The Vermont Country Store welcomes you to its nature trail. This pathway leads you through woods and meadows, past trees and wildflowers. The stops along the trail show interesting features about the history of the land, natural features, and help to answer questions about how and why the landscape arrived at is current appearance.
West River Trail
Over 130 years ago, the West River Railroad wound its way on 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. Ultimately, that railroad succumbed to a combination of a hurricane that flooded the right-of-way, the Great Depression and an improving highway system. Following the demise of the railroad in 1936, the tracks and ties were removed, and the railway itself became little more than a memory in some areas or a footpath in others.
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 recreation 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 Section of the Trail from Londonderry to Townshend expressly for those purposes. A long-held hope of the Friends has been to restore the Lower Section as well. That hope is becoming a reality with the acquisition and development of a new section of trail, following the old roadbed North from the vicinity of the Brattleboro Marina.
North or South, the Trail offers an easy walk with views of the pristine West River Valley at every turn. In addition to hikers, the Trail is enjoyed by cyclists in Summer and snowshoers and cross-country skiers in Winter. The trail can be accessed at several locations, including the South Londonderry Depot, Winhall Campground, Ball Mountain Dam and the Brattleboro Marina, each a short, scenic drive from Weston.