By Lucy Wyndham
Enjoying Nature: Outdoor Activities for People with Limited Mobility
When people envision a trip to Massachusetts, they think of the stunning outdoor scenery on offer—like the oceanfront restaurants in Boston and the many places to hike amongst the beautiful trees. For people who have limited mobility, it can be difficult to picture these types of outdoor adventure when traveling or visiting other cities. When it comes to enjoying the outdoors in particular, the fact is that you can’t guarantee that everywhere will be entirely wheelchair-friendly.
Fortunately, there is actually a variety of outdoor activities for disabled individuals that don’t require much preparation or prior knowledge. These activities can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their level of ability, which can make visiting Massachusetts even better. Next time you are visiting Massachusetts, try out some of these wheelchair-friendly activities to help you enjoy the great outdoors:
Spend an Afternoon Wheelchair Hiking
One of the best parts about visiting Massachusetts is having the opportunity to go hiking in one of the beautiful state parks or even along the Appalachian Trail. In many cases, State parks will have wheelchair accessible trails available for all visitors. These trails typically will be wider in size and have smoother grades.
The main obstacle of wheelchair hiking for people who are mobility-challenged is the fear of the unknown. Be sure to research the trail before setting out on the hike to prevent any feelings of anxiety that may arise when you get there. Nowadays, most parks and even most hiking trails will have a detailed website or online reviews that can instantly tell you if the area is accessible.
Enjoy a Weekend Camping with Friends
Another outdoor activity in Massachusetts that can be enjoyed by everybody, no matter your level of mobility, is camping. Making camping accessible is an entirely feasible process once you have the right tools and campsite selected. In Massachusetts and many other areas of the United States, campgrounds will have accessible campsites that can be reserved in advance.
Just like researching trails for wheelchair hiking, it is also a good idea to visit a campground website to view pictures and maps of the available amenities and navigation of the property. If you are mobility-challenged, you will not want to choose a campsite that is known for particularly rocky terrain or excessive amounts of steep hills.
Simply asking a campground whether or not you will be able to get around the site in a wheelchair will allow you to know beforehand if the area can accommodate your needs. It is a camp manager’s duty to answer all of your questions and, where possible, to accommodate your requests. While not all campgrounds will have restrooms with accessible shower stalls or toilets, you can at least seek out the information prior to your trip so that you do not face any difficult situations upon arrival.
In order to discover other outdoor adventures that are easily accessible, people who are mobility-challenged can rest assured that Massachusetts has plenty on offer, Including Wiltshire hiking and camping.