Bennington Rail Trail

New Bennington Rail Trail Opens

Bennington’s newest bike and pedestrian pathway is now available for use. While not fully completed, it is now safe and the public is invited to begin using this new outdoor recreational and non-motorized transportation resource. The Bennington Rail Trail begins at the western end of the Walloomsac Pathway at the public parking area located on Depot Street. The pathway is paved to the intersection with Orchard Road off of Northside Drive. It continues to Emma Street as a packed gravel surface path.

 


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The new Bennington Rail Trail provides a bike and pedestrian friendly link between Downtown Bennington and the Northside Drive area which greatly enhances safety for those using the path as well as linking other pathways in town such as the Orchard Village/Willowbrook Pathway and the Kocher Drive Pathway which in turn connects to the East Road Pathway.

Work on the new rail trail has been over 10 years in the works. Removal of vegetation began in the fall of 2021 and throughout the course of 2022, the old rails were removed, new surfaces were added, plus crosswalks, signage, bridge work, and landscaping. Some additional work must be completed by the contractor, but the remaining items do not impact the safety of the new pathway. The cost of the work was 90% paid for through Federal and State grant funding.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony for the new pathway will be held in the Spring of 2023 to celebrate the opening of the new rail trail. This trail is an important part of the overall network of paths throughout the town.

 

The town has announced the restrictions and trail etiquette for the use of the pathway:

Trail Restrictions

  • No motorized vehicles*
  • All dogs must be on a leash (please pick up after your dog – it’s the law)
  • No alcohol
  • No littering

Trail Etiquette

  • EVERYONE: KEEP TO THE RIGHT except to pass.
  • Ride at a safe speed. (When the path is crowded, you might need to slow down.)
  • Warn pedestrians before passing from behind with a bell or by saying “on your left”.
  • Pass pedestrians slowly
  • Bicycles, use front and rear lights at night.
  • Protective head gear is recommended for cyclists, but is not required by VT state law.

*Class 1, 2 and 3 electric bicycles are allowed on the trail. VT statute states that class 1, 2 and 3 electric bicycles are not motor vehicles.

**An individual under 16 years of age shall not operate a class 3 electric bicycle.

Vermont’s e-bike law: https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/ACTS/ACT040/ACT040%20As%20Enacted.pdf