BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – After almost two decades of work on the Bellows Falls Historic Riverfront Park and Trail System, the Poet’s Seat was dedicated this year Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Poet’s Seat is a scenic spot on the Connecticut River only a half mile round trip from the Square. The trail system is on 8-10 acres, offering fantastic views of the river and village access to the river for the first time in a century. The Poet’s Seat encompasses the entire majestic granite stone seats, archways, and the labyrinth which transports all who find themselves among the gigantic granite pieces looking down upon the vast Connecticut river.
Chris Glennon, member of the Bellows Falls Historical Society, has put over 1,000 hours of work himself. He described how to walk into the labyrinth. “As you enter, you walk with all the cares of the world. As you walk out of it, your cares are released.”
Walking the circular pattern to the center of the labyrinth, one can’t help but slow down and listen to the wind in the trees.
The Poet’s Seat is an idyllic spot accessible to all. Walk or drive down the street to the left of the Flat Iron Exchange. Observe where the tracks go under the Square and the old paper mills on your left. Pass the Adams Grist Mill, stop for pictures, or schedule a tour with the Bellows Falls Historical Society. The Adams Grist Mill is beautifully restored and maintained. The museum is filled with antiques, and it serves as a reminder of the happenings in the village of Bellows Falls 150 years ago.
Parking is available past the Grist Mill on the left with a portable toilet on site. For the trail and labyrinth, there is closer parking located on the left by the fence and just a short walk through the gate brings you up to the Poet’s Seat.
Looking to the future, there is space for another possible seating area along the river, and the trail system hopes to connect trails with the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association trails following the Saxtons River.
Where past meets the present, Glennon described, “Just imagine you’re (down here) in the 18th century. There is an encampment of the Abenaki fishing and camping below the falls.”
The Bellows Falls Historical Society needs volunteers, and with plans to connect trails there is much more work to done. The biggest problem is the constant maintenance, Glennon confided.
For information, contact them on Facebook or visit www.bellowsfallshistoricalsociety.org.