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Vital Trail Facts

Overall Length – 26.4 miles

Traveling the Rail Trail

Safety First – Yours and Ours!

Rte 12 JayWhether you walk, ski, or ride, a trip on the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail takes you into the heart of Northern Vermont’s agricultural open lands. The Trail wanders through the farms, forests, fields, and wetlands of Franklin County at a railroad’s pace – slow, steady grades with sweeping bends. For the full length of the Trail, you’ll see the postcard images of Vermont you’ve grown to love. You’ll also see the families and working landscapes that created and support this spectacular scenery. Please respect the privacy and property of the Trail’s neighbors at all times and keep the Trail free of trash and debris.

The Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail is a public resource. Keeping each other safe is everyone’s responsibility. Good rules of thumb include yielding to the slowest user and yielding to livestock and other animals.

Agricultural crossings are an historic part of the Trail’s rural experience – watch your step or walk your bicycle at these crossings to avoid mud splatters.

Horses are permitted on the Trail but must travel near the shoulder whenever possible. Horse and pet owners should remove animal waste from the trail surface. Pet owners must have control of their animals at all times.

Guidelines to Bicycle By

A variety of warm-weather users travel the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail. They walk, run, ride horses, bicycle, observe wildlife, exercise, and just visit. Cyclists sharing the path with other users may have to slow down or stop. Despite the pleasant setting, bicycle collisions can happen on paths just as they do on streets. Bicycles are considered vehicles by Vermont law and must follow traffic laws. Ride in a safe and controlled manner. You are ultimately responsible for operating your bicycle under all conditions. Below are guidelines to cycling the trail:

2. Be courteous.
3. Ride predictably – straight and at a steady speed. Stay right, except to pass.
4. Call out to others before passing to avoid startling them. Yell “on your left/right.”
5. Yield to slower users.
6. If you ride at night, use lights and reflectors.
7. Ride defensively – be aware of motorists’ actions at crossings.
8. Be aware of potential changes in trail conditions, especially at intersections and crossings and after rainstorms.
9. Ride single file.
10. Carry items in panniers or a handlebar pack.
11. Wear cycling gloves.

Source: Adapted from information provided by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation

Trail User's Pledge

I will remember that the land I am traveling on is not mine, but borrowed from future generations. The trail is a neighbor to many homes and businesses. I will respect their privacy, as I would expect others to respect mine.

I understand that I am not the only guest to share this great outdoors. There are others from all walks of life who seek the same privilege of using this land just like me. I will also respect the wild creatures who were here long before me.

I will take time to slow my journey, if only to experience the beauty of the season and to enjoy this trail I love. I will remember the Golden Rule: Keeping each other safe is everyone’s responsibility.

I will leave no blight of litter or abuse on this gift of freedom from life’s often sameness.

Trail use is a privilege, not a right. Remember, the key to the future of trails in Vermont is permission from a landowner.

Source: Adapted from Snowmobiler’s Pledge, Safe Riders™ Campaign

Send Us Your Comments

We would love to hear about your Rail Trail experiences and would welcome any suggestions.

Please e-mail your comments to aadams@nrpcvt.com


Users assume all risks, inherent and not inherent, in the use of this Guide. The Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, its member municipalities, Northwest Vermont Rail Trail Council, and other affiliated organizations and individuals disclaim any and all liability on their part for damages or injuries to persons or property should they occur.

Off-trail bicycle loops are chosen, designated and/or signed because: they are popular, are preferred, provide continuous routes to destinations, are lightly traveled, are scenic, have more room for cars and bikes, or possess a combination of these attributes. No suggestion is given that these routes are safer than other roadways. VAST snowmobile trail locations may change. Call VAST for current information at (802)229-0005.