West River Trail - Rice Farm Rd Trailhead

West River Trail - Rice Farm Rd Trailhead

Dummerston, Vermont 05301

Official Website
West River Trail map

About this Location

Over 130 years ago, a railroad wound its way on a narrow-gauge track between the steep slopes of Black Mountain and the salmon-rich waters of the West River on a 36-mile route between Brattleboro and Londonderry. Ever since the last engine steamed down the track three-quarters of a century ago, sections of the former railway have been used informally by the public for hiking, cycling, skiing, and enjoyment of the surrounding natural areas. Friends of the West River Trail, a non-profit association founded in 1992, has restored and developed an 18-mile Upper (Northern) Section of the Trail from Londonderry to Townshend expressly for those purposes. A short film, by IMRfilms, is a great way to experience the West River Trail!

A long-held hope of the Friends has been to restore the Lower (Southern) Section as well. That opportunity became a reality in 2011, when through the efforts of a Brattleboro-based steering committee, the organization acquired nearly six miles of the former railroad property, stretching from Brattleboro (just beyond the Marina Restaurant) into Dummerston. Since then, the trail has been transformed, thanks to the work of numerous volunteers, including improved drainage, a smoother surface, bridge repair and cleaned out areas where old tires, cars, and trash had been dumped. The restored Lower Section provides access to a rich landscape that includes opportunities for multiple recreational activities, and the appreciation of flora and fauna, geology, history, and archaeology. We are excited about future prospects of linking the Lower West River Trail to a network of regional trails including the Upper West River Trail, the Retreat Trails, the Wantastiquet Mountain Trails, and the Ashuelot Rail Trail.

Notable Trails

The West River Trail is a 36-mile scenic (former railbed) all-season trail through the West River Valley. When connected, sections of the trail will link Brattleboro, Dummerston, Newfane, Townshend, Jamaica, and South Londonderry. 

The TrailFinder website has a description and map of a hike on the Lower section of the West River Trail.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website

Last updated October 6, 2023