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The Upper Valley Running Club: Exploring Dirt Roads, Wooded Trails, and Recreational Paths Crisscross The Upper Valley

Aug 05, 2016 08:12PM ● Published by Finn McFarland

Dirt roads, wooded trails, and recreational paths crisscross the Upper Valley, creating an intricate pattern for runners of all abilities to explore. Some of the trails are well marked and frequented by locals and visitors alike. Others are hidden, known only to a handful of dedicated explorers who have trekked nearly every foot of the public trails in the area.

The Upper Valley Running Club (UVRC) is a club for runners of all levels in the Hanover, Lebanon, and White River Junction area. It began six years ago with about a dozen members, and it’s grown to a membership of over 300 runners. In the summer, the club frequently runs on the Northern Rail Trail, a 23-mile recreational trail that begins in Lebanon and ends in Grafton, passing Mascoma Lake along the way.

When UVRC president Tim Smith isn’t running with the club, he heads out into his hometown of Hanover for a long jog. “I have a favorite loop crossing the Ledyard Bridge, north to Goodrich Four Corners, to Union Village Road, and then back to Norwich and home,” says Tim. “Coming over the crest at the corner of Union Village and Maple is especially delightful. It is beautiful, and it is mostly downhill after that.”

Anna Ramsey has lived in Woodstock for nearly her entire life and is now a member of the Colby College Varsity Nordic Ski Team. When she comes home to Vermont for summer vacation, Anna sticks to a regimented training plan that takes her on long runs throughout the Woodstock area. “Wild Apple Road in Pomfret leads to a network of trails that I love to explore on long runs and mountain biking adventures,” she says.

In addition to teaching English at Woodstock Union High School, Martha Perkins is a coach for the cross-country team. The program is designed to accommodate students of all running abilities and provide the opportunity to improve. When Martha is not jogging with her students in Woodstock, she likes to run near her home in Plymouth. “I really enjoy the mostly dirt roads around the Hawk Mountain Resort, Lake Amherst, and Echo Lake,” she says. Martha loves finishing her run with a dip in the lake to cool off.

Interested in finding some new running routes but don’t know where to begin? Visit http://uppervalleyrunningclub.org/ and join UVRC on their next group run!

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