Like last summer, FOOT is lying low during the hot weather when many of you travel elsewhere or sit on the beach. We should have a fall schedule posted by sometime in August. If there are hikes, bike rides, canoe/kayak trips, trail building projects or other events you would like FOOT to plan, please let one of the Steering Committee members know about it. And save Sunday, Oct. 15, when the Bay Circuit TREK 2000, a 16 day hike of the Bay Circuit Trail from Duxbury to Newbury, will celebrate the finish here. If you would like to participate in any part of this hike, call Tom Horth, 463-8843, for more info.
There is a lot of good trail news this summer.
- Newburyport is moving along on the planning process for the bike trail / linear park from the railroad station to the waterfront. A new Master Plan for the City is also getting under way, and open space, trails and bike routes should be part of it.
- The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission's trail mapping project is making excellent progress. Maps should be on their Web site soon, www.mvpc.org.
- The federal government has turned off the deliberate error in the Global Positioning System (GPS), so handheld GPS's should now be very useful for accurate trail mapping. We hope to do a lot in the Wildlife Management Areas this fall.
- We have high hopes for the Nature / Jogging trail proposed by the Parker River Clean Water Association along the Little River from Storey Ave. to the train station.
- The town of Merrimac has just dedicated a new greenway and nature trail and have a lot of trails and open space most of us have never explored.
- The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has issued an Environmental Assessment for their proposed new headquarters near the corner of Water St. and Ocean Ave./Rolfe's Lane. It looks like it will be a big help for bicycles.
- And lots more. Stay tuned!
For those of you who do feel an urge to get out and walk during July and August, here are some events run by other nearby groups where you will be welcome.
- The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, under new Refuge Manager Janet Kennedy, is making info on their events easy to find out about. For example, on Sat., Aug. 5, at 8AM (rain date Sun., Aug. 6) they will offer a free 2-hour ocean shore exploration program for adults and kids. To find out more, or to get on their mailing list, call their headquarters at 465-5733.
- Maudslay State Park has many guided walks, not to mention the plethora of musical and theatre events. Call the Park headquarters, 465-7223, for details.
- The Boxford Trails Committee hikes every Tuesday morning for 2 hours or so. Call 978-887-8985 for details.
- Essex County Greenbelt has a walk on one of their many properties the last or next-to-last Sunday of each month, starting at 1PM and lasting about 2 hours. On July 23 they will hike Commons Hill Res. in Beverly. On Aug. 27 they will hike the Cox Res. in Essex (co-led by Parker River Clean Water's own Don Bade). On Sept. 24, its the Thompson St. Res. in Gloucester. For more info, call Joe McClintock in Seabrook at 603-474-7505.