ADA Accessible Trails
Access to Nature
53 Accessible Alliance
The focus of the 53 Accessible Alliance Charitable Fund is to make the outdoors in the greater Alliance area more accessible for people who are living with a disability, aging, or mothers with young children.
This project renovates the Creekside hiking trail at Beech Creek Gardens to make it accessible for wheelchairs and people living with mobility restrictions.
How it Started
53 Accessible Alliance was established in honor of Chad McClung by his wife Heidi. Chad was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in May of 2020. ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells which control our muscles. Chad has always been an outdoorsman and feels closest to God when spending time outside and immersed in nature.
Chad’s wife Heidi created the 53 Accessible Alliance Charitable Fund for him as a gift for his 53rd birthday. Chad and Heidi do not know how many more birthdays he will have but to celebrate his life, they began a journey to improve hiking trails making nature accessible not only for Chad but for thousands of others living with mobility disabilities now and into the future.
How it's Going
The Creekside hiking trail has been split into 3 Phases, Phase 1 was completed late
November 2022. Plans for Phase 2, which involves constructing a boardwalk, ramp and deck
will begin by early March 2023. The timeline for completion of Phase 3 is between March and
early June. Once all 3 Phases are completed, over half-mile of nature trail will be accessible by
wheelchair. This trail meanders from our Visitor Center, through a pine forest, around a pond,
will weave you along a slowly descending boardwalk overlooking a beautiful stream and finally
strolling you alongside Beech Creek itself. Visitors will love the sound of the stream, the birds
and animal life, flowers and trees. This is truly a gift for so many – Thank You Chad & Heidi
McClung and a special thank you to the Greater Alliance Foundation for supporting Heidi’s