Brownway River Trail

Brownway River Trail

Winter is just around the corner and there is no better time to try something new. Winter can be a challenging time to fit in your 30 minutes of outdoor physical activity due to slippery snowfall, shorter days and colder temperatures. Over the past few weeks RiseVT has highlighted trail systems in Franklin and Grand Isle County, and just because the snow has started to fall does not mean you need to wait until spring to get out and explore. We would like to empower you to take advantage of the local resources in our community. Through the RiseVT Mini Grant Project, the Enosburg Public Library now has a variety of different sized snowshoes on hand to loan to any community member, for free. All you have to do is go to the front desk during normal business hours, ask for a pair, sign them out and return them when you are finished. You are also welcome to sign-out multiple pairs so your whole family can go snowshoeing.
A quick reminder before venturing out into the cold — pack an extra layer, water, healthy snack, and if you are walking during hunting season be sure you are wearing an orange blaze, and you might even bring along a headlamp or flashlight. Now that you are properly prepared and have the right equipment you might ask ‘where should I take my family on our first snowshoe?’ Head to the Enosburg Public Library, sign out your snowshoes and go to the Brownway River Trail.

There are two trail heads. On the weekend, park in the elementary school parking lot, and follow a trail entrance along the southeast boundary of the Village Garage, or enter at the main entrance on Missisquoi Street across from Missisquoi Cemetery. There is an interpretive trail map at the elementary school entrance.

An easy 0.9 miles trail in length and runs alongside the river taking you through fields, forests and floodplains, perfect for hiking, walking and snowshoeing.

COST: Free

If you’d like to learn more about where you can snowshoe in your community, be on the lookout here for more information about local trails and libraries.
If you would like to learn more about Enosburg Public Library and the events that are held there, check out their website:

Hard’ack Trivia

Hard’ack Trivia

Take a step outside, and breathe deeply. Let the fresh fall Vermont air fill your lungs, as golden leaves fall from the trees may it bring a new willingness to explore your own backyard. Hard’Ack recreation area becomes a local destination for getting in your daily physical activity. It is a host to some of the best outdoor activities in the area, including this past weekend’s America East Cross Country Championships hosted by The St. Albans Recreation Department and University of Vermont. If you have not explored this historic landmark now is the perfect time.

Hard’ack is most famously known for its 700’ tow rope during the winter months for downhill skiing and snowboarding. However this gem can be used during all 4 seasons of the year for activities such as skating, sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, walking and so much more!

If you choose hiking Hard’Ack this fall, Brian Clukey RiseVT health coach and frequent Hard’Ack flyer recommends the following supplies for hiking Hard’Ack in the fall:

  • Water – always bring more than you think you will need
  • Food – a light snack to keep your body fueled
  • Shoes – stiff sole shoe in order to provide support and ankle stability
  • Jacket – Light – Medium, something breathable
  • Vest – depending on the weather this can be great to keep your core warm
  • Rain Gear – just in case the weather changes

When hiking in the fall the trails can be heavily covered in leaves. It’s always a good idea to tread carefully, as those leaves may be covering rocks, roots and holes and other unbeknownst to the hiker.

Hard’Ack Trivia:

  • Address – 179 Congress St. Saint Albans
  • Ages – all ages welcome
  • Cost – free
  • Parking – yes
  • Dog Park – yes

RiseVT would love to hear about your experience at this local mountain, and what you enjoyed the most. This is just one great activity you and your family can do over the next few weeks here in Franklin County. The website below will also give you a calendar of events that will be going on throughout each season at Hard’Ack.

Adding physical activity into your day

Adding physical activity into your day

Children are frequently associated having the ability to stay at a high level of energy for long periods of time. This natural form of play does not have to be just for kids. However, to get adults be more physically active we need to be creative. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that only approximately one in five adults are getting the recommended amount of physical activity.

Here in Franklin and Grand Isle County, we are not different than the rest of the country with our rate of physically active adults being upwards of 27 percent, as reported in the 2017 Vermont County Health Rankings.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following guidelines for cardiorespiratory exercise:

  • Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.
  • Recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20 – 60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
  • Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.

Individuals unable to meet these requirements can still benefit from doing some form of activity.

Trying to get this amount of activity can be overwhelming, but it can be broken up into smaller segments throughout your day.

RiseVT Health Coach Brian Clukey put together five ways to add physical activity into your day:

Start small: Take on a goal that is realistic to where you are at now with your health and your life.

Routine: We are all creatures of habit. Keep the small achievable changes happening at a regular frequency throughout your week.

Support: Someone or someway to encourage you throughout your goal progress.

Purpose: Why are you making goals? Always ensure it aligns with a greater goal or vision.

