Friday, July 29, 2011

Explore the Parks with Outdoor Access

DCR park interpreter describes fort history on Georges Island.
Summer is rolling along and so is our adaptive hiking program! Here's an update:

Outdoor Access, affiliated with Stavros Independent Living Center in Amherst, MA, facilitates these gentle outings as part of our DCR Universal Access Program each year from May through Octoberr. Recent outings to Rutland State Park outside of Worcester, Georges Island in Boston Harbor, Walden Pond, and Blue Hills Reservation south of Boston have all been described as "Fun!" by everyone I've talked to. Adaptive recreation equipment and friendly staff allow for better access to park trails. Interpretation and letterboxing give the hikes an educational and playful component.

Georges Island is a unique place to visit - it features a historical military fort and a brand new visitor center. Recent additions of 6 ramps make the fort more accessible than ever before. A pleasant ferry ride from Long Wharf in Boston will get you there, with Boston Best Cruises. Consider visiting Spectacle Island too - its a real beauty with gentle hills that offer easy travel to the summit along a paved path - with a great view of Boston. You can go on your own any day of the week. If you use a wheelchair you'll want to be aware of the tides and contact the park to ensure best docking times. Each year we offer a group accessible tour with Outdoor Access and for some people, "it is the only way to go!"

The use of a mountain wheelchair for more rugged terrain
allows staff to better assist wheelchair users.
Yesterday's hike at Blue Hills Reservation in Milton took place on a perfect summer day. Two groups came from The Educational Cooperative and a low vision group joined us later. Some families also participated with several young children. Everyone enjoyed finding stamp, stickers and simple game activities in letterboxes while hiking a mile around Houghton's Pond. 
Join us for more state park outings!!! Don't miss out! Individuals, families and groups welcome! To register for any of the following programs, call Outdoor Access at 413-259-0009.

August 15         Breakheart Reservation, Saugus
August 31         Robinson State Park, Agawam
September 15   Chicopee State Park, Chicopee
October 6         Borderland State Park, Sharon
October 12       D.A.R. State Forest, Goshen
October 22       Maudslay State Park, Newburyport

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