News: Trail Access Project has received a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation of $21,300 toward our Adaptive Hiking Trails Project. The grant, which was supported by the National Park Service and Move United, will produce videos of adaptive hikers collecting trail accessibility info on backcountry trails in Rocky Mountain National Park in August, 2021. The videos will demonstrate how you can quickly measure trail accessibility characteristics for your contributions of trails to the Adaptive Hiking Project. Thanks to the Reeve Foundation for investing in this project in support of people with paralysis.
What is Adaptive Hiking?
Adaptive hiking is the enjoyment of trails by people with disabilities through improvising techniques. Techniques include personal assistance and/or adaptive equipment such as manual wheelchairs, powerchairs, handcycles, rollators, walkers, canes, crutches, or white canes--whatever works best for us individually to enjoy being outdoors on a trail. That's what Trail Access Project is all about.
Adaptive Hiking Trails
Adaptive hiking trails are any hiking trails that have characteristics that allow individuals with a physical disability to enjoy them. These characteristics relate to grade, cross slope (sideways inclination of the surface), surface firmness, and any obstacles, such as rocks, roots, or steps. Adaptive hiking trails may be natural-surface pedestrian paths, multi-use greenways, paved bike paths, remote backcountry trails, or what are typically called "wheelchair accessible trails".
In our Adaptive Hiking Trails project we want to provide trail characteristics related to accessibility so that you can decide for yourself whether a trail is suitable for your personal strengths, interests, and safety. We especially want to find backcountry trails, those that take us further away from the crowds.
Accessibility of a trail is very personal because each of us have different strengths and adaptive equipment. We don't rely on terms like "accessible", "ADA", or "Wheelchair accessible" trail because what is accessible to you may not be accessible to me. For example, there are many kinds of wheelchairs.