Submitted by Meredith Birkett, Village of Johnson Manager
Johnson, Vermont is home to several well-known and historic institutions and businesses, but is also home to an abundance of recreational assets that take advantage of its natural and built environments.
The Lamoille Valley Rail Trail (LVRT) is New England’s longest rail trail. It is a year-round recreation path with a crushed gravel base that is friendly to a wide variety of uses. The segment of the trail that runs through Johnson winds its way from Cambridge to Morrisville. In the winter, trail users can snowmobile, cross-county ski, snowshoe, or lucky kids can be pulled in a sled. In the warmer months, the trail is great for biking, walking (leashed dogs welcome) or running. The trail has a mild grade that is accessible to wheelchairs. Parking for and access to the LVRT is available at Old Mill Park at the end of Railroad Street in Johnson. And speaking of old Mill Park, it offers great soccer and baseball fields for all to enjoy!
The Long Trail is a 272-mile footpath that begins near the Vermont-Massachusetts border and traverses Vermont and its highest peaks, ending at the Canadian border. Following the main ridge of the Green Mountains, the Long Trail offers a wide variety of terrain for beginner and experienced hikers alike. Parking to access the Long Trail is available in a parking area off Route 15 in Johnson west of the Village.
The Lamoille and Gihon Rivers offer visitors a great opportunity to view the area’s natural beauty from the water. Kayaks, canoes, and inflatable tubes are frequently seen floating down the rivers in Johnson. The rivers also offer the chance to swim in warmer months. Two great areas to enjoy the water in Johnson are 1) Beard Park, which offers a swimming hole in the Gihon with designated parking off School Street (near the covered bridge) and 2) Ithiel Falls, which offers a great place to put in a kayak or to wade into the water, with access from Hogback Road.
If you are more interested in strolling down a sidewalk than a hiking trail, Johnson has you covered as well. With its active Village center and extensive sidewalk network in town, visitors can leave their boots at home and trek from coffee shop to gift shop.