Local business leaders have joined the groundswell of
support for a rail-trail project which, when complete, will run 93 miles
through the communities and recreational and rural lands of northern Vermont.
“I think it’s great for us,” Executive Director of the
Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce Cindy Locke told
the Stowe Reporter last week. “It’s going to be great for tourism. It’s
going to be great for the community, especially in this day and age where we’re
trying to be more active.”
Locke and fellow Vermont business people are celebrating a
Vermont environmental court’s decision to grant approval to begin construction
on the 44-mile Phase 1 of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. With funding already
in place, work on phase 1, between Morrisville and Cambridge, could begin next
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). is one of the trail’s
biggest backers, eager for the much-needed local jobs it will create.
“Once built, the trail will be a huge attraction for
tourists who come to Vermont in the winter to snowmobile or ski, or in the
summer to bike and hike,” he says. “These tourists will stay in our hotels and
inns, eat in local restaurants, visit other Vermont attractions and buy Vermont
“I see this as playing a significant role in creating jobs,
in a part of the state where we really need those jobs.”
When complete, the Lamoille Valley Rail-Trail will be the
longest in New England. This four-season trail will be open to walkers,
cyclists and horseback riders in the summer, and for cross-country skiing,
snowshoeing and snowmobiling during the winter.
Though parts of the corridor are already open to snowmobile
use in the winter, the effort to open the trail to summer uses is being
spearheaded by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST), which currently leases
the disused rail corridor from the state. VAST is coordinating management and
promotion of the project, as well as providing funds and donated effort to
match federal investment.
For more information, visit lvrt.org. Be sure to watch the wonderful video on the trail project, it's history, backers and potential benefits to the region.
Images courtesy lvrt.org
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