GMC is committed to building trails that are accessible by raising the needed funds and working with a contractor and volunteers to construct a bridge this summer, making the many attributes of this beautiful Preserve open to more and more people, including meandering through forests that are home to many avian visitors including the black-throated blue warbler and the Northern Parula, a visit to Indigo Bunting Junction and cathedral like deer yards, and several 100-mile vistas.
Due to intense stream degradation in a severe weather event in 2021, GMC has an immediate need to construct a walking bridge across a small stream 1/4 mile from the trailhead at Deer Run Nature Preserve Trail. This stream bed was radically changed and deepened, making the crossing inaccessible to people with balance or mobility issues. The stream banks are now subject to erosion as hikers search for easier crossing options, compromising the watershed.
A wooden bridge would make navigating stream portions at the beginning section of the trail much easier. This will make it possible for more people who have mobility or balance issues to take a short hike on the Preserve and will give them access to longer hikes that do not have difficult crossings.
The potential long-term impact of this project is that more and more people, especially those with disabilities, will be able to use the trails at the Deer Run Nature Preserve. The bridge will also create a crossing that has minimal impact on the watershed and ecosystem of the surrounding area.