Mt. Philo State Park Trail Project Completed for the Season, with Work Set to Resume Next Spring

Finished trail segment at Mt. Philo State Park
Charlotte, VT – As a significant trail project at Mt. Philo State Park ends for the season, project managers and visitors alike are commending the improvements and the broader benefits to Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy. The project, managed by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR), was awarded by a competitive bid process. Designed and constructed by Timber and Stone, LLC, it updates major sections of the main trail to provide a more sustainable and safe ascent, and features a universally accessible trail that improves access at the summit.

Mt. Philo State Park has seen substantial increases in visitation over the past decade, and has experienced related impacts to trail and park infrastructure. This project addresses the most serious of these impacts, relocating the main trail to follow an improved grade and surface and widening the trail to enable visitors to walk side by side or with leashed dogs. It features multiple stone staircases—over 300 stone steps in total—and crushed stone surfacing, and a design shape that minimizes steep pitches to shed water and snow more effectively. The result is a more durable and sustainable trail that will last for generations without the need for continual maintenance. In addition, the universal access summit trail from the upper parking lot will enable more visitors to enjoy Mt. Philo’s iconic views.

For the full design, click here.

This project will not only improve visitor experience and address environmental concerns, but also support larger state efforts to promote and expand outdoor recreation. The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC), created by Governor Scott in 2017, works to grow Vermont’s economy through outdoor recreation, support outdoor recreation businesses, strengthen the stewardship of recreation resources, and increase participation and recognize the public health and wellness benefits of outdoor recreation.

“Mt. Philo was Vermont’s first state park, and as it approaches its 100th anniversary, we’re investing in the park to make sure it’s here for visitors in another hundred years,” says VOREC Chair and FPR Commissioner Michael Snyder. “This project protects recreation opportunities at a place that’s special to so many people, and it will make their experience at the park safer, easier to access, and more environmentally protective. This kind of project is at the heart of VOREC’s work and FPR’s mission.”

Timber and Stone, LLC sourced all materials from as close to the park as possible. Stone surfacing came from a local quarry and was trucked by a local company, and lumber for a wooden bridge was harvested and milled in Vermont. Machinery used for the project was purchased from local vendors, while hand tools came from a retailer in Central Vermont. Materials that needed to be purchased out of state came from just across Lake Champlain in upstate New York.

Measuring grades for stone step installation.
Josh Ryan, principal of Timber and Stone, LLC, is a VOREC steering committee member. Ryan says, “This project is an on-the-ground example of all that outdoor recreation stands for in Vermont: Reducing barriers and encouraging people to get out and stay healthy, creating a trail that’s inviting to visitors and protects the land it’s built on, supporting the local economy, and providing meaningful employment to seven full-time staff.”

Work has been suspended for the season due to weather, and will resume next spring and is expected to continue through the summer. Next year’s phase of the project will rehabilitate existing stretches of trail. If additional funding is secured, officials from FPR hope to extend the project to improve the lower stretch of the trail and make further improvements to the lower parking lot, park entrance, and summit.

This project is funded through many federal and state sources, including the federal Recreational Trails Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and CARES Act, and the state of Vermont’s Capital Budget. To learn more about Mt. Philo State Park, visit https://vtstateparks.com/philo.html.

Contact:

Reuben Allen, Parks Regional Manager

Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources

802-779-6054, reuben.allen@vermont.gov


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike