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Volunteers Reopen Barre River Access Trail

August 17, 2023
Volunteer group photo after a morning of hard work

Through a partnership between Vermont River Conservancy and the Barre River Access Task Force, a group of 18 volunteers met on Saturday, August 12th, at Rotary Park in Barre to reconstruct a ½ mile trail that leads to a spectacular waterfall on the Stevens Branch River.

The July flood destroyed much of the trail, redistributing rocks, gravel, sand, and debris that made the trail unclear and unsafe. Volunteers hauled out a ½ ton of plastic, fabric, and tires from the floodplain, moved rocks to become stepping stones, and resurfaced the trail tread so that anglers, swimmers, photographers, and picnickers can now safely and clearly find their way to the falls, leaving the rest of the floodplain to regrow vegetation.

Thank you to all the volunteers, some representing groups such as the Friends of the Winooski, Trout Unlimited, The Rainbow Bridge Community Center, National Wild Turkey Federation, the City of Barre, and The Vermont Bicycle Shop.

To experience this beautiful trail for yourself, go to Rotary Park, home of Playground 2000, and look for the start of the trail directly behind the pavilions. The easy, family friendly ½ mile trail leads to a stunning waterfall, a gravel bar perfect for picnics, and a deep swimming hole.

This trail is currently one of only two public river access sites in Barre City. The Barre River Access Task Force is a group of citizens working to add new river access sites, creating more opportunities for people to enjoy the community’s local rivers for swimming, picnicing, fishing, paddling, walking, and more. To get involved with the Barre River Access Task Force email .

To discover more river access sites and additional volunteer opportunities statewide, use our interactive map to Find Your River.

As always, be safe when enjoying Vermont’s many swimming holes:

  • Avoid swimming 48 hours after a heavy rain.
  • Scan the area for any dangerous rocks, outcroppings, or human made structures that may pose increased risk.
  • Look closely at the surface water. If there is a strong current or frothy water, do not go in.
  • Check the water temperature. Cold water drops core body temperature resulting in inability to control muscles.

For now, considering the recent floods and ongoing rain, it may be best to bring a picnic and a book to enjoy the peace and beauty of our rivers from the shoreline.

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