Vermont has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
These links were found through Internet search. I would love some first-hand information. With your help, we can share our knowledge with disabled people everywhere and also increase awareness of the need for more accessibility. Please e-mail me with your suggestions using the form in the sidebar.
Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests Phone 802-747-6700
Thundering Falls Trail Guide 900′ of boardwalk in the Appalachian Trail leading to the sixth tallest waterfall in Vermont. In Green Mountain National Forest near Killington.
Robert Frost Interpretive Trail The first 0.3 miles across a beaver pond boardwalk to the South Branch f the Middlebury River is accessible for wheelchairs. The 1.2 mile loop trail is an “easy walk” .
Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Phone 802-868-4781 Brochure Trails Brochure
This is flat country and these trails seem to be easy from the web descriptions. Be sure to check with the refuge to be sure they are suitable for you.
Old Railroad Passage Trail 3 miles round trip. “You’ll pass through Maquam Bog—home to rare and unique plant species such as rhodera, pitch pine and the state threatened Virginia chain fern. The trail ends at Maquam Bay, which provides habitat for waterfowl and other water birds.
Black Creek and Maquam Creek Nature Trails 2.5 miles round trip. “…you pass through fields that provide cover for small mammals and nesting habitat for birds, wooded lowland where you may see deer, beaver, leopard frogs, squirrels and rabbits, forest openings that provide habitat for woodcock, and wetlands providing habitat for waterfowl, reptiles, and amphibians—especially frogs.
Stephen J. Young Marsh Observation Platform and Trail 1.25 mile loop. A freshwater wetland
Discovery Trail 1mile loop. Trail goes “…past ponds, through fields and into the woods to the edge of the Maquam Bog. Walk along oak islands and boardwalks for an opportunity to see deer, red fox, coyote, songbirds and birds of prey.”
Vermont State Parks
Searchable map of Vermont State Parks. You can select amenities such as “trails” or “universal access” to narrow the search. There are links to each state park.
Vermont State Parks Hiking Trails This site lists the trails and gives maps for each state park. Length, estimated hiking time, trail difficulty and whether or not a trail is considered “kid-friendly” is given for each trail. Here is the same information on a printable PDF.
Nature Trails in Vermont State Parks Descriptions of six short interpretive nature trails. Accessibility is not addressed.
Accessibility in Vermont Sate Parks
Brighton State Park Phone 802-723-4360 Campground Map & Guide
? Northeast Kingdom Nature Trail 0.5 mile? This is a self-guided interpretive trail with 15 stations. Be sure to check first as the difficulty is not given.
Bog Trail near the visitor center is shown on the Campground Map & Guide as accessible. It is a short loop, length not given.
Groton State Forest Phone Nature center at 802-584-3827 or try 617-642-5740 Summer Trails Guide Map
Groton Nature Trail 0.6 mile. A self-guided nature trail through diverse woods. There are several other short, easy trails in Groton State Forest, which includes seven state parks. Check with the Nature Center for more information.
Waterbury Center State Park Phone 802-244-1226 They are closed in the winter.
Peninsula Nature Trail 0.5 mile said to be easy. Call first to be sure there are no obstacles.
“A new, universally accessible trail was constructed in 2010 that includes two accessible fishing platforms.” According to the Waterbury Record, “The 1,500-foot trail, which snakes along the Waterbury Reservoir shoreline, has been widened and covered with gravel to make it wheelchair-friendly for the first time.” I can not tell, from the website if these are two different trails or just the Peninsula Trail made accessible.
City of Lebanon Phone 603-448-5121
Riverfront Trail at Riverside Park Pavilion & Skatepark Trail length is not given.
Alana Cole Conservation Area has an easy 0.5 mile trail Map & Guide
“…on the banks of the Connecticut River. It is an out-and-back trail, with a river loop at the outer end, all in the woods. At the far end of the loop, there are nice views of the river and some log benches.
Town of Stowe 802-253-2705 “For more information on hiking in and around Stowe, contact us at 877-GO-STOWE for hiking maps and recommendations.”
Riverwalk 0.2 mile paved trail along the Little River. It is not listed as ADA, but certainly looks like it should be accessible. “Great views and easy terrain.”
Green Mountain Audubon Nature Center Trail Map Phone 802-434-3068
Sensory Trail 0.5? mile loop. Information on the internet about length and elevation vary widely and this trail does not appear on the trail map. Their office was closed when I called. Be sure to call in advance, Monday through Friday.
Hazen’s Notch – High Ponds Farm Phone 802-326-4799 Trail Map (winter)
Recreation at High Ponds Farm
Beaver Ponds Trail Distance not given. “The first section of the trail is almost completely flat from the parking area to the first beaver pond on the right. This pond is visible from the parking area. It is also a flat walk beyond this pond to the junction with the Window Rock Trail and for the next 100 meters to the wheel chair accessible bridge over Flood Brook.”
Montshire Museum of Science Phone 802-649-2200 Trails
Opened originally in Hanover NH, the Montshire Museum is now based in Norwich VT.
Meadow Walk 0.3 mile “a demonstration plot for native grasses, an enriched riverside environment for birds and other animals, and the solar-powered Meadow Sounds Kiosk.”
River Loop Trail 0.8 mile “…winds along the Connecticut River.”
Eshqua Bog Natural Area Nature Conservancy Phone 802-229-4425 or 802-884-8165
Handicap Accessible Boardwalk 460′ “Eshqua Bog is a botanical wonderland of cold-climate holdovers–small pockets of bog plant species and a two acre fen–from the post-glacial era 10,000 years ago. This preserve contains a diverse array of bog and fen plants: labrador tea, cotton grass, pitcher plants, showy lady’s slippers, larches and buckbean.”
Hike New England This marvelous, searchable website lists hikes in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island with information about difficulty, length, elevation gain, and features. There are maps and photos for many of the hikes. Using their Hike Finder, I did a search for Easy trails, 5 miles or less and came up with 51 trails! Be aware that Easy for them, might not be easy enough for you. Once you come up with a page for a sanctuary, park, forest, whatever, it would be wise to call for trail conditions.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Vermont.
The West River Trail Lower Section Map Map of Upper Section
This is a 36 mile rail-trail along the West River Valley. Description of the Lower Section from trailfinder, “The trail is flat, well drained, and some sections have been surfaced with stone dust. It is popular with runners, bikers (mountain or hybrid bike recommended), families, and those seeking a leisurely stroll.”
Trail Finder This wonderful site lets you plug in your parameters to come up with names and information on trails in Vermont and the Upper Valley of New Hampshire. I put in “easy” and “wheelchair accessible” and brought up 25 trails in Vermont! “Easy” and “nature and interpretive” brought up 24 trails, two in New Hampshire.
Upper Valley Trails Alliance This helpful searchable website lists trails by town. There are descriptions and links to maps.