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.
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).