The Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in southern New Hampshire opened to the public on June 24. It is a unique facility offering to the disabled among us breathtaking views of lush mountain wilderness as seen on the two-and-one-half mile stretch of scenic trails. Even more amazing is the unprecedented fact that these trails were designed for easy access to people of all abilities, including people in wheelchairs and those who have difficulty walking.
The trails are diverse as well as awe-inspiring. One meanders through the twists and turns of deep woods and the other through a meadow in full bloom. They are the longest trails of their type in a mountain setting to be found anywhere, made even more spectacular by the fact that they combine multiple features. A hiker may encounter steep terrain, bridges and boardwalks and resting spots while viewing lush blueberry fields, fragrant wildflowers, and once in a while, a stray moose or two.
Privately funded, the trail system cost a whopping $500,000 and consists of 1,400 acres of mountains and hillsides. Every year more than 2,000 people throughout New England are treated at Crotched Mountain. The facility is non-profit and derives its odd name from its V-shaped peaks, which resemble the crotch of a tree. It is a comprehensive center equipped with its own hospital, school, outpatient clinic and community services for those with debilitating physical conditions such as brain and spinal chord injury and stroke.
The world’s disabled deserve much more than a voice. Fresh air, sunshine and the beauty of Mother Nature are the inalienable rights of us all.
The video below is a bit long but it shows the many aspects of all the good that Crotched Mountain does and is well worth watching.