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The Montpelier Recreation Path, which follows the Winooski River in downtown Montpelier, is currently divided into two paved pathways: Winooski West and Winooski East on either side of Main Street. Collectively, they're part of the Central Vermont Path, a proposed multi-town trail network from Montpelier to Graniteville, which is part of the larger Cross Vermont Trail.
The western segment begins in the Dog River Recreation Area, a perfect place for a picnic with tables and grills near the water. It continues for just over a mile to end at Main Street. Along the way, it passes Montpelier High School, providing a safe off-road travel route for students. The eastern segment begins a block from Main Street, at the Montpelier Recreation Center on Barre Street (follow the Cross Vermont Trail sign to the back of the center to continue on the path on Stone Cutters Way). The path continues over a mile to end along Route 2 after crossing the Winooski River over a new pedestrian bridge.
Parking is available at Montpelier High School (5 High School Drive) and the Montpelier Recreation Center (55 Barre Street).
I was traveling through Montpelier on Rt 2 along the river after being unable to find another trail several miles away. I saw signs for the Cross Vermont Trail and saw what looked like a trail across the river. I kept a lookout for other signs and followed one to a dirt road that extended along the north bank of the river. I parked there and rode my bike along what is apparently an extension of the Montpelier Recreation Path that is not described yet in Trail Link. The surface is crushed stone for the most part and I followed it until it ended in a narrow dirt path blocked by a large piece of old equipment. I then backtracked and followed the trail into Montpelier where it became paved and passed across streets and railroad tracks. I turned around in the downtown and rode back to the car for a total of about 7 miles. It was a pleasant ride and the scenery outside of the city was nice.
I’ve used this trail dozens of times, biking, walking and jogging in and around Montpelier. And now it’s expanded! I assume the TrailLink map will be updated to show it, but between Taylor and Main streets is connected, and the trail extends east all the way to Gallison Hill Road.
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