NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- Everybody can use a stress reliever to decompress and level themselves out every once and a while and for many people that means heading out into nature.
An organization is adding a new twist to hiking trails and these special trails are popping up all over. ‘Grace Trails’ are designed to ease stress and have inspiring messages and questions written on signs throughout the entirety of the walking path.
The founder of ‘Grace Trails’ Anne Jolles, started the organization when she found herself having a moment of despair and saying, “I need to step into a state of Grace.” The word inspired the name for her organization as the name ‘Grace Trails’ is an acronym for Gratitude, Release, Acceptance, Challenge and Embrace.
“I started asking the five questions that flow from those words. And throughout my day and throughout the following months. And every time I asked the questions, I felt better. So the questions would sound like, even though life’s difficult, what can you be grateful for? How would I like to challenge myself to move in the direction of my choice?”, said Jolles.
The first ‘Grace Trail’ went up in Plymouth, Massachusetts near Jolles’s home.
“It actually went up when my son was in Afghanistan and he is home. He made it home. And I found that I wanted to create a trail that I could walk on to both, inspire myself, find my footing in the chaos and difficulties of having a child in the war,” said Jolles.
Jolles made a trail near her home in Plymouth and the trail ended up becoming a destinations for thousands to walk.
The West Woods Elementary School in Hamden was the first elementary school in the whole nation that put in a grace trail for their students, their staff and their community.
For those interested in having a ‘Grace Trail’ built in their town they can contact Jolles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at gracetrail.com. Jolles can provide information on how one can license a trail in their location.