The Ottauquechee River Trail, ready for use by labor day weekend...
With your face to the Ottauquechee River, dig your toes in the lush, soft grass of East End Park—a spot once dubbed “the jungle” for the dense tangle of wilderness which served as a dumping ground for excess snow—and glance to your right.
There, beyond the freshly-built amphitheater waiting for an audience, is a winding route of untapped potential. But not for long.
Construction of the three-mile Ottauquechee River Trail began earlier this month (August 2020) with help from Woodstock residents and the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.
But you won't have to wait long to enjoy this spectacular resource. On Monday, September 7th, 2020 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the public is invited to partake in opening day with plenty of pristine open space for social-distancing and volunteers available to answer questions.
Travel there before the planned unveiling on Labor Day Weekend and you’ll find a path softened by sawdust and the hacked remains of invasive knotweed and honeysuckle. But you may forget about those things the moment you take in the views.
The Ottauquechee River and Billings Farm & Museum’s pastoral grounds beckon from beyond a stand of trees. You’ll inch closer till the wide, flat trail bends right to follow the swaying path of the river, complete with perspectives of Mt Peg and Mt Tom you can’t find anywhere else, before transitioning to a meadow loop of mowed fields.
We’re so excited to be opening this beautiful, flat trail to provide residents and visitors unparalleled access to the Ottauquechee River. Thanks go out to our volunteer committee, the landowners and the EDC for making this all happen. We’re thrilled to be able to build on the great work at the East End Park and help to further the potential for Woodstock’s East End.
There’s an infusion of history and mindfulness toward the future in the creation of this trail system.
While the planned path dodges and weaves around wetlands and vernal pools, careful not to disrupt the flora and fauna of a riparian ecosystem, there are many stretches long ago set in stone—or in this case, steel.
Look closely and you may see signs of the railroad bed underfoot, laid 150 years ago as part of the Woodstock Railroad, a 14-mile track transporting passengers, goods, and freight between White River Junction.
It’s a beautiful balance with one heck of a view.
If you have any questions or want to volunteer to help with construction, please contact Tom Weschler at 802.291.0134 or [email protected]