History of the Rivendell Trails Association and the Cross Rivendell Trail

The Rivendell Trails Association (RTA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization charged with the mission to create and maintain the Cross-Rivendell Trail as an educational and recreational resource. The Cross-Rivendell Trail was first proposed at a Project Co-Seed conference in 1998. The Rivendell Interstate School District (Fairlee, Vershire, and West Fairlee VT and Orford, NH) was still only a concept when Sally Tomlinson of Orford proposed a cross-district trail as a way to tie the four towns together physically.

In December 2000, David Hooke of Vershire, who had long experience with the Dartmouth Outing Club and the Appalachian Trail, came aboard to lead the project. Jayson Seaman of Orford, then External Programs Coordinator for Rivendell, made the connections that permitted Rivendell Summer Trail Crews to begin construction on the trail. Grants obtained in 2001 allowed for construction of the Mt. Cube Section and the planning of the Vermont route, and with that the project was off and running.

When it became clear that the District needed additional help to manage the trail over the long term, interested townspeople formed the Rivendell Trails Association (RTA) in 2003. RTA now has over 200 members, and is directed by an all volunteer Board that includes community members, RISD teachers and staff, and students.

Currently, RTA is responsible for the maintenance and oversight of the trail system, and contracts with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance to accomplish this, in addition to coordinating volunteer trailwork events. RTA also holds educational events, fundraisersRISD's staff includes a part-time Trails Coordinator who develops and implements place-based learning opportunities for teachers and students on the CRT. 

The RTA has over 200 members (including the 60 landowners who have generously given permission for the trail) and a Board of 11, including 7 townspeople, 2 Rivendell teachers, and 2 Rivendell students.