Celebrating Accessible Trails - Gsil

Celebrating Accessible Trails

Screenshot 2023-08-23 103138

#ADA33 #DisabilityPride #ThanksToTheADA – GSIL is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 33rd Anniversary. We celebrate  this important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.

The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

In honor of this anniversary, GSIL is recognizing the progress NH has made with accessible trails! We hope you get a chance to check them out!

Magalloway River Trail: Experience the magic at Magalloway River Trail! The recently improved “orange” and “green” trails are mobility-aid accessible and include the viewing platform to spot waterfowl, songbirds, and (if you’re really lucky) even moose! The trails are 0.75 miles long, 4 feet wide, and made of compacted stone and sections of boardwalk. For more trail info, check out https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/magalloway-river-trail


Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge – Pondicherry Rail Trail and Presidential Trail:  All aboard the TWO accessible trails at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge! On Pondicherry Rail Trail, check out Cherry Pond, nearby mountains, and wetland birds at the boardwalk viewing platform. This gravel trail is 1.5 miles long and 8 feet wide (3.5 feet on the boardwalk). The Presidential Rail Trail might suit wildlife enthusiasts, passing through a variety of habitats and marshes. The Presidential trail is hard-packed stone/sand mix, 2.6 miles long, and 8 feet wide. For more trail info, check out https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/pondicherry-wildlife-refuge-main-trail-system .


Ossipee Pine Barrens Accessible TrailFuel your burning love for forests at the Ossipee Pine Barrens! Follow the green and yellow blazes through rare, fire-dependent woodlands, home to uncommon birds (including Eastern towhee and whippoorwill). Then, savor the overlook of the West Branch River and mountain view. This trail is 0.8 miles long, made of packed sand and gravel, 5 feet wide, and a slope of 1-2%, and can be accessed from the parking area on Route 41. For more trail information, check out nature.org/ossipee .


Great Bay Wildlife Refuge – Peverly Pond Trail:  Prepare for positively picturesque perambulation at the Peverly Pond Trail! Nestled in the Great Bay Wildlife Refuge, this trail passes forest, pond, and vernal pools. You might even spot American kestrels and osprey on the observation deck. Made entirely of boardwalk, this trail is 0.23 miles long, 3+ feet wide, and has 1-5% slope. For more trail information, check out https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/great-bay-national-wildlife-refuge .  


In Manchester, you can go for a peaceful walk on a special 1.8-mile All-Persons trail, built by the community, for the community. The Cedar Swamp All Persons Trail winds through a 640-acre urban forest, the pathways were built and constructed by professional trail builders, and The Nature Conservancy partnered with local groups to gather input to make the trail design accessible and inclusive for underserved communities so all can experience the wonders of the outdoors in a safe and respectful fashion.

“The journey began over two years ago, as I was asked to be a contributor from the prospective of a person with a disability and a Manchester resident. I was asked to share my barriers to getting into nature. Over the years as my vision has decreased, my ability to escape into nature, or even go on a walk through the city, has been greatly limited. I shared with the group, how safety, the ability to read signs and transportation, were some of the barriers I face to participate independently in nature.”  ~ Kim Thibeault, GSIL Information & Referral Coordinator

Screenshot 2023-08-23 104143

The trail was recently featured on NH PBS’ award-winning program Windows to the Wild, with Willem Lange. Click on the link and scroll down to February 8th, to see the airdates.

See More

(Pictured: Kim Thibeault, GSIL Information & Referral Coordinator, with Dr. Randy Pierce, CEO of Future In Sight and his service dog, as they navigate the Cedar Swamp’s All-Person trail on opening day.)

The Crotched Mountain Accessible Trails were built to rigorous US Forest Service standards to ensure that they are usable by everyone. Located on property of the Crotched Mountain Foundation, a non-profit that provides services to people with disabilities, the trails are open for all to enjoy from 30 minutes after sunrise until 30 minutes before sunset. The network consists of two distinct trails.


Dutton Brook Trail – The Dutton Brook Trail is fairly flat, approximately 2 miles round-trip and winds its way through woodlands. There are boardwa lks and observation platforms that provide overlooks onto various natural landscapes.


Gregg Trail – The Gregg Trail ascends a knoll and offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding hill country. Due to numerous switchbacks, the trail’s grade never exceeds 8%. There are also resting points along the way. The trail winds through open meadows and is 0.8 miles from the parking lot to the top of the knoll.

Screenshot 2023-08-23 104709

“The trail is so peaceful, with lots of nature, flowers, blueberries, raspberries – and the views at the top are amazing! Pack a lunch and make a day of it!” ~ Jennifer Crowell, GSIL Peer Mentor and Coordinator

Nature’s Way at SHEI: Connect, Nourish and Grow!  Sunset Hill Educational Institute (SHEI), a nonprofit organization located in South Sutton NH is dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities discover their inner strengths. Right before the pandemic in 2020 SHEI’s program, Wheelchair Health In Motion (WHIM), wanted to create an accessible outdoor facility at the homestead where SHEI organization is located. The Nature’s Way Accessible Pathways project is a unique effort created during a challenging period. The design of Nature’s Way is rooted in the principles of Permaculture – a philosophy of working with, rather than against Nature. Nature’s Way applies the principles of Permaculture to our holistic health – the health of our Body, Mind and Spirit.Phase I of the project, completed in September 2021, was the construction of the 2000’ of pathways and an accessible bathroom facility plus plantings and landscaping on the SHEI campus. Phase II began in the fall of 2021 and has resulted in a holistic wellness program complete with curriculum, manuals and training that will be offered both onsite and online.

“Nature’s Way at SHEI is a place to help facilitate a nurturing process that allows participants to experience the connection to one another, our community and nature. The WHIM program started holding classes on the pathways this spring using the lessons in nature to help broaden perspectives about life’s purposes. ~ Carol Conforti-Adams

CONNECT with nature and discover its many examples of resiliency(i.e., the power to thrive after change)

NOURISH by allowing yourself the time to acknowledge your journey to this moment

GROW through creating a life perspective that is empowering and fulfilling


Carol Conforti-Adams, the Director of SHEI is a professional and peer living independently with quadriplegia, is a GSIL Consumer, a member of the Consumer Advisory Committee and a prior GSIL Board member. Carol can be reached at [email protected]if you like to visit Nature Way at SHEI you may call or email to schedule a visit.

(Pictured: On July 22, 2022, the United Spinal NH Chapter Peer-Support participants came to the SHEI – Nature’s Way facility. Individuals connected with each other, expressed their joy that this was a place created for their use and their desire to return.)

#NHTrails4All – A huge thank you to all the supporting organizations that make these trails happen!  

www.nature.org/newhampshire  https://www.fws.gov/refuge/umbagog  https://www.fws.gov/  https://www.nhaudubon.org/  https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/  http  s://www.nhstateparks.org/about-nh-parks/who-we-are/trails-bureau  https://www.friendsofpondicherry.org/ 

Happy 33rd Anniversary to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)! Did you know that the ADA National Network is a free resource that provides information and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act? Learn more about the resources you can access here: adata.org/national-network #ADA33 #ThanksToTheADA

Let’s celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 33rd Anniversary! The ADA works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Learn more: adata.org/learn-about-ada