Community members can now use a multitude of newly renovated trails in Cairns Woods Park thanks to Ellsworth Trails -- a group of volunteers interested in seeing more recreation opportunities in the area.
“We are hearing so many positive comments about the project,” group member Kim Beebe said. “Residents can’t believe the park was here and hidden for all these years.”
Cairns Woods Park had its first dedication in 1949 with more than 500 attendees. Over time, the park was forgotten and all the trails became overgrown with rotted sign markers.
In 2020, Ellsworth Trails started making plans to restore the area and later without a budget or funding, they got to work.
“When we first explored the woods the wide path leading in, which is mainly used by loggers, was the only path you could make out,” Beebe said. “We had the help of a volunteer who does trail work with the DNR. He helped us map out the overgrown trails using GPS.”
Group members, high school students, a local Boy Scout Troop and other volunteers used the map as a guide to manually clear 3- to 4-foot-wide trails throughout the 34-acre property.
Trail markers and benches followed shortly after clearing the trails.
A grand opening ceremony was held Oct. 7 to celebrate the group’s achievements and show local residents the restorations.
“We had a great group of community members and families take part in the ribbon-cutting and spend time exploring the trails,” Beebe said. “The Ellsworth High School marching band performed at the dedication, just like they did back in 1949. That was exciting.”
Ellsworth Trails will continue to restore the park by investing in a trailhead kiosk, more parking and a rustic open-air classroom in the near future.