This is a guest post written by Enock Glidden, MTF Accessibility Ambassador, Public Speaker, Adaptive Athlete, and Adventurer. To learn more about Enock, please visit his website.
Hey fellow hikers! You might have seen me on tv a few times lately doing various interviews about my work at Maine Trail Finder. Well, get ready because here I come again. I hung out with Jennifer Rooks at Knights Pond Preserve. She is the host of the Maine Calling radio show and Maine Watch, a television program on MPBN.
I chose this spot from MTF based on the description and it looked like it was an easy short trail to an amazing pond There are also really good pictures on the site showing the pond and picnic tables.
“Visit Knight's Pond, or follow trails into the woods through oak-hickory forests and alongside vernal pools. Trails crossing Blueberry and Bruce Hills provide for some nice elevation changes. Snowshoeing and skiing are permitted, though trails are not managed specifically for these uses.”
I started at the 477 Greely Road Extension parking lot because it looked like the shortest path to the pond and avoided a lot of the elevation that the description mentions. I was definitely right in my choice.
The parking lot is really flat and well constructed.
There is one porta-potty available but it isn't accessible. Keep that in mind if that is something you are going to need. I wish they would just only make accessible porta-potties. Then anyone that needed it could use it. If there are multiple potties and only one is accessible, people like me have to wait. If they were all accessible everyone would have the same wait time. That is my one rant this time!
The beginning of the trail looked very promising. It appears to be an old road. If you have read my other blogs, you will know I love old roads made into trails because they offer a wide array of options for picking your own adventure. This one did not disappoint in that respect.
The trails starts with a gate but there is more than enough room to pass through.
The surface for the most part is firm and flat with some washing out in places. There are very few roots and the ones that are there are small enough to not cause any issues. The trail is so wide it allows for plenty of space to maneuver around any obstacles. There are some very gradual hills but they are well within standards for being accessible.
Once you get to the beautiful destination of Knights Pond you are greeted with some really spectacular scenery. The trail to this point is maybe a quarter of a mile long. They have picnic tables and a seating area for people to enjoy the scenery. I think if I lived closer I would spend a lot of time here.
Beyond the picnic tables is a bog bridge that is three boards wide. Jennifer took the place of Sandy at this moment when she questioned whether or not I should try crossing it. After scoping it out, I had to at least try it so I could see what the other side was like. It looked like a more challenging trail, which is exactly what I like.
As you can see there are wide gaps between the boards but my wheelchair was wide enough to straddle the middle board. It was actually quite easy to cross.
Once getting across the bridge the terrain changes to much more advanced. I had to get help a couple of times from the cameraman. Brian. He even commented at one point that I wasn't even breathing hard but he was getting worn out. He was carrying a lot of camera gear.
I would currently rate this trail Wheelie Easy up to the pond and Wheelie Advanced if you want to try going across the bridge.
I was greeted by a guy who works on the trails when I first arrived. He recognized me from one of my appearances and told me that he was working on improving the trail around the whole pond. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Maybe they will replace that old bog bridge with an accessible boardwalk so we can all have a longer adventure if we choose to.
I would definitely venture out to Knights Pond if you get the chance. It is a really beautiful place to spend an afternoon relaxing, picnicking, or challenging yourself.
This blogpost is a bit short but the trail is too. Be on the lookout for more of me in various forms of media.
This year I am hoping to get some group or one on one hikes together. I would love to interview other people with disabilities about their experiences in the outdoors. The more perspectives we can get the better the information will be and the more progress we can make. Please contact us if you are interested in collaborating or joining me on a hike!
If you have a different type of mobility issue or a different disability and you visit this trail or others, please comment on this post and give us your feedback. If you would like to visit a trail with Enock feel free to reach out. He would love to have people join him in the outdoor spaces of Maine. The more knowledge we gather and share, the more people we can get outside using the trails of Maine!
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