Description - This wonderful 14.5 miles of trail is a converted railbed with once traveled through the Groton State Forest. Today, the trail is available to biking enthusiasts, hikers, equestrians, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
- Located slightly northeast of the state's capitol, the Montpelier / Wells River Trail is a 14.5 mile multi-use path along an original ballast, ranging from sand to a mix of coarse dirt and gravel. The trail is available to hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and cross-country skiers. Snowmobilers also use the route. This trail is actually part of the Cross Vermont Trail, originating in Groton State Park. The Montpelier / Wells River Trail may be accessed from Ricker Pond State Park where plenty of parking is available. From the State Park, the rail trail travels northbound through scenic woodlands to terminate in Marshfield. This recreation-rich area is known for supporting a wide variety of wildlife including black bear, moose, deer, grouse, mink, beaver, otter, fisher, loons and herons. Nearby hiking and fishing opportunities abound particularly in the Kettle Pond region. Popular hiking trails include Big Deer Mountain Trail, Owls Head Trail and Groton Nature Trail. Anglers will find success in waters such as Kettle Pond and Peacham Pond which support both warmwater and coldwater species. Many of the areas waters are regularly stocked.
Recreation - The former railroad bed is available as a multi-use trail offering plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities and very scenic views from beginning to end. Consequently, this year-round rail trail is a popular route. Shorter trails, fishing waters, picnic groves, swimming beaches, rental cabins and at least five campgrounds offer an alternative recreation.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average between 16 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit (between -9 and -8 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures average between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 21 Celsius). Much of the state's precipitation is the result of snow, particularly throughout the mountains. The Heart of Vermont Travel Region has diverse precipitation totals ranging from 40 to 44 inches (102 and 112 centimeters) in the center area of the region decreasing to less than 36 inches (91 centimeters) along the state lines of New York and New Hampshire.
To reach Ricker Pond State Park from Groton, travel 2 miles west on US 302. Turn right on SR 232 and travel 2 miles. Parking is available at the park.