Sunday, August 13, 2017

Longest Adirondack Accessible Trail Being Built in Willsboro

trail builder Ama Koenigsh on the first day Tahawus Trails LLC began work on the new universal access trail at the Conservancy’s Boquet River Nature Preserve The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter is making upgrades to its Boquet River Nature Preserve trail network in the town of Willsboro. This summer, professional trail builders have been constructing a 1.5-mile loop trail in the uplands portion of the 110-acre preserve. When completed, this multi-use trail is expected to be the longest accessible forest trail in the region designed and built to meet the Federal Trail Accessibility Guidelines under the Architectural Barriers Act.

The new trail will have a minimal slope and a crushed stone surface that can accommodate walkers, runners, bikers, strollers, and wheelchairs.

Caroline Colan meets trail builder Ama Koenigsh at new universal access trail at the Conservancy’s Boquet River Nature Preserve The Boquet River Nature Preserve, named in 2015 by a Willsboro Central School second grader through a naming contest, currently has two public access points. The uplands trailhead, where the new trail begins, is behind the Champlain Valley Assisted Living Center and the Paine Public Library, off Rt. 22/Main St.

The Conservancy has been working in collaboration with the Town of Willsboro to make this downtown preserve more user-friendly and attractive for outdoor recreation.

The River Trail, which is accessed at the town boat launch at the end of Gilliland Lane, has also been improved. Stone steps for better angler access and erosion control, as well as a new bridge and boardwalks have been completed. Its rolling terrain with natural dirt tread meanders through a floodplain forest where American sycamore trees greater than 200 years old grow along the river’s edge.

The Conservancy has contracted with Tahawus Trails, LLC to complete these upgrades. The trail work is planned to be completed in September. To learn more about the Conservancy’s work in the Adirondacks, visit their website.

Photo: Kevin Simpson, a member of the Tahawus Trails LLC professional trail crew building a new universal access trail at Boquet River Nature Preserve (courtesy Ken Aaron for The Nature Conservancy); and Nature Conservancy Conservation Associate Caroline Colan meets trail builder Ama Koenigshof, on the first day work began this summer on the new universal access trail (courtesy John DiGiacomo).

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2 Responses

  1. Cristine Meixner says:

    Sacandaga Pathway in Speculator, accessed across Rt. 30 from the public beach, with 850 yards of boardwalk is an easy 1.5-mile round-trip and is fully wheelchair accessible. I believe it was built 20 years ago. The path traverses a variety of habitats and three types of wetlands along a flat-water section of the Sacandaga River. Public rest rooms are available, as well as a picnic area with grills and a view of the river. There are interpretive signs about logging, geology and local history along the way. Look for American Bitterns and Blue Herons along the eastern side of the path following the river, as well as Black Ducks and Mallards. Along the path, you’ll also find a variety of Woodland Warblers, several species of woodpeckers including Pileated; Red-Tailed Hawks and American Kestrels.

  2. Mary Lou Leavitt says:

    When will the accessible trail near Willsboro’s senior living center be available for use?

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