The NFCT, in partnership with the town of Lyndon and with support from the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund, has completed two projects that will improve safe access to the Passumpsic River.
The NFCT’s professional stewardship crew — which consists of a stewardship director, field coordinator and three paid interns — worked with community volunteers this summer to enhance access at two locations in Lyndon: the Lyndon River Trail and the Sanborn Covered Bridge. The projects were identified as priorities by the town of Lyndon and are part of a broader effort to establish a paddlers’ trail on the Passumpsic River.
“The Passumpsic River is situated to the south of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, but in recent years our stewardship team has lent its skill and expertise to nearby communities and waterways,” said NFCT Stewardship Director Noah Pollock. “Town leaders have emphasized improving safe access to the Passumpsic, and we were pleased to partner with them to work toward that goal.”
On the Lyndon River Trail, the NFCT installed 16 stone steps at an existing, informal access behind the town’s municipal office building. The previous trail was steep and slippery; the new stone steps now provide a safer passage to the river.
“The feedback we’ve received from people in the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Pollock said. “A lot of families take their kids down to the river from this location to go swimming, paddling or tubing — in the past, people have even been injured. Folks were really appreciative of this project, and that was really rewarding for our crew.”
At the Sanborn Covered Bridge site, the NFCT built an entirely new access trail, stabilized with 21 stone steps down to the river. The Sanborn Covered Bridge is a historic landmark and home to an emerging public park. Restoration efforts are underway at this historic bridge, and the town of Lyndon’s public works department completed parking area improvements at the same location once the bridge project was completed.
“This work greatly expands opportunities for all users and makes the river more accessible for people with limited mobility,” Pollock said.
The work performed by the NFCT’s professional crew and volunteers complements other work downstream being funded by the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund; all of these projects aim to protect the environment and promote safe, sustainable use. The town of Lyndon provided permitting assistance, financial and in-kind support, and assisted with construction.
As the only dedicated water trail crew in the Northeast, the NFCT’s stewardship crew specializes in projects at the interface of land and water, including campsites, portage trails and access points. To learn more about the NFCT’s stewardship work, contact Noah Pollock at noah@northernforestcanoetrail.