A very nice article about the Tomifobia Nature Trail was recently featured on the Valley News website. The author, Marty Basch of New Hampshire, gives a detailed account of his recent trip to the trail. Marty and his wife biked the entire length of the trail in both directions and had lots to say about the things they saw along the way. Below is an excerpt from the article, the entire article can be viewed on the Valley News website.
A big thank you to Marty and to Valley News for this lovely article.
Quebec’s Tomifobia Trail a Recreational Gem
By Marty Basch
Special to the Valley News
Saturday, September 22, 2018
The large boulder that caused the death of two unsuspecting souls nearly 125 years ago sits alongside the railway where it happened. Now a nature trail in southeastern Quebec’s Eastern Townships, that rock somehow fell onto the Massawippi Valley Railway tracks and derailed a southbound Boston and Maine passenger train traveling from Sherbrooke, Quebec, to Newport, Vt., on the night of April 8, 1895.
The engineer and fireman became trapped in the cab. Passengers freed them. Both were severely scalded by steam and died the next day.
Today, a memorial stands by the site along the Tomifobia Nature Trail, which runs 12 miles by the winding Tomifobia River between the Beebe section of Stanstead and Ayer’s Cliff, on the shores of Lake Massawippi.
The wide trail is a quiet, rich mix of rural life, nature and railroad history. Spruce groves, marshes, cow passageways, stone culverts and the curving Tomifobia, with its swimming holes, share the landscape with railroad bridges, copious one-wheeled gates, hospitable benches and picnic tables.