Nature Trail for the blind

Nature Trail for the blind

A short tour of the trail and adjacent facilities

To experience the trail first hand you would turn South off of Gurley onto Mount Vernon Street and follow the paved road (Senator Highway) for about 16 miles to the community of Groom Creek.  The Nature trail for the blind is located just a few hundred yards further beyond.  Turn left on a gravel road and proceed to the parking lot.

Nature Trail For the Blind in Groom Creek: This trail, built by the Sunrise Lions Club of Prescott, with cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service, is designed to aid visitors in sensing a topical ponderosa pine forest.  Although the trial was primarily constructed for the blind, God’s creation may be more keenly experienced by all who open their total sense’s touch, sight, smell, sound.  As you begin the trail, be observant of your surroundings: you will be richer for it.

Admission to the Park

The site for the trail is the Prescott National Forest and there is a small ($2.00 per car) charge to help cover the cost of maintenance and improvements.  The Golden Age card and a number of other passes also cover the entry fee.

Arriving & finding the trail

As you walk from the parking lot into the area you find an asphalt paved path with a log curbing one side.  The curbing provides a reference line for a blind person to follow along with the cane.

Bridges to everywhere

There are a number of bridges along the path that provide access over the uneven terrain.

Displays on the trail

A number of displays are provided that tell the story of local forest dwellers.  The model of the subject can be felt by a blind individual to get a sensory picture of the subject being described.

A legacy of wilderness architecture

The site itself was once the location for the Groom Creek school.  The building continues to serve as a maintenance facility for the Forest Service and is the centerpiece for a picnic area, complete with tables and restroom.  When the weather is favorable in the Summer, the Sunrise Lions Club often hosts brunches for elderly individuals from local nursing homes.  The homes transport their clients to the site and Lion members provide the grub and do the cooking.

Get your ticket to the trail

If you decide to visit the trail, hopefully with someone who could not otherwise experience the sights, sounds and smells of the forest in their usual setting, it would be a good idea to contact the Forest Service at their Bradshaw Ranger District office (928?443?8000) to be sure the site is open.  A brochure describing the facility is also available from that office.