With summer in full swing, that means it’s time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair, finding accessible outdoor activities and hiking trails can be key to spending time outside. Thankfully, there are a multitude of accessible trails throughout the U.S. designed with smooth, sturdy surfaces and minimal inclines for wheelchair users and others with mobility disabilities.
No matter which of these wheelchair-accessible hiking trails you choose, you’ll find that each one offers you and your family a memorable outdoor experience. From Upstate New York to the Gulf Coast, here are five must-visit wheelchair-accessible trails.
Handsome Pond Trail is located inside International Paper John Dillon Park in the Adirondacks, about 17 miles south of Tupper Lake, New York. This wheelchair-accessible trail runs 5 miles round trip and is mostly graveled, but also includes wooden boardwalks throughout. This trail can take around 2.5 hours to complete, so be sure to bring water and check the weather before heading out. There are beautiful water viewing areas along the way as well as accessible restrooms. Nine wheelchair-accessible, wooded, 3-sided lean-to shelters are free to use, but you’ll need to call ahead at 518-637-5042 to reserve your spot.
The Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook Trail is located in Marquette, Michigan. This trail is a must-do when visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Made of dirt and small gravel, the trail is fairly flat and smooth overall, with a few steep spots still accessible for wheelchair users. About halfway through this trail, you’ll come to an overlook section with breathtaking views of Lake Superior. And all along the mile-long path, you’ll find signage describing the surrounding plants, wildlife, and trees. These signs make the journey even more enjoyable, allowing you to learn about the area while you roll alongside the shores of Lake Superior.