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Accessible Trails

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Workshops at Crotched Mountain, NH teach building sustainable trails that comply with the trail accessibility guidelines without changing the setting or outdoor experience.

ARROW See details on current training at Crotched Mountain: Sustainable Trails for All Conference and Trail Construction for Universal Access Workshop

ARROW Download a brochure and registration information for the 2014 Sustainable Trails For All Workshops at Crotched Mountain (pdf 423 kb)

 

A model for accessibility: learning on Crotched Mountain trails

By Peter S. Jensen, Trail Planner/Builder, Peter S. Jensen & Associates, LLC

 

photo of curving smooth trail

Accessible tread through boulders with an easy grade

At Crotched Mountain in Greenfield, New Hampshire, sustainable trails are also accessible trails. The Crotched Mountain Foundation’s new trail system was designed and built to the proposed federal trail accessibility guidelines and was official opened in June 2011.

The trail system is fully accessible, ranging from a wetland loop at the lowest point to a stunning vista at the summit of a knoll 300 feet above. The entire trail is perched on the southerly side of Crotched Mountain with views of Mt. Monadnock.

The trail system provides a total of 3.6 miles of pedestrian recreation through lowbush blueberry fields, pine forests, dense hardwoods, meadows, and wetlands. It provides a thorough visual explanation of the morphology of this part of southwestern New Hampshire.

Construction of these trails was accomplished over a four-year period using native materials for the stone trail structures and the trail surfacing. Bridges and boardwalks were constructed of imported materials. The majority of the trail system is a 5 foot wide treadway. Other sections are 4 feet wide and 3 foot wide. A combination of machine built and hand built trail exists on the property.

photo of deck on trail

Knoll Summit Platform provides an accessible overlook

 

This sustainable trail system has become the focal point for training workshops on trail development using the proposed federal trail accessibility guidelines. Two workshops are planned this year at Crotched Mountain:

Sustainable Trails for All Conference
Trail Construction for Universal Access Workshop

Sustainable Trails for All Conference

June 25 & 26, 2014 or October 16 & 17, 2014

This two-day, in-depth, field-oriented conference will provide you with information on the Federal Trail Accessibility Guidelines that were released in September of 2013.You will learn how to assess land for trail accessibility, and plan and construct trails that meet these new guidelines. Completion of this conference makes you eligible to attend the Trail Construction for Universal Access Workshop, which will be held on the two days immediately following this course. Presenters: Peter Jensen, Master Planner/Builder and member Professional Trailbuilders Association Janet Zeller, National Accessibility Program Manager with the USDA Forest Service

Trail Construction for Universal Access Workshop: Design and Build a Section of Accessible Trail!

June 27 & 28, 2014 or October 18 & 19, 2014
Prerequisite: Sustainable Trails for All Conference

Help us design and build a new section of Crotched Mountain’s award-winning accessible trails and get hands-on experience with the tools, equipment and materials used in the construction of these types of trails. This two-day workshop is open to students who have completed Peter Jensen’s Sustainable Trails for All Conference presented over the past three years at Crotched Mountain as well as those who complete the conference this year. This Trail Construction workshop will focus on building a new trail section that connects an existing trail to a parking area. Construction will entail use of a mini excavator to rough out the trail treadway, a machine for hauling surfacing materials, a plate compactor for surface material compaction and hand tools for grading and finishing the treadway, as well as the sides of the trail. In addition, it will be likely that stone retaining will be necessary and this will be done by both machine and hand. Each participant will have an opportunity to use the various types of equipment during this two-day workshop. Presenter: Peter Jensen, Master Planner/Builder and member Professional Trailbuilders Association

photo of low boardwalk

Incorporating natural features into trail alignments

 

Janet Zeller, one of the course instructors, provided a report on her experience:

"After having spent 3/4 of the workshop on the ground on a trail which is in a mountainous area and therefore covers a very significant elevation change, and yet blends completely into the setting while 93 to 95% of the trail has grades of less than 8.33%, all the participants were convinced these guidelines simply result in an excellent sustainable trail serving all.

"The rotation of the participants between the three specialists in addition to the sessions where we all were together for open Q and A was a great mix. By popular demand we also had a session on the DOJ OPDMD rule with an excellent discussion. This group has bonded into a support and updating network which they look forward to expanding with the alumni of the future annual Sustainable / Accessible Trails workshops at Crotched Mountain."

 

For more information:

See details on current training at Crotched Mountain

For more information on the trails at Crotched Mountain please visit www.crotchedmountain.org. You can email SustainableTrailsWorkshops@gmail.com if you have questions.

ARROW Download a brochure and registration information for the 2014 Sustainable Trails For All Workshops at Crotched Mountain (pdf 1.2 mb)

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