News Archive

VRC is Hiring for Summer Positions!

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

VRC is excited to work with the VHCB Americorps program again this summer, to hire multiple River Access Stewards to be on site at some of Vermont’s most incredible swimming holes, boat put-ins and river-side trails! If a summer working by the river sounds perfect to you, please check out the positions here.

VRC awarded VOREC Grant!

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

We’re thrilled to be one of 24 grant recipients! Thanks to this, Vermont will benefit from:

1. More stewards at river access sites.

2. Coordination between the multiple local, state, federal, and nonprofit groups that manage river access sites.

3. Site improvements across east-central Vermont thanks to our friends at @White River Partnership.

Why? Better river access statewide — for you, the 550,000 people who visit Vermont rivers each year, and the hundreds of thousands of Vermonters who love our rivers.

VRC is hiring!

Monday, February 14th, 2022

Vermont River Conservancy is hiring a Conservation Program Manager, a position that will be integral to securing future protections for lands along Vermont’s waterways. They will initiate and manage conversations with communities, landowners, partners,  state agency staff and conservation donors, and will have primary responsibility  implementing land  conservation methods to secure new land protections at a watershed scale – from headwaters to river corridors to village and town riverfronts.  

The Conservation Program Manager helps ensure the success of completed  and developing conservation projects across Vermont with primary responsibility for two VRC Programs:  1)  Conservation Easement Stewardship and Monitoring and 2) River Corridor Easement Design and Implementation.

This is a “people person” role for someone who’s excited to be part of VRC’s dynamic staff and eager to build relationships with landowners and partners, yet also has high attention to detail to ensure timely project completion and high quality documentation. The ideal candidate will have experience with land trust tools such as conservation easements, baseline documentation, site assessment, and  GIS – although VRC recognizes that many qualified candidates may not have prior experience with all the skills, qualifications, and abilities included below. Candidates who feel they would thrive at VRC and who meet some portion of the criteria below are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

For details and application instructions, please download the full .pdf here.

VRC Receives AARP Community Challenge Grant

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

The popular one-mile long trail along the North Branch of the Winooski River in Worcester and Elmore has new wayfinding and accessibility features that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike in the coming year. VRC protected public access to this 78-acre gem and began construction on the trail in 2017, always with a vision of ensuring the wilderness-like setting and beautiful cascading waterfalls could be enjoyed by all ages and mobility levels. “It was important to VRC that this incredible spot would be enjoyed by a grandparent and their grandchild, that it would be accessible to strollers and wheelchairs, and that it would have plenty of places to pause, rest on a bench, and take in the sound of flowing water and the beauty of one of the several waterfalls and swimming holes along the trail,” says Steve Libby, Executive Director of Vermont River Conservancy.

Grandparent and grandchild check out the kiosk at the southern trailhead.

Thanks to the hard work of VRC crews and dozens of volunteers, this vision has been achieved, and visitors will find several benches along the universally accessible portions of the trail, and wayfinding signs marking notable scenic overlooks like “The Dancer” or treasured swimming holes such as the “Mom and Pop Swimming Hole,” the latter moniker given by VRC board member and Montpelier resident Tino O’Brien. O’Brien recalls, “I remember the first time I visited the North Branch Cascades more than 10 years ago. I met a young family – mom, dad, and toddler, and the parents were teaching their child to swim in a swimming hole just below a gently cascading waterfall. It was in that moment I knew this place needed to be protected, for families and community members like this one – enjoying the clear, clean water of the North Branch in a stunning natural setting. I hope someday that small child will bring their own child back here to teach them to swim.”

Swimmers enjoy one of several swimming holes along the North Branch Cascades Trail.

Other recent improvements to the trail include the completion of a second accessible privy at the northernmost portion of the trail, with a similar design as the one on the southern end of the trail.

New privy at the northern end of the trail.

Additionally, beautiful maps will be placed on the kiosks at either end of the trail, and portable maps will be available for visitors to take along with them as they walk the trail. Natural history walking guide pamphlets will also be available, artfully created by a group of Vermont Master Naturalists through the North Branch Nature Center. These recent improvements were made possible for the community due to the generous support of AARP. The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements to communities that jump-start long-term change. It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities Initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. To learn more, visit

Introducing VRC’s 2021 summer swimming hole steward, Reilly Butler!

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

I have lived my whole life in Vermont, I grew up in Richmond and currently reside in Burlington. In 2019, I graduated from University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I spend my free time hiking, camping, kayaking, and of course visiting many of Vermont’s swimming holes. After the uncertainty that 2020 brought everyone, I’ve realized how vital Vermont’s hidden gems are and how important it is we protect them so others can continue to enjoy them. This summer I will be working with VRC and AmeriCorps to keep Vermont swimming holes protected and visitors safe.

