Proctor and Partnership reach consensus on Carriage Trail end
By Erin Mansfield
CORRESPONDENT | September 28,2013
PROCTOR — Local residents and the Pine Hill Park Partnership have agreed to blaze the final stretch of the 5.1-mile Carriage Trail, ending near the Proctor Junior-Senior High School.
The agreement allows the partnership to move forward with trail work and plan for the trail’s grand opening in May 2014.
An hourlong meeting Wednesday night at the Proctor Free Library attracted 22 people, most from Proctor. Attendees raised concerns about policing the trail, unauthorized all-terrain vehicle use and general trail specifications for runners, hikers, and mountain bikers.
Tim Vile, who is on the partnership’s board of directors, encouraged residents to take ownership of the trail and put it to good use.
“Getting people to come and use it has drastically reduced ATV use,” he said. “Bring good people in, and it changes the culture.”
He and Shelley Lutz, another partnership board member, presented information on the trail’s progress and future goals to community members.
Lutz said the purpose of the Pine Hill Park Partnership is “to approach landowners as a formal organization,” and that the Proctor event was held specifically to get residents involved in the trail decision-making process.
Much of last year’s work involved restoring the trail after the Tropical Storm Irene floods. The partnership’s major goals for the coming year include putting up trail markings, building an information kiosk and holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony in May.
Residents asked the two presenters to set up an email list so that people can stay updated on the trail’s progress. Lutz quickly got out her notebook and started writing down email addresses and asked residents to sign up online, as well, to become members of the partnership.
“I think it’s great,” said Cheryl Scarzello, who asked multiple questions.
She and her family hike on the trail year-round.
“It’s well marked because it is possible to get lost up there,” Scarzello said, calling the entire project “well thought out.”
Jim Moore volunteered to take the partnership’s new trail markings and put them up in a week or two.
Moore called himself a walker who regularly wanders the “old logging roads.” He said he likes to walk all the way to Rutland and back.
Carriage Trail starts in Rutland City, stretches through Rutland Town and ends in Proctor. Both ends of the trail have parking lots nearby, and plans for the revamped trail have been in the works for at least seven years.
Partnership board members cited the help of school groups from Proctor and Rutland, as well as the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.