FARMINGTON – The High Peaks Alliance and University of Maine at Farmington invite the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, October 15, celebrating the official opening of the fully accessible trail within the Prescott Field Trail System.
The ribbon-cutting event will start at 4 p.m. at the trailhead off Front Street in Farmington, adjacent to the Big Sky Grille and the Better Living Center. The Accessible Trails Project included trailhead road signage, trail rerouting, and increase accessibility to the trail. The project also repurposed an unused town parking area and built a .51-mile crushed stone fully-accessible trail to the banks of the Sandy River. The accessible trail reroutes around steep areas and, through the compaction of stone aggregate, the trail surface is wide and stable. Renovations were funded through grants from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Maine Timberland Trust, Northern Forest Center, Libra Foundation and Franklin Savings Bank.
The program will include information about the collaboration between the High Peaks Alliance and the University of Maine at Farmington, the purpose and progress of the project, and future directions for expanded accessibility of trail systems within Franklin County. Around 4:30 p.m., the event will move to Uno Mas at 147 Pleasant St, Farmington, ME 04938 for a social gathering.
Both the High Peaks Alliance and University of Maine at Farmington are committed to ensuring all community members have access and opportunities to engage in healthy, outdoor recreational activities. Developing accessible trails for individuals with disabilities, older adults, and families with young children is an important aspect of the work of High Peaks Alliance Executive Director, Brent West, and Dr. Gina Oswald, UMF Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Services.
“One of our core values at the High Peaks Alliance is seeing what needs to be done and doing it. When we realized there wasn’t an accessible trail in Franklin county we felt obligated to change that. We are deeply appreciative to our members and supporters in making sure that everyone has access to the outdoors” said Brent West.
Dr. Gina Oswald stated that “UMF is so proud to be involved in this project. The development of the first fully accessible trail for persons with disabilities in Franklin County is not only a great asset to our university and the community but it conveys our core values. We believe the inclusion of all our community members is so important and we are deeply committed to ensuring everyone is and feels welcome here.”
About High Peaks Alliance
The High Peaks Alliance is a volunteer, non-profit organization made up of local hunters, hikers, birders, loggers, fishermen, snowmobile and ATV riders, Maine Guides, x-country skiers, mountain bikers, and others working together since 2007 to ensure continuing public access to Maine’s High Peaks Region for residents as well as visitors. We welcome those who would set aside differences to work together to ensure public access for present and future generations in the High Peaks region. For more information, contact Brent West at firstname.lastname@example.org.