History & Accomplishments

Founded in 1999, the Upper Valley Trails Alliance was formed to respond to the need for trails as pathways to improve health and communities. Ever since, UVTA has been actively working to support and advocate for trails in the Upper Valley VT/NH region. We strive to leverage our alliance and community partnerships to connect people to the myriad benefits of trails and outdoor recreation. Our goals include ensuring equitable access, promoting physical and mental health, encouraging conservation and sustainability, and promoting outdoor recreation to foster sustainable economic development. Over time, our community and trails-related advocacy has led us to develop many programs, projects and events which you can read about in the timeline below!

Initial meeting hosted by Vital Communities and the National Parks Service leads to the creation of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA)

Hosts the first Upper Valley Trails Day Celebration

UVTA officially incorporates into an independent organization

Hires its first Executive Director, Heather Trillium

UVTA launches the Lending Toolshed program for individual and organizational members

UVTA raises funds to produce to the first trail organization directory

UVTA applies for and receives its 501(c)(3) non-profit status

UVTA supports the creation of the Cross Rivendell Trail, beginning a longstanding partnership with UVTA as the primary maintainer

UVTA hires its second Executive Director, Susan Simmers

UVTA applies for and receives a 5 year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living by Design Program for $200,000 

UVTA designs and builds the Spirit and Nature Trail at the Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley in Wilder, VT

First annual UVTA Skate-a-Thon hosted on the Lake Morey Skating Trail in Fairlee, VT

UVTA moves into office space in Norwich, VT

UVTA receives a grant from the Wellborn Ecology Fund to initiate a Trails Education and Stewardship program leading to the creation of Parcel 5 trails in Norwich, VT

Jennifer Schiffman is elected Board Chair

UVTA hires its 3rd Executive Director, Wally Elton

UVTA receives the Community of Excellence Award from Active Living by Design

UVTA partners with the International Mountain Bike Association to bring a series of workshops to the Upper Valley

UVTA launches the Physical Activity Prescription program with DHMC’s Internal Medicine clinic

UVTA launches the Passport to Winter Fun program

Bill Bender is elected Board Chair

UVTA publishes the Go Walking guide

UVTA hires John Taylor as the first Trail Programs Director

Hank Plaisted is elected Board Chair

UVTA hosts the first Upper Valley Trails Fair at Tracy Hall in Norwich, VT

UVTA hosts the first annual Tour de Taste: A Pedaling Picnic which was attended by 150 people

UVTA partners with the Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association to make improvements on the Boston Lot trails

UVTA hires its fourth Executive Director, Russell Hirschler

UVTA launches Trail Finder in partnership with Local Motion in Burlington, VT

UVTA builds and opens the King Arthur Trail in Norwich, VT

UVTA hosts Trails Connect community meeting

UVTA installs the Upper Valley Loop Trail: an on-road cycling route connecting Hanover, Norwich, Hartford and Lebanon

UVTA hires Kari Speer as the first Program Manager

First year of UVTA’s specialty brewed beer at the Norwich Inn and the creation of Trail Tuesday’s

UVTA begins the Healthy Eating, Active Living partnership with the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD)

UVTA hosts Trails Connect 2 Community Meeting laying the groundwork for future trail development in the Upper Valley

UVTA hires Becky Lewandoski as its second Program Manager

UVTA implements its first Strategic Plan for organizational growth

UVTA posts signage for the Upper Valley Loop Trail

UVTA builds a trail connecting Plainfield Elementary to Meriden Village

UVTA launches 5-year plan to rehabilitate the Gile Mountain Trail in Norwich, VT

UVTA purchases a Grip Hoist Mechanical Rigging system

UVTA helps build the Ruth Shephard trail, linking the Northern Rail Trail to the Lebanon Community pool

UVTA formalizes its partnership with the Hanover Conservancy (formerly Hanover Conservation Council) to design and implement trail improvements to HC properties

Enters the Smart Commute Upper Valley partnership working to reduce single occupancy vehicle travel

UVTA launches the Trail Leader Training Program, an effort to train community volunteers to lead local hikes

UVTA builds first accessible trail, the McKnight Trail, at the Vermont Institute of Science in Quechee, VT

UVTA purchases a Tracked Hauler Mechanized Wheelbarrow 

UVTA designs and builds new trail network at Mount Sunapee

UVTA launches Wolves on the Prowl, a partnership with the Ottauquechee School in Quechee, VT to develop trails on school grounds

