It’s summer vacation! Which for me means hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail with my brother. While I’m off on trail, I wanted to share a cool hiking path I came across when I was staying with my friend in Boston for the Berklee ABLE Assembly.
Along the Charles River Path, a walkway and bike path that stretches from Watertown, MA all the way into downtown Boston, there’s a section dedicated to help individuals who are blind and visually impaired get out into nature. The aptly named Braille Trail is a lovely stretch of trail right beside the Charles. A press release from Wicked Local Watertown describes the park quite accurately:
“a crescent-shaped trail of a quarter mile, for blind as well as for seeing visitors. The trail is marked by a guide wire that runs along the edge and which users can hold as they visit the trail. The interior of the trail is a sensory park, which includes a marimba bench and large wooden boats on the ground for visitors to climb on and sit in. There are also walls and logs for visitors to interact with.” 
The Perkins School for the Blind is right across the street from the trail and they were a partner in it’s development with the Massachusetts DCR.
As an educator and hiker, it feels like a real triumph, the coordination of diverse education and public interest to create a singular nature path. Walking along the trail was a real treat and if you find yourself in the Boston area, I suggest you make your way out to Watertown and check it out for yourself!
Four images in row:
Left most is a wooden block with English and Braille reading “Sphere” clearly with other writing difficult to read from the photo.
Next is another wooden block with English and Braille reading “Cylinder” clearly with other writing difficult to read from the photo.
Then a steel concrete pole behind a metal rope with a wooden sphere and cylinder. No writing is visible on these wooden figures
Fourth, all the way on the right, a dirt walking path with a modern design bench. The bench is cement and wood with the wooden panels placed both directions, one facing the Charles River, the other looking out to a park that’s out of frame of the photo.