Outer Point Trail to become ADA compliant

North Douglas trail will be the firstn in Juneau to offer wheelchair-to-ocean access
The Outer Point Trail, located just past the Rainforest Trail pullout on North Douglas Highway, is good for an easy meander through the woods. This weekend, the trail is getting an upgrade; it will become ADA accessible and, once complete, will offer beachfront access to individuals with disabilities.

After this weekend's work party on Saturday, the Outer Point Trail will be well on its way to becoming the first trail in Juneau to grant trailhead-to-ocean access for individuals with disabilities.


The volunteer work party, aimed at helping make this a reality, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and is open to all individuals and abilities.

Erik Boraas, executive director of Trail Mix, Inc., said making the trail ADA accessible is one of the main reasons for doing the work this summer season, which will likely last a few more weeks.

“We’ve had a crew out there for the last few weeks working on the trail,” he said. “They’ve built a ramp (compliant with the Americans with Disabilites Act) into the parking area with a very gentle grade.”

But that’s just one of many steps.

Boraas said the overall plan is to replace narrow, slippery boardwalk, with a wide gravel pathway. Crews will reroute portions of the trail that are too close to wetlands or that climb grades too steeply.

“We still want to retain that ‘meandering walk through the woods’ feeling,” he said. “We’re doing our best to keep that feeling, while also making it accessible for those who cannot walk.”

The event planned this weekend is in honor of National Trails Day and the Juneau work party will happen in conjunction with other trail celebrations all over the state and nation.

Participants, Boraas said, should arrive slightly before 9 a.m. and park at the very end of North Douglas Highway. Trail Mix will provide a shuttle to the trailhead.

Boraas said there will be tasks for young and old, and attendees should leave pets at home. At noon, Trail Mix will host a picnic with food and refreshments provided. Following, there will be activities for kids and guided hikes.

Participants are asked to dress for the weather, bring gloves and rain gear.

“And be prepared to get dirty,” Boraas said.

He said hard hats, ear plugs and eye protection will be provided, if needed.

The event is organized with the help of SAGA, ORCA, the City and Borough of Juneau, the U.S. Forest Service and the Division of Alaska State Parks.

• Contact Outdoors Editor Abby Lowell at abby.lowell@juneauempire.com.


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