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The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT) is a growing, year-round trail across northern Vermont that will one day stretch 93 miles between St. Johnsbury and Swanton. The trail passes through the spine of Vermont’s Green Mountain Range, from the Connecticut River to Lake Champlain. When finished, the LVRT, covering four counties and 18 towns, will be one of the longest rail-trails in New England. The LVRT’s grade never exceeds 3 percent, making it accessible to a variety of trail users and abilities.
The developing trail is being built along the former route of the Lamoille Valley Railroad, which once served as a vital east–west transportation corridor from 1877 until its closing in 1994. The railroad was known as the covered bridge line and was a leaf peeper train for scenic tourism. The Vermont Association of Snow Travelers has supported the project for many years and helps to maintain the trail.
West Danville to St. Johnsbury Segment: 16.3 miles
This section of the LVRT is loaded with a variety of scenic landscapes, including gorgeous wetlands and Joe’s Pond, a locally popular fishing, boating, and residential area. Trail users looking for an easier grade should plan to start in West Danville and head east toward St. Johnsbury. Beginning at Chanel Drive, you’ll head south along Joe’s Pond and then east, paralleling SR 15. Most of this section is flanked by trees, with a small residential area near the intersection of SR 15 and US 2.
As you continue east and pass Danville, the trail snakes in and out of wooded areas and farm fields and crosses over a few local roads. You’ll encounter dramatic outcrops of bedrock—ledge cuts left over from the time of the railroad—as well as dense shaded forest and ferns in the warmer months.
Closer to St. Johnsbury, tunnels help trail users avoid road crossings at US 5 and I-91 and also provide a cool spot in the warmer months. After heading under I-91 and reaching Mt. Vernon Street, you’ll enter the last 1.5-mile section of trail, also known as the Three Rivers Bike Path, which heads to the southern edge of St. Johnsbury, where you’ll find a small parking lot.
Morrisville to Cambridge Segment: 16.9 miles
This segment travels from Morrisville to Cambridge as it follows both SR 15 and the Lamoille River. The quiet route passes through a wide range of landscapes—-from small towns to agricultural areas, meadows, and forests.
Although the route technically begins at Park Street and Darling Road on the outskirts of Morrisville, the best place to begin your journey is the Portland Street trailhead, which has ample parking and restrooms. Heading northwest, you’ll skirt around the western side of Morrisville and through trees and farmland to Hyde Park. Passing a mostly residential area, you’ll continue through vast farmland and riverside areas and through Johnson. Here, The Old Mill Park is home to a trailhead with parking, restrooms, and water.
Continuing northwest past Ithiel Falls, you’ll eventually reach Cambridge Junction and Cambridge, where a seamless connection to the Cambridge Greenway takes you toward Jeffersonville. As you enter Cambridge, you’ll pass a restored train station that has been converted into a community playground with a train theme. This junction (Cambridge Junction) is marked by one of Vermont’s iconic covered bridges, the Cambridge Junction Bridge (also known as the Poland Covered Bridge), built in 1887. Several small businesses, including cafés, ice cream shops, and breweries, have popped up throughout this section and cater to trail users.
Swanton Segment: 1.0 mile
A small segment in Swanton stretches from Robin Hood Drive across the Missisquoi River to South River Street, offering neighborhood connections for locals.
To reach the endpoint in West Danville from I-89, take Exit 8 toward US 2/SR 12/Montpelier/St. Johnsbury. Merge onto Memorial Dr., and go 1.7 miles. Take a slight left onto River St., and go 1.2 miles. At the traffic circle, take the second exit onto US 2 E/E. Montpelier Road/River St., and go 24.4 miles. Turn left onto SR 15 W, and go 2.2 miles. Turn left onto Channel Dr. Look for the small parking area to your right in 0.5 mile.
To reach the St. Johnsbury trailhead from I-91, take Exit 20 for US 5 toward St. Johnsbury. If you’re coming from I-91 N, turn right from the exit onto US 5 N. If you’re coming from I-91 S, turn left off the exit onto US 5 N. Go 0.4 mile, and turn right onto Main St. Make an immediate right into the small parking lot and trailhead.
To reach the Morrisville trailhead from I-89, take Exit 10 for SR 100 N toward Stowe. Head northeast on SR 100 N, and go 18.2 miles. Turn right onto Bridge St., and go 0.3 mile. Turn left onto Portland St., and go 0.1 mile into the parking lot.
To reach the Cambridge trailhead from I-89, take Exit 10 for SR 100 N toward Stowe, and head northeast on SR 100 N. Go 7.1 miles, and turn left onto Moscow Road. Go 1.5 miles, turn right onto Barrows Road, and go 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Luce Hill Road, and go 0.5 mile. Turn left onto SR 108 N (parts of this road may be closed in winter due to weather). Go 15.3 miles, and then take a slight right onto SR 108. Go 0.3 mile, and at the traffic circle, take the first exit onto SR 15 E. Go 0.7 mile, and turn left onto Cambridge Junction Road. Go 0.1 mile, and turn left toward Cambridge Junction Road, and turn right (just before crossing the Lamoille River) into the parking lot. (Cambridge Junction Road Extension may be closed at certain times or days.)
The Swanton Segment of the trail has no dedicated parking lots.
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