Alabama 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 to the right.
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge This refuge lies in Mississippi and Alabama
The Oak Grove Birding Trail is just off Bayou Heron Road, south of the headquarters building. Here is a description and photographs from MathProfHiker’s Hiking Blog, which states the trail is “0.5 miles flat and easy miles.” The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s website describes the habitat as “maritime, mixed hardwood forest intermingled with pines that slope down towards the marshes that border the upper reaches of Bayou Heron. ”
The Escatawpa Trail system is part boardwalk and part gravel. 3 options are available, including a boardwalk/gravel loop that is “fully accessible for visitors”. Several benches are available along the trail as well as an overlook at the Escatawpa River. Mathprofhiker’s Hiking Blog suggests you hike it in the dry season lest you end up wading as he did. Here is a description from Travels with Emma, another useful blog.
Brochure & Map Phone 228-475-0765
Here is the Website for the National Forests in Alabama. There is contact information for the various Forest managers, but accessibility is not mentioned in the site.
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Alabama State Parks Some trails in the State Parks are described as “easy” or “family oriented”, but since those might include trails with obstacles such as fallen logs, major tree roots, rocks, etc.. I am not including them here.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab does not have nature trails, but sounds like a great place to learn about habitats in this region.
There is a 10,000 sq foot exhibit hall and a “Living Marsh Boardwalk” The lab is handicapped accessible. Entry fee for an adult is $10
Gulf State Park The Park has two miles of white sand beaches. A number of the trails here are “easy”, but maybe not enough. Call to find out.
Bear Creek is described in the web site as: “… a unique trail because it used to be an old paved road heading to Orange Beach. Since it is paved, this trail is the most accessible to the handicapped and campers with small children in strollers.”
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail paved “Seven trails among six distinct ecosystems make up more than 15 miles of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex through Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama and the Gulf State Park.” “The trails run along marshes, secondary sand dunes, swamps, over creeks.”
Phone 251-948-7275 Trail Map
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Huntsville Botanical Gardens The Garden “boasts a picture perfect aquatic garden, a spectacular wildflower and nature trail and numerous specialty gardens and plant collections. They have the nation’s largest seasonal butterfly house and eight specialized gardens aimed toward the younger set.”
Although their site does not specifically say the trails are wheelchair accessible, they do say “Wheelchairs and strollers are available through the Visitor Center. For visitors with limited mobility, a shuttle is usually available April through October. For reservations, call 256-830-4447 ext. 221.” They have a nature center/butterfly house and a nature trail.
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The Audubon Bird Sanctuary, on Dauphin Island, has “…164 acres of maritime forest, marshes, dunes, a lake, swamp and beach. Multiple walking trails, some handicapped accessible, allow the avid birder miles of habitat for spotting neo-tropical migrants.” Call Phone: 251–861-3607 for information.
Camp ASCCA is a camp for the disabled affiliated with Easter Seals.
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