Disabled people will have a new place to exercise when the county completes 10 stations for them along the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail.
The project also will include flower beds accessible to the disabled, says park ranger Bruce Miller.
The county is taking bids for laying the asphalt for the fitness stations next week, says Miller. Once the asphalt is down, the stations can be put in and the flower beds added. Materials for the stations have already been donated.
Pictures of a similar exercise trail at Essex Community College were used as a guide during construction, said Doug Giles, training supervisor for the county Office of Manpower's Arundel Team, which did the work.
For example, one station, called a forward wide-grip run, includes four posts about eight feet apart, with rails on either side. A disabled person could pull a wheelchair between the poles, extend their arms and pull themselves throughto the end.
Another station, called the lifting run warm-up game,consists of a bar set between two poles. The poles, somewhat like chin-up bars, will be set low enough for someone to pull a wheelchair underneath the
poles. By using their arms, an individual could thendo a body pull-up, says Giles.
The flower beds would be raised off the ground about 2 1/2 feet, and at arm's length from the trail, sodisabled people could touch flowers on both sides of the beds, Miller adds.
The new fitness course will be installed in about a month,after the asphalt has been laid, says Giles.
The B & A Trail Park, one of the county's major hiking trails, is located along the old beds of the Baltimore and Annapolis railroad.
The trail was originally named the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail by the Severna Park Jaycees, who lobbied in the 1970s to have the railroad right of way converted to a park.
The county began buying the railroad right of way in 1978, using $1.3 million in Program Open Space money. It also added "park" to the trail's name.
Twelve years later, in October 1990, the trail opened.
"It's an excellent trail," he says. "As far as I know, there's nothing else like it in the county."