Staff Departure, Year-End Review and More in our Latest Newsletter

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

Read our 2020 year-end newsletter here. And if you want to get these directly to your inbox, sign up here, or email

Maggie Citarella’s visit to the North Branch Cascades

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

The day that I visited the North Branch Cascades was one of those great days. The weather was warm, sunny, and comfortable. My husband and I recently moved to Vermont and we were excited to visit our first swimming hole in the state. Lucky for us, the North Branch Cascades Trail boasts many swimming holes, showcasing a series of seven cascading waterfalls along the North Branch of the Winooski River.

Our immediate impression of the one-mile long nature trail and surroundings was that everything was clean, serene, and even wild. We only passed a few other people on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. As we made our way down the trail, we excitedly checked out each swimming hole and sight of the river. The air smelled sweet, the forest shaded us, and the water eventually drew us in.

We found and settled in at a bright and tranquil spot along the river that had a picturesque waterfall. The water was clear, and we even spotted a few fish and tadpoles. There was a perfectly round and small swimming hole on top of the falls that quickly intrigued us. Of course, we took advantage of this tiny spot to dunk our heads underwater and lay back on the rocks to gaze at the blue skies and trees overhead. After we cooled off, we explored other waterfalls north and south of us walking carefully in the river water. We thoroughly enjoyed letting the falls just pour down on top of our heads for a few minutes, and watching the river swiftly wash past us while we sat in all kinds of grooved rock formations.

As a new resident to Vermont, I feel grateful knowing that there are places like the North Branch Cascades out there, freely accessible and welcoming everyone. I am also happy to know that half of this trail is wheelchair accessible. The North Branch Cascades was acquired and conserved thanks to a partnership between the Vermont River Conservancy and the Vermont Land Trust. These natural areas and recreational opportunities are so special, especially with the stresses of everyday life. That’s why I feel strongly about supporting conservation efforts — whether that means following updates, volunteering, or donating. The protection of these areas is so critical for the continued enjoyment and appreciation of nature by present and future generations.

Maggie Citarella is an environmental professional and certified arborist living in South Burlington, Vermont with her husband. Raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, she recently moved from South Carolina after receiving her M.S. degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University and working for a community forestry nonprofit called TreesUpstate. With several years of experience in conservation, parks, and community forestry, Maggie enjoys getting outside and sharing her love of nature. As a Boston University alumna, she is excited to be back in New England. This fall, she is participating in the Vermont Master Naturalist Program. You can find Maggie walking her dogs, reading, or volunteering as she looks for her next opportunity. She is best reached by email at

North Branch Cascades Trail is Open!

Friday, July 24th, 2020

This has been a very popular time for the one-mile long trail along the North Branch of the Winooski River,  despite the project not being fully complete. VRC opened the trail for the public to enjoy now, knowing that special places along our rivers are more important than ever during these challenging times. Upon completion this fall, visitors will notice even more improvements to this already incredible spot. VRC is adding another composting privy near the northern parking lot, some benches along the trail, replacing the picnic table (the original one was swept away during the 2019 Halloween Storm), and a few finishing touches to the middle portion of the trail. We have heard so many great stories from many North Branch Cascades visitors, we are glad people are enjoying this spot, and we greatly appreciate the excellent user behavior and respect we have seen. Learn more about this project here. If you can help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 to fund the management of the North Branch Cascades, please donate here. Thank you!

River Access video featuring our own Noah Pollock!

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Here’s a wonderful video created by Lake Champlain Basin Program and Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership discussing river access and featuring our own Noah Pollock and volunteers installing timber steps at the Lamoille River and building a bridge at our North Bridge Cascades Trail!  Partnerships and volunteers are important, and we’re proud and grateful for the folks of Lake Champlain Basin Program, Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, Lamoille River Paddler’s Trail, Missisquoi River Basin Program, Dunkiel Saunders Law Firm, and Umiak Outdoor Outfitters.

Privy installed at the North Branch Cascades Trail

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020

We’re so happy to see folks out on our North Branch Cascades Trail! We’re lucky to have such a beautiful (and now accessible) space to visit locally – especially this summer. While the trail is not fully complete yet, we are welcoming visitors. We recently constructed and installed a privy, thanks to Noah Pollock and a crew from Northern Forest Canoe Trails, with funding from the VT Dept of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Recreation Trails Program!

A few tips for when you’re out visiting VRC’s swimming holes:
If there is a privy available, please use it – this will eliminate human waste risk to other visitors and help keep our waters clean. Privies will not regularly be cleaned. Please bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Latest News

VRC is Hiring for Summer Positions!

VRC is excited to work with the VHCB Americorps ... more »

VRC awarded VOREC Grant!

We’re thrilled to be one of 24 grant ... more »

VRC is hiring!

Vermont River Conservancy is hiring a Conservation ... more »

VRC Receives AARP Community Challenge Grant

The popular one-mile long trail along the North ... more »

Introducing VRC’s 2021 summer swimming hole steward, Reilly Butler!

I have lived my whole life in Vermont, I grew ... more »

Staff Departure, Year-End Review and More in our Latest Newsletter

Read our 2020 year-end newsletter here. And if you want ... more »

See All »