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New Accessible Picnic Area on Basin Cove

Thanks to a $3,800 grant from LL Bean and the sweat equity of dedicated Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) volunteers, visitors to the scenic Basin Cove area of Harpswell Neck have a new picnic area to enjoy.

Located across Basin Point Road from the parking area for HHLT’s Curtis Farm Preserve, the picnic area was specifically designed to be accessible by wheelchairs. The addition makes Curtis Farm the third of the land trust’s 16 preserves to offer an opportunity for visitors with mobility issues to enjoy the outdoors and Harpswell’s scenic beauty. Other preserves accessible to the mobility-impaired include Johnson Field Preserve and Stover’s Point Preserve. The town’s Mitchell Field is a fourth accessible spot in Harpswell.

“We’ve wanted to make another area accessible to people in wheelchairs or who are unsteady on their feet for several years,” said Reed Coles, HHLT’s executive director. “We were fortunate to have the volunteer manpower and financial support from LL Bean’s Maine Land Trust Grant Program to accomplish that goal.”

A level, 75-foot-long gravel path leads from Basin Point Road to the picnic area, which features a metal picnic table and a beautiful view of Basin Cove. The table is designed for ease of access, durability and low maintenance.

Another important feature of the new picnic area is a set of sturdy wooden steps from the top of the bank to the flats of Basin Cove. Over the years, commercial and recreational clammers have followed an informal path to the cove, which has resulted in erosion of the bank. The new steps will protect the environment while also allowing better access to the mudflats. Still to come is an interpretive sign that will inform visitors about the sights and ecology of the Basin Cove area.

“This project really serves the part of HHLT’s mission that calls for providing access to the outdoors for all Harpswell residents and visitors,” said Coles. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy the unique beauty of our community.”