UVTA launches the Upper Valley High School Trail Corps program 

UVTA partners with the Dartmouth Outing Club to improve trails on Mount Moosilauke

Conrad Reining is elected Board Chair

UVTA takes full ownership of Trail Finder and relaunches the trailfinder.info website

UVTA builds native timber bridge in Lyme, NH connecting the Chaffee Wildlife Sanctuary to Chase Beach


UVTA established the Jim and Carol Baum Legacy Society

Russell Hirschler receives the 2015 Volunteer of the year from the Lebanon Parks & Recreation Department in recognition of the Mascoma River Greenway Campaign

UVTA takes over the planning and hosting of the STOAKED Trail Race as part of the Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series

UVTA partners with the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission to complete a comprehensive walk and bike action plan for the Eastman Community in Grantham, NH

UVTA joins the Trescott Water Supply Lands Recreation Committee and beings trail development on the property


UVTA builds the Wilderness Trail on Wright’s Mountain in Bradford, VT

UVTA is featured on the Windows to the Wild PBS special with Willem Lange

UVTA hires its third Program Manager, Laura Romig and Randy Richardson as the first Development Director

UVTA creates the Summer Crew Leader position to support the UV High School Trail Corps program

UVTA completes construction on a bird blind in the Chaffee Wildlife Sanctuary in Lyme, NH

UVTA improves and becomes manager of the Reiser Trail in Norwich, VT

UVTA partners with the Cardigan Highlanders to improve the Cole Pond Trail in Enfield, NH

John Taylor leaves UVTA after 11 years as the Trail Programs Director

UVTA hires its second Trail Programs Director, Sean Ogle

UVTA completes the Moose Mountain Ridge Action Plan, supporting efforts to permanently protect the trail

UVTA reroutes and sustainably improves the Cross Rivendell Trail near Moose Mountain

UVTA hires its fourth Program Manager, Kaitie Eddington 

UVTA nominates Wrights Mountain as a National Recreation Trail with the National Park Service

UVTA receives the Presidents Community Partner Award from Dartmouth College 

UVTA receives the Project Excellence Award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals in recognition of the Upper Valley High School Trail Corps program 

UVTA helps open the first section of the Mascoma River Greenway, 10 years in the making

Implements second Strategic Plan for UVTA growth and expansion

UVTA partners with the Sharon Academy to teach a trail building class at the school

UVTA partners with the Upper Valley Land Trust to build a locally quarried stone staircase at Smith Pond in Enfield, NH

UVTA celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

Kaitie Eddington gives a presentation on the Passport to Winter Fun and the importance of ‘self-guided’ nature programs at the Children and Nature Network International Conference in Oakland, CA

UVTA signs its first Trail Easement on the Manning Trail in Strafford, VT

UVTA extends the McKnight Trail and builds a bird observation deck at the Vermont Institute of Science

UVTA’s hires its first Summer Crew Leader who was a former participant of the Upper Valley High School Trail Corps Program

Kaitie Eddington launches fundraiser for the public to give her a middle name, raising 10k for the organization  

Second consecutive year of hiring a former Trail Corps alum as the Summer Crew Leader

UVTA installs a new timber bridge and makes trail improvements in the Lyme Town Forest

UVTA rebuilds the Big Rock Trailhead and improves the trail to help combat erosion issues

UVTA builds the Ottauquechee River Trail, a uniquely accessible riverside path in Woodstock, VT

Beth Krusi is elected Board Chair

UVTA launches effort to reroute the Bicentennial Trail on Mount Ascutney in West Windsor resulting in significant sustainability improvements

UVTA plans and leads a trail building course in the Hanover High School May Intensive program

UVTA upgrades a section of the Cross Rivendell Trail to accessible standards in Orford, NH

UVTA installs two wooden staircases and builds trails at River Park in Lebanon, NH

UVTA launches the Summer Trail Stewards program

UVTA upgrades an existing trail at Lyme Hill to accessible standards and replaces two bridges

UVTA replaces two rotting bridges in the Lyme Town Forest with two, 32 foot bridges

UVTA carries out Phase 1 of the accessible trails project in the Milt Frye Nature Area connecting students at the Marion Cross School to their outdoor classroom

UVTA carries out Phase 2 of the accessible trail project in the Milt Frye Nature Area

UVTA upgrades a trail in the Chaffee Wildlife Area to accessible trail standards

John Bayer (JB) is elected Board Chair

UVTA creates the Field Program Coordinator position