New Bike Trail Network

AROUND THE NEK- Four towns in the Northeast Kingdom will soon be connected by an inter-town long trail biking route thanks to a $25,700 grant from the State Department of Housing and Community Development. The trail network will connect Burke, Victory, Concord, and Kirby using low-traffic dirt roads.

Town officials hope the trail network will help spur economic development by encouraging visitors who start at the Kingdom Trails in Burke to visit surrounding towns as well. The Kingdom Trails bring an estimated $10-million to the Burke community annually.

James Bentley, chair of the Burke Planning Commission said, "we hope that an inter-town long trail biking network with Concord will better disperse trail users in the area, and the economic benefits that come with them. A thoughtfully designed network, with input from diverse user groups, will hopefully improve recreational opportunities for all."

Concord and Burke jointly applied for the Municipal Planning Grant and were one of 29 projects funded around the state. The towns are currently taking proposals from vendors interested in performing the trail mapping and marketing to be featured on a website directing visitors to nearby businesses and points of interest. Cynthia Stuart, chair of the Concord Planning & Zoning Board, says the project should take less than a year.

More information about the project is available on Concord's website. The towns will also be talking about and soliciting feedback around the trail network at upcoming selectboard meetings.

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