Forests are for everyone, and our Three Senses Trail was built back in 1976 as a special place for disabled visitors. This trail encourages all visitors to experience the forest via smell, touch and sound. It became known as the “braille trail,” because this was the best technology at the time for the visually impaired.

Our 40-year-old trail is in sad need of revival, but we have great news! The Arnold Lions Club is sponsoring a project to rebuild and upgrade the Three Senses Trail and make the forest experience more meaningful for everyone.

Fundraising is underway – and you can help!

The full cost of the project is estimated at $225,000. A matching fund grant of $97,000 has already been awarded by the Lions Clubs International Foundation. The Calaveras Community Foundation (CCF) awarded a grant of $9,836 to be used specifically for the touching garden. The CCF is also providing administrative assistance. Also supporting the effort are the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Calaveras Big Trees Association and Lions District 4-A1.Want to help? For information, please contact Rod Smith at:

It’s a big, exciting project.

DPR is reaching out to all visitors, including the disabled and disadvantaged, and this project will enhance the experience for everyone. The plan includes:

• New access trail from the main park trail, and new connection to the creek overlook.
• Rebuilt trail meeting all ADA standards.
• New benches where visitors can sit and listen to the sounds of the forest.
• Twenty sensory stations where visitors can experience the sounds, feel the plants and trees and smell the rich aromas of the forest.
• All sensory stations will include braille descriptions plus audio presentations using phone or tablet apps.
• New “touching garden” where visitors can feel and smell the different plants of the forest.

Story by Rod Smith – Photo by Claudia Beymer