Environment: Know going in that everything in our community (work, school, home, family, etc.) affects your lifestyle – see where your community can support you on your journey.

We may not all be as fast or nimble as our children, but through added physical activity we can take steps to get there.

RiseVT has a Health Coach, Brian Clukey on staff that assists in this very subject. Truly working with individuals where they are at and seeing where they would like to go. When will you start your wellness journey?

Summertime? State park time!

Summertime? State park time!

When was the last time you slowed down and took a deep breath of Vermont air, cow manure and all? Too long is our guess? In the remaining days of summer RiseVT wants to connect you with our local State Parks. We’d like to encourage individuals and families to embark on new adventures right here in our ‘backyard’.

List of State Parks in Franklin and Grand Isle County:

The season is Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend (unless otherwise stated)

Lake Carmi State Park, Franklin

  • Season: May 19th – October 9th
  • Pets: are not permitted in designated swimming areas but are allowed elsewhere in the park
  • Hiking: There are some easy walking trails through the park
  • Camping: 138 tent/RV Sites & 35 lean-to’s
  • Swimming: areas in both camp sites with sandy beaches. There is also a day use beach with designated swimming area

Alburgh Dunes State Park, Alburgh

  • Pets: not permitted at this park
  • Swimming: located on one of the longest beaches on Lake Champlain, offers great swimming
  • Fishing: plenty of great fishing on Lake Champlain

Knight Island State Park, North Hero

  • Remote Camping: 1 tent site, 6 lean-to sites
  • Pets: are permitted throughout the park
  • Hiking: There is one trail circling the island
  • Swimming: anywhere around the island

Woods Island State Park, Swanton

  • Camping: 5 remote tent sites
  • Pets: are welcome at the park
  • Hiking: The Island Loop Trail is a 2 mile loop around the island
  • Swimming: no beaches, but excellent swimming anywhere around the island

Kamp Kill Kare State Park, St. Albans 

  • Pets: not permitted at this park, except for transport to Burton Island
  • Swimming: the south-facing swimming area has a mostly sandy bottom
  • Boating: boats are welcome at the park, there is a boat launch and kayaks, canoes and a row boat available for rent

Knight Point State Park, North Hero

  • Pets: not permitted at this park
  • Hiking: there are two trails around and through the point
  • Swimming: there is a beach with a designated swimming area
  • Picnicking: wide expanses of lawn make the park ideal for picnicking. There is also an open-air pavilion that is available to rent

Burton Island State Park, St. Albans

  • Pets: are not permitted in the designated swimming area or in the cabins, also not permitted to swim in the marina. Pets are allowed elsewhere throughout the park
  • Hiking: number of mostly flat trails around the island, including a self-guided nature trail
  • Swimming: plenty of great spots to take a swim in Lake Champlain throughout the island
  • Stand-up Paddle Boards: SUP’s are available to rent
  • Nature Programs: This park offers nature programs. Please call the park (802.524.6353) directly for more information.

RiseVT has 50 FREE park passes that we’d love to give to you to use. These expire September 4th, 2017 so please act quickly. If you’d like to inquire about the availability of these State Parks passes please contact us at We can’t wait to hear about your great exploration.

Check out all of the Vermont State Parks at:



Ice Fishing in Vermont

Ice Fishing in Vermont

Do you need open water in order to fish? No. Rise Vermont will be talking about ice fishing locally, and how it can be done simply right here in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Vermont offers the greatest variety of high-quality freshwater ice fishing in New England. An activity such as ice fishing is a great way to socialize with your family, perform physical activity and explore the local outdoors.

One of the concerns our community has is fitting activities for themselves or their family into their busy schedules. Ice fishing can flex around your schedule allowing you to go any time of the day. Even though it can be a very relaxing activity to do with your family in the winter you always want to make sure safety is first.  Listed below are a few different guidelines to use while ice fishing:


  • Know the thickness of the ice beforehand
  • Let someone know where you’re going
  • Wear proper clothing, and bring extra
  • White ice or ‘snow ice’ is about half the strength of clear ice
  • Booming and cracking isn’t necessarily dangerous, just can be the ice contracting and expanding due to temperature changes
  • Fishing license (required)
  • Ice fishing season (3rd Saturday of January – March 15th)

Living in Franklin and Grand Isle it gives us all access to some remarkable fishing locations and different opportunities to catch many varieties of fish such as: Northern Pike, Trout, Salmon, Lake Trout, Walleyes and panfish (yellow perch).

All of these guidelines are just a few of the many that you should look into before venturing outdoors on the ice. All activities can be fun, as long as safety is prioritized. Rise Vermont wants to make sure that you and your family are able to explore everything northwestern Vermont has to offer. If you try this activity we’d love to hear about it, so make sure to share it on our Facebook page.