On July 26, 2015, the anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary opened an Accessible Trail to South Lookout. The project was made possible through financial support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; the Berks County Commissioners Community Development Block Grant Program; the Schuylkill County Commissioners; the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; and individual donors Alfred A. Douglass III Family and Cyrus Klingsberg.
The Accessible Trail is the culmination of more than two years of careful planning by volunteers; professional staff; and planning, accessibility, and land management experts to meet one glaring need: Hawk Mountain cannot connect visitors with limited mobility to our great views of the mountain and the migration. Despite the short walk to the closest overlook, the steep grade limits many. Such individuals often are left at home or sit alone to wait inside the Visitor Center.
“It’s our job to connect as many people as possible with our raptor conservation mission,” says President, Jerry Regan. “The chance to watch for passing migrants from a Hawk Mountain lookout is the best way to spark an interest in nature and in raptors.”
The work also is in direct response to visitor and member feedback. “Our first donor, Cyrus Klingsberg, hated that his wife could no longer accompany him on his visits, even to the South Lookout, which is so close to the parking area. As soon as he heard our plans, he immediately stepped up,” said Regan.
For more information visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website.