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A wooden boardwalk with a gravel path on either ends cutting though a forest.
Brewster's Woods Wildlife Sanctuary in Concord

Mass Audubon Opens All Persons Trail at Brewster’s Woods, Built by the Appalachian Mountain Club

Press Release
May 03, 2024

Mass Audubon held a celebration at its Brewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary in Concord on May 3 to officially open its new All Persons Trail. Built by the Appalachian Mountain Club, the new trail provides people of all abilities with increased access to nature.

The original trails at Brewster’s Woods were difficult to navigate and very narrow, with steep and eroded sections making passage difficult for some. But now, thanks to Appalachian Mountain Club’s professional trail crew and Mass Audubon’s accessibility consultants, the 1.2-mile Fisher Trail boasts a wide, stable surface of crushed stone on more level terrain that ensures people using wheelchairs or strollers, and folks with mobility challenges, can better and more safely enjoy the outdoors.

“Nature provides a host of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that should be available to everyone,” said Renata Pomponi, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Mass Audubon. “With help from amazing groups like the Appalachian Mountain Club and our accessibility consultants, our universally designed All Persons Trails allow us to fulfill our mission of creating new ways for people to enjoy nature at their own pace and comfort level.”

There are also wildlife viewing spots with benches so people can sit and rest as they wind through forests, fields, and wetlands before coming to an impoundment—a marshy area created in the early 1900s by Mass Audubon’s first president, William Brewster—where songbirds and migrating waterfowl can be seen by birdwatchers.

The Fisher Trail at Brewster’s Woods is part of a $1 million project to expand public access and represents Mass Audubon’s first major step in opening up the property for more equitable access to nature. The trails are open each day from dawn to dusk, and visitors can download a digital map from the sanctuary website at massaudubon.org/brewsterswoods.

It is the nonprofit’s seventeenth universally accessible trail in its portfolio of properties as part of the Mass Audubon Accessible Programs & Learning Experiences (MAPLE) program. Most All Persons Trails have a self-guided tour, multi-sensory interpretative experiences, audio tours, and adaptive mobility equipment.

The Appalachian Mountain Club, which was contracted to build the trail at Brewster’s Woods and is working on three other Mass Audubon trails, has deep trail-building expertise and has executed similar work across New England.

“Trails like this one are vital because they foster equity in the outdoors by reducing physical barriers to nature,” said Nicole Zussman, President and CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club. “We’re thrilled to work with like-minded organizations like Mass Audubon to prioritize solutions that that connect communities to the landscapes right outside their doorsteps.”

About the Appalachian Mountain Club
The Appalachian Mountain Club is the nation's oldest conservation and recreation organization, dedicated to promoting the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the outdoors. With a legacy dating back to 1876, AMC has been a leading advocate for outdoor exploration and conservation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Learn more at outdoors.org.
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