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! My final stop on my first northern Maine tour was at the Penobscot River Trails in Stacyville Maine.
I know I haven't seen every single trail system in the state of Maine but I still have to say this is definitely the best one. The entire 16 mile network is built to national park standards. From the second I turned into the parking lot I could see this was going to be an amazing experience
The parking lot doesn't have any designated accessible parking. It is so big it doesn't really need it. There is tons of space. There is also an accessible vault toilet available at the parking lot.
The information kiosk is enormous and full of information. There could be better and more detailed trail descriptions but as far as kiosks go, it is amazing.
The entrance to the trail system just keeps the perfection going. The trails are perfectly groomed to be smooth and firm. They are dirt surfaced but really well constructed.
I did find one odd thing. As I was reading the kiosk, I noticed that it said people had to check in at the visitor center. I thought that was reasonable. They need to know how many people are on the trails just in case. However, this is where the accessibility got a little questionable. The visitor center is a beautiful building but I couldn't get in to it.
There is a step up to the entrance that was too high for me in my wheelchair. It would definitely be simple to fix. It just a needs a ramp instead of the existing platform.
Carrying on past the visitor center the beauty of the area abounds. The trails are perfectly smooth. The signage is great, although the signs are quite high off the ground which makes it harder to decipher the words.
I chose to try out the Long Logan Loop trail. It is 1.85 kilometers in length (for those that need miles it is about 1.15 miles). I decided that would give me a good taste of what the trails were like and it said long in the name. I like long trails.
For the most part this trail was very easy to push over. I did make one mistake. There is a crossover trail that allows people to avoid a hill. I chose not to take the crossover and continue on. The hill was steep enough that I couldn't switch back without potentially tipping over so I had to crawl.
After that one hill though the entire trail is very easy. It is very wide with some smaller inclines.
The beauty of the Penobscot River is totally worth the trip to this stunning destination.
There is also a dock platform to put in and take out kayaks and canoes. The slope to the water is too steep to be considered accessible. It is a good spot to enjoy the view. I didn't attempt to try it out by myself. I could see myself either ending up in the river or needing to crawl back up over that metal tread. Both were not good options - haha.
The trail ends back at the visitor center. It wasn't open the day I was there so I couldn't technically check in anyway. I am definitely going back to this place on my next trip north. I would love to take a group of hand cyclists here and spend the day on the trails.
Obviously I am rating this one Accessible. One warning though there aren't any rest stops along the trail. If that is something you need then this would not be accessible.
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.
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. The more knowledge we gather and share, the more people we can get outside using the trails of Maine!
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