In a heartwarming celebration attended by nearly 100 people, the MWV (Mount Washington Valley) Trails Association's North Conway Rec Path was officially inaugurated at the northern end of the 2.9-mile paved recreational route. The event saw the gathering of individuals who had dedicated their efforts to bringing this project to life, including the visionary behind it, 90-year-old retired SAU 9 psychologist Steve Swenson. Swenson, who originally conceived the idea over two decades ago, expressed his joy at seeing the project come to fruition, highlighting the teamwork and dedication of everyone involved.
The project, with a total cost of $3.6 million, received funding from various sources, including the New Hampshire Community Development Tax Authority ($240,000), the Connie Davis Watson Foundation ($300,000), the Ham Foundation ($300,000), the Gibson/Woodbury Charitable Foundation ($200,000), The Berry Companies River Run ($100,000), and thousands of dollars from businesses, individuals, and fundraising events such as the "Rock the Rec" concerts and Mountain Meisters' "pay-to-run" fundraisers, held at Cranmore Mountain.
Speakers at the ceremony included capital campaign co-chairs Ted and Sharon Wroblewski, who praised the project's significance. Conway Selectman John Colbath represented board chair Mary Carey Seavey and the board, expressing his support for this community-enhancing endeavor. Ben Wilcox, president and general manager of Cranmore Mountain Resort, highlighted how the Rec Path opens up opportunities for people of all abilities and called Cranmore Mountain Resort "Conway's park."
Furthermore, the Rec Path has three access points: Cranmore, Thompson Road, and Hemlock Lane, making it easily accessible for the community. The path is not only a testament to the community's shared values but also a beautiful and safe space for people to enjoy exercise and scenic beauty. The event showcased how a dedicated community can come together to create a healthy and vibrant space for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.