Typical trail obstacles
Obstacles are trail features or conditions that impede or make hiking progress difficult or unpleasant. What is an obstacle depends on personal abilities and adaptive equipment being used. What is an obstacle for me may not be an obstacle for you. Listed below are typical obstacles found in trails. Some obstacles are temporary, such as fallen limbs. You probably have your favorite set of obstacles.
Erosion control bars serve as obstacles (Glacier National Park, Montana)
Protruding rocks may be an obstacle as a tripping hazard or a barrier for wheelchair. (Zion National Park, Utah)
High cross slope is difficult to navigate for those with unsure footing or wheelchairs. (Lassen Volcanic National Park, California)
Narrow bridge is impossible for a wheelchair and dangerous for someone who relies on a cane. (Lassen Volcanic National Park, California)
Narrow bridge (Glacier National Park, Montana)
A muddy trail is difficult for someone who has difficulty walking, relies on a cane or crutch, or uses a wheelchair. Horse tracks through mud create an uneven surface. (Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia)
Confusing signage may lead someone into a hazardous situation like this steep "accessible" route. (Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada)
Narrow platform on a crowded trail (Glacier National Park, Montana)
Protruding screws on boardwalk are a tripping hazard and can puncture wheelchair tires.
A narrow trail may end a hike for someone needing a wide trail tread as with a wheelchair.(Glacier National Park, Montana)
Protruding roots above 2 inches in height above the trail surface are a a tripping hazard and are difficult for wheelchairs to get over. (Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Nevada)
Stairs will be an obstacle for most adaptive hikers. (Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Tennessee)
Steep grades may be an obstacle either going up or coming down. (Olympic National Park, Washington)
Steps can be an obstacle for many adaptive hikers. (Glacier National Park, Montana)
Unmaintained trails create obstacles including increased cross slope, exposed roots, erosion channels, and rocks. (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming)
Upitty outhouse in a state park, not for everyone. (Cloudland Canyon State Park, Georgia)
Woodchip trail surfaces are soft and create difficult walking and rolling conditions. (Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia)
A drainage grate can devour wheelchair castor wheels and pitch someone out on their nose (Zion National Park, Utah).
Plants with thorns are hazards and can end your hike in unconvenient locations if they puncture pneumatic tires on your adaptive hiking equipment. This example is Russian thistle (classic tumbleweed) prolific across the drier areas of the American West. (Zion National Park, Utah)