Printable VersionAccessible Hiking Trails

Reference Guides
Hiking Trail Scenery
  • Beneficial Designs: Trail Explorer
    A prototype database for locating trails. Beneficial Designs, an engineering and design firm specializing in technologies that enhance access for people of all abilities, has developed assessment technologies that will provide building standards for accessible routes, and allow outdoor trail users to determine the routes they are interested in and are able to navigate successfully.
  • The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability Trail Assessment
    People select hiking trails based on their interest, abilities, and skills. Some trails have guidebooks or other types of literature such as brochures giving the user information on the local flora and fauna, general direction and general length. Though helpful, this information is not usually adequate for a user to make decisions on whether or not the trail is appropriate for their needs.

    With this in mind, the trail assessment process was designed. It provides the user with objective information to determine the appropriateness of the trail.

  • U.S National Park Service
    The results of a search on the words "accessible trails".  Provides a link to all National Parks that include information on accessible trails on their website.
  • Universal Access to Outdoor EnvironmentsWheelchair hike in the snow
    Beneficial Designs, Inc. In order for research to progress on a scientific and provable basis, standard devices and measurement methods are needed that can provide objective, repeatable, and accurate measurements. Beneficial Designs has developed assessment technologies that will improve rehabilitation treatments for hand injuries, provide building standards for accessible routes, and allow outdoor trail users to determine the routes they are interested in and are able to navigate successfully.
Accessible Hiking Trails
Two Hikers

Arkansas

  • Koen Forest Trail
    This is one of several trails in Newton County, located in the Ozark Mountains. This trail is two miles North of Jasper, West of Highway 7. It is a short, level trail which is handicapped accessible. Some of the unique varieties of trees and shrubs are signed.

California

  • Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite has many facilities accessible for people with physical disabilities. Ask for the Accessibility Coordinator to answer questions not covered here. The park designates facilities as accessible if they comply with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS). The Golden Access Passport waives entrance fees for citizens or permanent U.S. residents who have been medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled and, as a result, are eligible to receive benefits under federal law. The Passport admits the permit holder and passengers in one private non-commercial vehicle. Available free at park visitor centers and information stations.

Colorado

  • Florissant Fossil Bed Trails
    Fossil bearing shale... petrified redwood outcroppings and stumps. Areas are accessible and Braille guidebooks are available. Colorado is one of the few states who designate their trails as accessible to the blind.

District of Columbia 

  • Washington, D.C. Area Rail-Trails
    The Washington / Baltimore Area has several great Rail-to-Trail Parks. Trails such as the W&OD and CCT provide hours of outdoor activities for the whole family. You can obtain maps and detailed information from this site. A link to other Mid-Atlantic Rail-Trails is available. Many Rail-Trails provide a great opportunity for the disAbled to enjoy hiking in the outdoors. Many Rail-Trails provide spectacular views from trestles high above the trees.

Florida

  • Everglades National Park Hiking Trails
    These trails are on the coast, through the Everglades, and tropical forests. A large number are accessible, some of them have maps that can be downloaded.

Georgia

disabled hiker
  • Georgia Trails
    Nice web site that provides the ability to search trails with different options to include length and accessibility. Unfortunately, the last time we used the parameters of all and handicapped only one trail was found. Perhaps the state will see to expanding that number in the near future. If not the state, perhaps an Eagle candidate project or unit Community Service Project. Keep us posted on the progress.
  • Mountain Magazine
    Lists barrier free access trails and accessible fishing platforms in North Carolina and Georgia.

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management
    DEM's Universal Access Program is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities. Accessibility to our State Parks is achieved through site improvements, specialized adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs. This site provides you with the ability to search for accessible Hiking, Cycling, Camping, Picnic, Scenic Vistas, Beaches, Swimming, Fishing and Boating facilities that are wheelchair accessible.

    Editor Comment: Not only is this site worth a visit to view the Massachusetts facilities, it is also a site with features that set an example for other states to follow.

Minnesota

New Mexico

  • Wheelchair & Friends Trail to the Past
    44 miles North of Silver City, New Mexico at the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Trail and visitor center is handicapped accessible (viewing of pictographs). Steep, winding cliff dwellings trail is not considered accessible.

New York

Texas

  • Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Trails accessible by Wheelchair. They are in the process of gathering all of the information so that accessible trails can be easily located on their site.

Virginia

  • Walker with friends Overmountain Victory Historic Trail - Virginia Creeper Trail
    Abingdon to North Carolina Line. Asphalt and cinders, handicapped and wheel chair accessible, shuttle service available, highway accessible at Abingdon and Damascus. Suitable for the average walker from teens to 70's. A complete trail log, trail history and downloadable maps can be found at this site.

 
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This page was last edited 11/15/09