16 October 1999
(Reprinted with the permission of the Guide Editor)

Blazing the Sabbath Trail

See PDF copy


By: Raymond Charles, Katrina LeBrun, Meredith Runnals, and Tyler Walker from the  Estabrook SDA School, West Lebanon, New Hampshire.


WHOA!" Ben shouted as his glove disappeared into the wood chipper. Ben had been feeding wood into the chipper, and it yanked him forward and grabbed his glove. Thankfully, he pulled his hand free just in time. Chalk up another experience for the "trailblazers" on the Sabbath Trail.


Construction zone

Our school group started working on the Sabbath Trail in September of 1995. It was hard work, but fun (it got us out of school). We had to haul sand and wood chips with wheelbarrows and wagons; dig up rocks; clear shrubbery; and help build bridges.

Digging up the rocks was the best fun. We would see a tiny piece of rock sticking up out of the ground, then go to dig it up, and it would be huge! One time we spent about three hours trying to dig up one rock. We used sledge hammers, crowbars, jackhammers, other small rocks, and our hands. Finally, we used the jackhammer to get the top off the rock, and then covered the rest with dirt!

Pastor Merlin Knowles spent long, hard days working on the trail, trying to make it look really great. Pastor Knowles said that he thought it would take three days to create the trail, but it ended up taking three years!

When we had ice storms in 1998, it was really depressing, because we had to do a lot of things over. A lot of trees had fallen down, so we had to clear them out. One time when we were pushing over a leaning tree it almost fell on one of the workers. Fortunately he was paying attention and was able to move out of the way.

We also had to put down more sand and wood chips. Pastor Knowles said he got a little worried about using so many chips, but said that it was used for a good cause (we used the fallen trees for chips).

In September of 1998 the Sabbath Trail was finally finished. We're glad many schools came by to help, or it still might not be finished!

Dedicated to God

On September 12, 1998, the trail was dedicated. The dedication was awesome: the program lasted all day! We had a church service, a potluck, and an official ribbon cutting by Pastor and Mrs. Knowles. A news crew televised the ceremony. After the cutting of the ribbon, everyone was given a grand tour of the Sabbath Trail.

Where is it?

You can find the Sabbath Trail in Washington, New Hampshire, at the site of the first Seventh-day Adventist church. The trail is about one mile long, consisting of 31 sites. The sites each have a granite slab upon which is carved a biblical reason for keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. The sites tell people about the Sabbath and will hopefully draw them to Christ. We think the thirty-first site is the best. It has islands of pure white rocks, flower beds, and a latticework arch with vines and flowers growing up it. The trail is really worth seeing.