Portion of Red Maple Swamp Trail Could Open By Summer Season

EASTHAM –Cape Cod National Seashore officials provided an update last week on the project to restore the Red Maple Swamp Trail.

In 2010, the seashore was forced to close the 1.5 mile trail because of safety concerns and structural deterioration.

To make the necessary repairs, they were looking at a price tag of $1.5 million because of environmental and access issues.

Jim Dunphy, the Facility Manager for Fire Island National Seashore, had similar issues at his location and was able to lend his assistance.

Last year, Dunphy met with the Cape Cod National Seashore’s maintenance crew and came up with the idea to tackle the Red Maple Swamp Trail project in phases.

“It’s more doable, it’s easier to do it in house, costs less and you can really add increments and phases as you have the money and the focus to do it,” said Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent George Price.

Dunphy said that zeroing in parts of the trail, instead of it as a whole, is more economical.

“I think they were overwhelmed here at Cape Cod with the $1.5 million price tag, this helped take a step back and look at it in small pieces, and I think it will be a huge success,” said Dunphy.

The Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore raised $25,000 last year to get the project off the ground.

The Seashore also received $500,000 from the National Park Service to contribute to the trail work.

Price said that they hope to get a part of the trail done that would be a direct connection between the Fort Hill area and the Hemmingway Landing.

All of the repairs for the trail could be completed in about 18 months.

But Price adds that about a mile of the trail could be open in time for the summer season.

The Seashore will then plan to use the same process to make repairs to the White Cedar Swamp Trail in Wellfleet.

The Red Maple Swamp Trail is one of the first trails put into the seashore when it opened in the early 1960’s.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS and MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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