the community as a great fit for accessibility upgrades with its gentle grade and open trail corridor.”

A more even, well-drained and stable trail surface allows for easier walking and unrestricted movement of mobility devices like wheelchairs, walkers, or other power-driven devices.

“In addition, trail bump-outs, benches, and an improved pond overlook area will provide more places to sit and rest along the way,” explained Annalise.

“My family, friends and I are very excited and thankful for all those involved in making these upcoming accessibility improvements possible,” said Berni Kuntzelmann of Cambridge. “This is a beautiful asset to our community and should be enjoyed by all, which these improvements will help to do. I look forward to exploring the new, improved Pond Loop Trail and parking lot in my mobility chair ASAP!”

Laird MacDowell of the Cambridge Trails Committee said: “The Committee applauds VLT for hiring Rabbit Tracks Trail Works to rebuild the one-mile-long Pond Loop Trail to be fully wheelchair-accessible, providing a rare flat, wooded trail for all users to complement the LVRT (Lamoille Valley Rail Trail) and Cambridge Greenway gravel trails. In addition, VLT will resolve a major issue with lifted culverts utilizing the same local contractor on the popular Loggers’ Loop trail, which will greatly improve the trail and make it more bicycle friendly.”

All other trails open throughout the summer

The other trails at Brewster Uplands will remain open throughout the summer including the West Farm Trail, the Brewster River Connector Trail, and the Alden Bryan Brewster River Trail. The Loggers Loop Trail network including the Junction Hill Trail, the Canyon Road Trail, and the Old Carriage Road Trail will reopen after work is complete in June.

The main parking lot on West Farm Road will remain open throughout the summer.

If you have questions, you can get in touch with Annalise Carington.

Contact Annalise

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