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

Appalachian Trail – Long Trail

The Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail

The Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail are one and the same throughout the length of Bennington County. The Long Trail was the first long distance hiking trail in the US (running the length of Vermont) and was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail. Access points for the trail are located in Bennington, Arlington, and Manchester. Both Bennington and Manchester have been designated “A.T. Communities” that support hikers and encourage stewardship and appreciation of the trail from citizens.

To learn more:

Green Mountain Club and the Long Trail
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Green Mountain Club, Bennington Section Hiker Resource Page
Bennington A.T. Community Hiker Resource Map

White Rocks – Bald Mountain Hike

White Rocks / Bald Mountain Hike

A local favorite! Park at the trailhead located on North Branch Street in Bennington.

See the description in Trailfinder (CLICK HERE)

National Trails Day

National Trails Day

National Trails Day on the first Saturday in June recognizes all the incredible benefits federal, state and local trails provide for recreation and exposure nature. Events held throughout the United States help promote awareness of the wide variety of services the trails systems offer.

Lake Paran

Lake Paran
(swimming, fishing, canoe rentals)

Lake Paran is a small lake with great views of the surrounding mountains, and the only swimming spot on our list that has lifeguards on duty in the summer. The lake and surrounding recreational lands are part of a local nonprofit, Paran Recreations, which is dedicated to helping people enjoy the beauty of nature and having healthy fun outdoors! We are also stewards of the Paran watershed working to keep our environment safe and clean for now and the future.

There is a small, sandy beach to relax on, a floating dock, charcoal grills, a bathhouse and pavilion, and a concession stand with the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. Canoes can be rented for $10 per hour.

269 Houghton Street
North Bennington, VT 05257

Facebook

https://lakeparanvt.org/

(802) 442-8457

lakeparan@gmail.com

Bennington Area Trail System

BATS (Bennington Area Trail System)
(Biking, hiking, trail maintenance)

BATS was founded by a group of local bikers, runners, and hikers that advocate for multi-use singletrack trails for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors alike.

batsvt.org

George Aiken Wildflower Trail

George Aiken Wildflower Trail
(Walking, trails, history)

Trails adjacent to the Bennington Museum, 1/3 mile long, populated by volunteers with native wildlife.

77 Main St.
Bennington

BenningtonMuseum.org

Greenbergs Headwaters Park

Greenbergs Headwaters Park

(Nature, bird watching, trails)

Belvidere Street
(off of Morgan Street)
Bennington, VT

The 165 acre park officially called the Norman and Selma Greenberg Headwaters Park is located off of Morgan Street and includes a picturesque landscape of woods, wetlands, and water.

It features two miles of paths that access a diversity of habitats ranging from wooded uplands to ponds and beaverdams. The South Stream feeds into the wetland which is rated as a Vermont Class 2 Significant Wetland.

Part of the trail system is on the rail bed of the former Bennington and North Adams railway (service ended in 1928). At one time, the trolley line which belonged to the Bennington and Hoosick Valley Railway west of Bennington, ran to Hoosick Falls, NY, a total of about 30 miles.

There is a second entrance to the park for paddlers, located farther down Morgan Street, just past the turn off to Middle Pownal Road. There is a long boardwalk leading to the canoe/kayak launch that takes you directly into the heart of the beaver ponds and wetlands area.

Enjoy walking, paddling, bird watching, cross country skiing, mountain biking, and all the park has to offer!

Birdwatching at the Headwaters Park:
eBird.org

Greenberg Conservation Trails

Greenberg Family Conservation Area
(Hiking, walking, trails)

96 acres, part of the One World Conservation Center. Meadows, wetlands, and woodland.

413 Rte 7S
Bennington

TrailFinder.com

 

Blue Trail

Blue Trail
(Hiking, walking, trails)

Part of the Bennington College trail system, through the wooded parts of the campus.

1 College Dr
Bennington, VT 05201

TrailFinder.com