Mad River Path Association, in conjunction with Waitsfield Elementary School, announced today that they closed on the purchase of four acres of land surrounding the school.

The land was purchased by Mad River Path Association and immediately donated to the school for future school uses. The path association retained a trail easement permitting the construction of a quarter-mile-long path behind the school. In addition to purchasing the land, the path association also received, by donation, a second quarter-mile-long trail easement across land located north of the school. Combined, the two trail easements will allow for the construction of one-half mile of trail parallel to the Mad River.

"We have been so lucky to work with such a supportive landowner in Wrenn Compere. Without her, this project would not have been possible," said path association director Will Flender.

The path association also announced today that it has received a $20,000 Recreation Trails Program grant from Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. Thanks to the grant, a total of $83,000 has been raised to pay for the purchase of the land and construction of the new trail. Five thousand dollars must still be raised in order for the project to reach its fundraising goal of $88,000. Donations to the project may be directed to the path association via its website or by mail to P.O. Box 683, Waitsfield, VT 05673.

The new trail will feature a six-foot-wide crushed stone surface to accommodate a wide variety of trail users. It will connect to the school, Mad River Valley Visitor Center and Waitsfield's growing sidewalk network. Construction will begin when school closes next June.

Mad River Path Association is a member-supported nonprofit organization working to create a network of public pathways throughout the Mad River Valley. To learn more about the organization, visit