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West River Hiking Trail Parking and Trail Access
Following the floodplain of the West River Valley, the 16-mile West River Hiking Trail (a.k.a. Railroad Bed Trail) is flat, scenic, and relatively easy terrain. Ideal for walkers, cyclists, and equestrians, while a rugged enough for avid hikers, the West River Railroad once traveled this corridor, linking the industrial communities of Brattleboro (Fort Dummer) and Londonderry (South Londonderry Depot). To reach the Black Mountain trailhead in Dummerston, follow Route 30 South and turn onto the Green Iron Bridge. At the far side of the bridge, turn right onto Rice Farm Road. The trailhead is a half mile from the bridge on the left side of the road.
Starting in South Londonderry, the trail travels a serpentine 2.7-mile tour along the meandering West River before reaching the Winhall Campground. The rail-trail continues for 3.5 miles before reaching the massive and exhilarating Ball Mountain Dam. Follow the trail signs closely for a route to the top of the dam, and you’ll be rewarded with majestic views of the idyllic river valley encompasses by the encroaching Green Mountains. From the base of the dam, it’s another 3.5 miles to this segment’s end. The path here opens up and is once again suitable for bicyclists and equestrians. Shaded by a canopy of dense hardwood trees, you’ll trace the banks of the West River to the trailhead at Jamaica State Park (fees apply).