Grant to improve accessibility of Bath trail

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BATH — Thanks to a recent $5,000 grant, a Thorne Head Preserve trail will be upgraded this summer to enhance accessibility for those with mobility issues.

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, which owns the preserve, received the grant from the L.L. Bean Land Trust Grant Program. The funds will go toward the Overlook Trail, and the trails at the High Street venue are open free of charge from dawn to dusk.

“Thorne Head Preserve is a wonderful asset to our community, and now even more of our citizens will be able to enjoy the beauty of this special place with the grant award,” said Kevin Shute, Bath Trails member and program director of the Bath Area Family YMCA.

The upgrade, one component of an improvement project for the preserve, involves the placement of a stable and firm surface on the half-mile trail. The parking lot was redesigned and expanded last July to facilitate up to 10 cars, and the lot includes one new space which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Last fall, a trail crew and volunteers from the Maine Conservation Corps improved the Narrows Trail to control erosion. The work on that trail, which runs along the Kennebec River, helps to protect water quality. The corps and volunteers also finished a large section of a new technical trail that runs by the face of the headland. The Mushroom Cap scenic overlook is linked with the Narrows Trail by 69 stone steps.

The land trust, which purchased Thorne Head in 2000 with public support and a grant from Land for Maine’s Future, strives to protect the land, wildlife and water of the Kennebec Estuary. The organization holds easements on more than 700 acres of private land, and it maintains eight preserves for the enjoyment of the public.

Log onto kennebecestuary.org or call 442-8400 for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.