Editor's Note: This is the tenth post in our ABCs of Accessible Trails series, which details the best accessible trails in State and National Parks across the country. Take a look at our previous posts for more: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississipi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska
The America the Beautiful Pass, otherwise known as the The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, is a free lifetime pass available to US citizens or permanent residents of the United States that have been medically determined to have a permanent disability. Passes can be obtained via phone, online, or in person at any of these recreation sites.
Great Basin National Park
"From the 13,000-foot summit of Wheeler Peak, to the sage-covered foothills, Great Basin National Park is a place to sample the stunning diversity of the larger Great Basin region. Come and partake of the solitude of the wilderness, walk among ancient bristlecone pines, bask in the darkest of night skies, and explore mysterious subterranean passages. There's a whole lot more than just desert here!"
Check out the Island Forest Trail and Lehman Caves tours. The Island Trail (0.2 miles long and constructed to meet wheelchair accessibility standards) winds through mixed conifer and aspen communities. In Lehman Caves, brief tours of the first room of the cave, the Gothic Palace, are available for those unable to negotiate the stairs and narrow passageways of the tour route.
Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest
"The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's spectacular 6.3 million acres makes it the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. Located in Nevada and a small portion of eastern California, the Forest offers year-round recreation of all types."
Check out the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop Trail! This 1.3 mile trail will travel through the meadow, then into forest, then back into the meadow, with views down the mountain and over the Tahoe Lake basin. There are plenty of wildflowers to be seen, and the interpretive signs along the way will point out key features of the habitats here, keeping visitors interested in the surrounding ecosystem.
Wetlands Nature Preserve
"The Wetlands Nature Preserve is home to hundreds of species of animals. The Preserve includes ponds, paved ADA accessible trails, restrooms, interpretive wayside exhibits, and a network of connecting trails and shady lanes to provide hours of nature exploration."
The majority of the Wetlands Nature Preserve trails are paved and accessible! Checkout the complete trail map here!
"With over 1,200 acres of permanently protected forest, open fields of wild blueberry and heather, and mysterious wetlands, Crotched Mountain is a place of unusual beauty."
"As the longest accessible trails in a mountainside environment in the United States, the Gregg and Dutton Brook trails combine unique hardpack pathways, boardwalks, moderate grades, switchbacks, and rest stops to create a natural, yet accessible, hiking experience for people of all abilities."
Odiorne Point State Park
"At Odiorne Point State Park picnickers can enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and rocky shore, and explorers can uncover evidence of past military occupation. An extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park. The Seacoast Science Center which is located in the park, has exhibits relating to the natural and human history of Odiorne and the seacoast area "
Odiorne Point State Park features many areas to explore for those of all abilities including beaches, marshes, picnic areas, and flat grassy trails!
"Rails-to-Trails Conservancy transforms unused rail corridors into vibrant public places—ensuring a better future for America made possible by trails and the connections they inspire."
In New Hampshire alone, there 539 miles of rail trails to explore, much of which is accessible! Browse some of these trail options here.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
"The 70-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey's most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding . . . This linear park is also a valuable wildlife corridor connecting fields and forests. A recent bird survey conducted in the park revealed 160 species of birds, almost 90 of which nested in the park."
Explore the Main Canal Trail, which runs 34 miles in length, and the Feeder Canal Trail at 31.5 miles! Both are ADA accessible!
Brendan T. Byrne State Forest
"The park is made up of 34,725 acres of pine, oak, and cedar forest stretching through parts of Ocean and Burlington Counties . . . 93% of the land within Brendan Byrne State Forest is open for hunting and trapping . . . There are over 25 miles of marked trails throughout the forest."
Checkout the wheelchair accessible Cranberry Trail! It's a 3 mile (one way) stroll through the landscape of pine trees, cedar swamps, and ending at Pakim Pond.