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THE OUTDOORS ALMANAC | MIGRATIONS

Launching all-wheel terrain

June 01, 2004

Lizzy's Trail hugs the Ipswich River for less than a mile under a thick canopy of trees. About 30 miles northeast of Boston, the flat, wide path connects with a narrow footpath that leads to a bridge and an adjacent park. Total distance: 2 miles. "We were looking for trails that would be accessible to people with young families," says Mary Margaret Sloan, president of the American Hiking Assn. The organization put Lizzy's Trail on its top 10 list of family-friendly footpaths; i.e., those easy to get to and easy on the feet. Lizzy's Trail opened two years ago on National Trails Day. "It's named after my neighbor, Lizzy Heerlein, who's in a wheelchair," says John Hendrickson, a volunteer who designed and built the trail in Bradley Palmer State Park. After watching the young woman alongside busy streets, he started thinking about how she and others could enjoy the woods. With a $200,000 grant, he used a soil stabilizer in the path that "gives the appearance of stone dust but is hard so the wheels don't sink into the dirt." The family-friendly list, which promotes National Trails Day on Saturday, includes only one California trail: the 5-mile Laguna Loop at Point Reyes National Seashore, above, north of San Francisco. Go to www.americanhiking.org.

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