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Highway for the handicapped.

Recipe: one crane from a mining company and one Chinook helicopter from an army base, mixed with hundreds of willing hands. Result: one trail in the Routt National Forest, two hours north of Denver, reconstructed to make it accessible to Americans with physical impairments.

The trail crosses scenic wetlands and a trout stream, winds through spruce and lodgepole pine forests, and visits tranquil beaver ponds. To make it accessible to all users, district planners with the Middle Park Ranger District decided to construct a portion of it as a boardwalk. More than 350 individuals pitched in.

A wood-treatment company donated posts, an equestrian group gave dollars, the county loaned carpentry equipment and a dump truck. On a July weekend, 200 volunteers blitzed through the construction of the boardwalk.

The quiet Williams Fork Valley turned into a bustling tent village, and hungry workers were fed by a local outdoor education center and the Elks and Rotarians. Carol Adams, a landscape architect, donated about 100 hours, working with the Forest Service to develop a construction manual for the volunteers.

Did they stop there? No way. Plans are now under way for extensions of the boardwalk to allow fishing access, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.
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Title Annotation:Focus: Partners for the Land; trail construction in Routt National Forest, Colorado
Author:Noyes, Carrie
Publication:American Forests
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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