Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wheelchair Accessible Appalachian Trail Portion in Vermont

David Gram's Associated Press article, "Vermont: Accessible trails open outdoors," in the 20 August 2007 issue of the San Jose Mercury News, describes the National Park Service's attempts to find ways to 'open the outdoors' to people with various mobility and other handicaps. This includes a single, central website that will debut in September with accessibility information for all the Park Service's properties in one place.

In this article, Gram focuses also on activities in Vermont. For example,
"In Killington, the Green Mountain Club has been working this summer to finish a project relocating part of the Appalachian Trail to get it away from roads. The project has grown to include a new wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. When it opens this fall, it will be the first section of the Appalachian Trail in northern New England to be designed as wheelchair-accessible. Nearly 1,000 feet long, it passes a spectacular view of the Thundering Brook falls and through the Ottauquechee River flood plain."
And, no, the Trail isn't being paved through the wilderness. Where these accessible trails are not boardwalks, they are being surfaced in hard-packed gravel.

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