What we do
The Trail Access Project is a program of the Accessible Trails Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We strive to help those with physical or intellectual disabilities have safer, more meaningful outdoor experiences in public lands and parks. Our goal is to facilitate the removal of barriers to recreational trail use by:
An important part of our mission is to identify “low-hanging fruit”, existing facilities that could be easily modified to meet U.S. Access Board (ADA) standards for recreational facilities, propose those improvements to the park managers, and help identify funding sources for such projects. This effort could quickly increase accessiblilty in parks.
Why we do it
Some parks have wonderful facilities that most users would consider accessible; however, others need to improve upon the quality of experience available to visitors with disabilities. A disabled person, along with their family and friends, is commonly restricted to a short, token, paved sidewalk near a crowded visitor center. The U.S. National Park Service website for one park describes 58 miles of mostly-flat hiking trails but states that those with disabilities can enjoy the park from their cars. The most visited national park in the U.S. boasts of 800 miles of hiking trails with 0.5 mile as "ADA accessible". Existing “accessible” trails frequently provide a minimal, less meaningful, and sometimes dangerous experience compared with those provided to an able-bodied person. Park managers sincerely want to change that..
The Accessible Trails Foundation was incorporated to provide actionable information to both park managers and trail users to enable more inclusive, meaningful exploration of America's extraordinary natural places.
Dangerous access to the Pa'rus Trail, Zion National Park