HARPSWELL – The recreation committee wants to make one of the town’s most popular trails more accessible to people with limited mobility.

Early this summer, the committee decided to apply for a state grant to fund improvements – widening the trail, removing tripping hazards, such as large roots and spreading crushed rock along a mile stretch at the beginning of the path.

There are just under 2,000 people 62-years-old or older in Harpswell, making up approximately 40 percent of the town’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median age in Harpswell is 58.

“To make the trail easier for people with limited mobility to use and enjoy is a worthwhile endeavor,” said Kevin Johnson, Select Board chairman. “Right now there are some big roots on the path, so taking those out will make a big difference.”

Gina Perow, Harpswell’s recreation director, said she is unsure how much the improvements will cost.

Those with limited mobility aren’t the only ones who will benefit from a clearer path. Ben Wallace, Cundy’s Harbor fire chief, said the trail is neither wide nor smooth enough for the department’s all-terrain vehicle to travel, slowing down the rescue team.

“When we have to help people on the path, normally we have to carry them out once we reach them,” said Wallace. “The roots on the path are so rough, so having those taken out will definitely help us in the future.”

Harpswell’s fire department receives at least two calls from the trail per year, according to Wallace. The most recent was Thursday, when an adult tripped and was injured.

The 2.3-mile trail spans two parcels of land totaling approximately 194 acres. The trail includes a shore walk along tidal Strawberry Creek, an area for children to build fairy houses, and views overlooking Long Reach from 150-foot cliffs.

The trail can be accessed behind the Harpswell town office at 263 Mountain Road. Parking for the trail is available behind the town office.

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