Trail safety upgrades underway at Burlington's Rock Point

Published: Apr. 19, 2018 at 7:39 AM EDT
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A $45,000 state grant is going toward erosion projects and other upgrades on the trails around Rock Point in Burlington.

, which is about two miles away from downtown Burlington.

"Special, magical, deeply spiritual -- a profound sense of the sacred." That’s how Craig Smith, the program and operations manager of Rock Point, describes the property.

However, Smith says despite the beauty, it's hard to enjoy this hidden gem if it's not completely safe.

Rock Point applied for a $45,000 grant from the Agency of Natural Resources to improve trails in the area. When the grant was approved, they enlisted the help of Timber and Stone, LLC to do the work.

"We're trying to rebuild the trails to retrain people to kind of keep back on a specific tread as opposed to just walking through the woods willy-nilly," said Josh Ryan, the owner of Timber and Stone. "We have steep slopes, we have eroding banks, we have wide trails, we have people hopping through running water."

To address those issues, they have started a three-phase project. Building bridges is an example of how they want to improve the safety of patrons during phase one of this project.

"When we went through and we did an assessment of the property we chose specific points that were of high priority," Ryan said.

Two of those high priority points were places where bridges needed to be built. Part of the reason Rock Point is using Timber and Stone is because they say they believe in preserving the natural beauty of a place.

"We're basically a conservation-minded business. Everything we do is looking through a lens of how we provide recreational opportunities for people no matter what their comfort level is in being outside," Ryan said.

But building bridges isn't all the developers say they are doing. They are also making some of the trails smaller and easier to access. Ryan wants people to take full advantage of what this park has to offer.

"You know, they're reflecting on anything that is going on in their lives and politically, socially, whatever, and we're just providing a place for them to do that. So in my mind, that's a big piece of it. So it's letting them walk, enjoy each other's company and doing it safely," Ryan said.

Phase one of the redevelopment will be finished by this fall, phase two in 2019 and phase three in 2020.