Grant to help revamp cross-country trails

The cross-country trails at JSC are about to receive an upgrade thanks to a grant from the Vermont State Colleges.  This summer eight fitness stations will be added to the cross-country trail system currently in place.  This addition will transform the trail system into what is commonly referred to as a Fit Trail.

Two years ago, the JSC Wellness Committee, co-chaired by Andrea Bourdeau and Linda Davis, received $48,654 from the VSC Office of the Chancellor.  The only stipulation attached to these funds is that they must be used to promote health and wellness throughout the college and local community.

A fit trail was not the first thing to pop into the committee’s mind when determining how to best utilize the newly acquired funds.  “We started by trying to get people a little more involved in wellness activities, so offering really great prizes if we did pedometer challenges, things like that,” said Bourdeau, “And then slowly we just started thinking bigger.  We started thinking the [about] mountain bike trails that are kind of out there, and the cross-country trails, things like that and slowly just formulated that we would start to look into what is considered a Fit Trail.”

The length of the fit trail will be just about 3 miles with at least one activity at each station.  Activities will consist of balance bars, chin-ups, seated dips and similar events, with the stations being located approximately 8 feet off the running trail allowing those participating in an activity to do so without causing congestion on the path itself.

Construction on the fit trail cannot begin until the logging currently underway is complete, and the ground has had a chance to dry out.  Mother Nature does not always cooperate but the Wellness Committee hopes to be able to break ground no later than the beginning of June.

The estimated cost of installing the eight stations is expected to be between $10,000 and $15,000.  To reduce construction costs the Wellness Committee is looking for volunteers to assist with set up.

“Anyone that’s interested and has any type of construction background or knows how to use a hammer can come see us,” Bourdeau said, “Because we will probably take all the help we can get.”

The project is expected to be completed by the time classes start in the Fall, but “[That] depends on how many volunteers we get to help us set it up,” said Bourdeau.

For more information on volunteering contact either Andrea Bourdeau at, or Linda Davis at