Study on New Manchester Recreation Trail Seeks Public Input
The Town of Manchester is seeking input on a public recreation path that could significantly broaden local recreation opportunities. Walkers, joggers, cyclists and cross-country skiers are encouraged to attend this important review session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at the Dana Thompson Rec Center’s Park House. The scoping study is underway to review the 1.7 mile-section of the old Manchester-Dorset-Granville railroad bed. Project leader Dan Peck of VHB Burlington, an engineering and environmental services firm, will provide an overview of the project, which is expected to be completed by late fall. Two additional public comment sessions will also be held. The path has been cleared by current owners of the right-of-way, who invite interested parties to sign up for guided walking tours prior to the May 16 meeting. Contact Amy Verner via text at 860-461-9814 or [email protected]
The scoping study commissioned by the Town of Manchester is the first step before applying for Federal and State grants to fund the project. The year-round recreation path would double the Rec Center’s multi-use trail system running from the elementary-middle school to Riley Rink with an additional 1.7 miles to North Road for a safer alternative to Routes 7A and Route 30. The scenic pathway follows the old railroad bed through varied forested and cleared landscapes and is of historic significance to the region. Remnants of the railroad’s history lie scattered along the route and historic markers are already in place describing the brief but important marble industry era of Manchester and Dorset. Parking is readily available at MEMS, the Rec Center, Riley Rink and at the North Road entrance. BikeManchester has endorsed the project as an important new asset for residents and visitors alike who come to Manchester for its many outdoor recreation opportunities. BikeManchester was formed in 2013 as a result of the town’s long-range planning process to further develop assets that make Manchester both a desirable place to live and to visit. For more information visit bikemanchester.org.