FARMINGTON – The new Tree of Life Trail on Franklin Memorial Hospital’s campus is a scenic, peaceful retreat, open to everyone.

Work began in June to create the trail to replace the 30-year-old, worn-out and underused Fit Trail, which had paths and instructions for more than a dozen exercise stations.

“The new trail is easier to use and will appeal to more people,” said Don Garrison, chief of facilities management. “The trail is made up of crushed stone for easy access for strollers and bikes, and features picnic tables as well as two bridges that were built with the assistance of a volunteer from Taylor Construction.

The attractive, rolling one-mile trail winds among pine trees, ferns and wildflowers, and it’s not unusual to see wildlife. According to Garrison, workers on the project have sighted deer, porcupines, snakes and frogs.

Joshua Doscinski, hospital groundskeeper, with assistance from a crew of summer maintenance helpers and volunteers, recently completed the first phase of the project, but the trail will continue to evolve. “We’ll be adding benches, signage, more trails and possibly a small pond as time goes on,” said Garrison.

The trail offers something different for everyone, but a favorite activity is walking. Employees are using the trail during breaks, and it is a good location for an informal meeting.

“Anyone is welcome to use and enjoy the Tree of Life Trail, not just our employees,” said Garrison. “But please do remember to properly dispose of your trash and pick up after your pet.”

The public can access the entrance to the trail from the walkway between the hospital and the Mt. Blue Health Center. Parking is available in front of the hospital or next to the health center.

For more information contact the Community Relations Office at 779-2555.

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