Developing a Wilderness Trail in our Town Forest

A 1.6 mile Wilderness Trail was completed in a remote corner of Bradford's conserved Wrights MT/Devil's Den Town Forest that is managed by the Bradford Conservation Commission. Using funds from AVCC's Tiny Grant Program that was matched with money from the Friends of Wrights MT Fund, Upper Valley Trails Alliance was contracted to complete the work. Under the direction of UVTA staff, four trail crews in UVTA's High School Summer Odyssey Program, two crews from Dartmouth College's Tuck Program and one community service crew from Hypertherm, Inc completed the trail with final blazing and signage completed by Bradford Conservation Commission members.

The Grand Opening/Foliage Hike was held on October 8th, 2016 and 27 people were led down this trail while being amazed by its remoteness and uniqueness as compared to the Forest's other 9 miles of trails.

While the third high school group was working, they were joined by Willem Lange and film crew from NH Public Television to record a segment for Lange's "Windows to the Wild" TV show. The show aired on January 5th, 7th and 8th, and is now available on-line at

The objectives of this project were
- to secure trained and organized trail crews to complete this trail
- to make this remote area of the Town Forest accessible to hikers
- to provide a more solitary hiking experience
- to promote a greater connection between people and the land, through this remote experience
- to foster a sense of pride in accomplishing the goal of creating this trail.

Project Contact: 
Nancy Jones, Chair, Bradford Conservation Commission
Project Contact Email: 
Town: 
Bradford
Regional Planning Commision: 
Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission
Year Project Started: 
2016
Year Completed: 
2016
Keywords: 
Forest Land
Other Keywords: 
Trails
Project Accomplishments: 

A 1.6 mile "Wilderness Trail" was completed with the help of trained , organized, well-equipped crews. It gave high school and college students an opportunity to be trained and experience meaningful work in a beautiful setting, while learning teamwork and other skills. It provided a new experience for hikers in our Town Forest; because of its remoteness, and sometimes steepness, this trail offers more of a challenge than the other trails in the Forest.

Because of Upper Valley Trails Alliance and Willem Lange, the Wrights MT/Devil's Den Town Forest trail system has greater notoriety in our region and will likely attract more individuals and families to enjoy this wild place.

Project Partners: 

Upper Valley Trails Alliance
- High School Summer Odyssey Program
- Trail Builders Dartmouth College Tuck Program
- Hypertherm Community Service Volunteer Trail Crew
- Bradford Conservation Commission members

Critical to Success: 
All of the other trails in the Wrights MT/Devil's Den Town Forest were built and have been maintained by loosely organized volunteers. Because of the remoteness of the trail it was critical to the success of this project that there be an organized, trained and well-equipped crew with transportation and leadership on a specified timeline.
Challenges: 
The "Wilderness Trail" was built in a remote corner of the Wrights MT/Devil's Den Town Forest. The beginning of this trail is near the summit of Wrights Mountain. Trail workers had to haul their tools to the summit, then to the trail head, then work a few hours, then haul their tools back down to the parking area where their vehicles were parked. This work was completed on some very warm days, and even on some rainy days.
Project Pictures: