In addition to regular maintenance, Norwich Trails periodically takes on longer term projects. Some current projects are highlighted below.
Brown Schoolhouse Bridge Replacement
Old bridge over Charles Brown Brook
Bridge site after 2018 collapse
The Norwich Trails is leading the the Town of Norwich’s effort to replace the destroyed bridge over Charles Brown Brook. The bridge site is near the Parcel 5 trailhead parking off Beaver Meadow Rd. With its loss a crucial connection has been broken between the Parcel 5, Brookmead, Blue Ribbon and Gile Mountain trails on the east side of the Charles Brown Brook – and the Bill Ballard, Brown Schoolhouse, Burton Woods, Cossingham and Appalachian trails on the west side.
As town infrastructure, the replacement bridge will be designed for longevity with low maintenance, will accommodate expected future flood events, and will support emergency ATV access and be handicap-accessible, and will allow people, young or old, convenient access to Norwich’s “Grand Canyon” along the Bill Ballard Trail.
Voters passed Article 5 in the town warrant on March 3, 2020 that authorized funding the Brown Schoolhouse Road Bridge Replacement.
Appalachian Trail Connections
Appalachian Trail Corridor in Norwich with connecting trails
Norwich Trails is working in cooperation with the US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Green Mountain Club, and the Upper Valley Mountain Biking Association towards the designation of authorized trails within Appalachian Trail Corridor in Norwich and in specifying connections with trails outside the corridor.
A formal application to authorize several older paths, plus a trail created since the corridor was formally established, is pending to the US Forest Service. The application concurs with agency goals to maintain the Appalachian Trail’s sense of wildness, by recommending closure of several other paths in the corridor (these also appear on the map fragment above).