Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Richford High School Developing Trail Sign

proposed Richford kioskHigh school students and town leaders from Richford, Vermont and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) are working together this winter to create a recreational trails interpretive panel. The sign will stand in the center of town next summer overlooking the Missisquoi River, and will describe six trails that pass through or near this quaint community tucked against the Canadian border.

Richford is an ideal location to access cycling, hiking, paddling, skiing, snowmobiling and walking trails. The Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and Vermont Association of Snow Travelers trails radiate from the center of town, and the Catamount Trail and Long Trail are within 10 miles. Road cycling in the pastoral, rolling hills is also a popular tourist attraction.

“It is an exciting time for Richford,” says Tim Green, owner of Grey Gables Mansion Bed & Breakfast and member of the Richford Select Board. “We are making progress on efforts to improve this town’s recreational infrastructure that will be of benefit to both townspeople and visitors alike.”

In 2012, the town of Richford became an NFCT Trail Town. A local committee was formed to identify the town’s recreational assets and determine ways to promote them. In 2015, NFCT received grants to enable the committee to work with the local school to develop an interpretive panel describing the area’s recreational trails.

Five Richford Junior Senior High School students have researched the local trails and created text for the panel. 

Richford High School students pose at the Overlook. From left to right: Samantha Stanhope (grade 11), Devon Coons (grade 11), Allison O'Brien (grade 12), Jessika Herron (grade 8), and Alison Barkley (grade 8). Credit: Annette Goyne.

“I am very impressed with the effort students are putting into this project,” said Annette Goyne, the library media specialist who is managing the students’ work. “They are excited to be a part of something that could have a lasting effect on the community.

The sign will stand at the “Overlook” located on Richford’s Main Street, a place recently revitalized by the Richford Economic Advancement Corporation. The public park will also provide access to the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail via a new extension trail and paddler access to the river, both projects planned to be completed this summer.

“This project is a shining example of the positive impact recreation trails can have on a town,” says NFCT trail director Walter Opuszynski. “I have a lot of gratitude for the efforts made by the Richford Trail Town Committee.”

Read more about the effort at Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s blog post River Overlook Project Creates Community Participation in Richford, Vermont.

The project is funded by grants from the National Park Service and from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership funded by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and managed by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.


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