Oregon 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 to have some first-hand recommendations. 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.
Accessible Adventures in the Pacific Northwest Videos The US Forest Service has produced a series of videos (33 as of August 2016) narrated by John Williams. These five to six minute videos visit National Forests and Scenic Byways in Washington and Oregon, letting you see just how accessible (or not) many of these wonderful places are.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Map Video of Accessible Adventures phone (541) 308-1700
Catherine Creek Trail #4400 is a one mile paved trail “with great views of the Columbia River on the south side of the county road. …….. Some individuals with disabilities may need assistance on the Catherine Creek Trail.” Here is a description from OregonHikers.org. This is part of the Burdoin/Coyote Wall/Catherine Creek Recreation Area Day hiking trails
St. Cloud Trail #4410 is a “Short loop through an old apple orchard. Interpretive signs explain the historical importance of the area.”
Sandy River Delta Trail #4417 is a 1.1 mile compact gravel trail to the Sandy River Confluence bird blind site. Map
Balfour-Klickitat Trail #4414 0.7 miles. “….offers unique views of the Columbia and the Klickitat rivers as well as wildflower and birdwatching opportunities.” The trail is “paved and accessible with a 0-15% gradient. Most of the trail is ADA accessible; some people with disabilities may need assistance.” Described by OregonHikers.org.
Sams Walker Trail #4402 a 1.1 mile loop. “…good views of the Oregon side of the Gorge and picnic tables at the viewpoint. It is 3 feet wide and surfaced with crushed gravel.” Described by OregonHikers.org
Crater Lake National Park – Most of the park’s 183,000 acres are in the backcountry, and are generally inaccessible to visitors with mobility impairments. However, several front-country trails are fully accessible, and others have portions that may be negotiable with assistance.
There is an accessible concrete walkway at the main viewing area for Crater Lake. Another viewing area, the Watchman Overlook, has a ramp to its deck. We didn’t get to them, but there are three short trails in the forest described as “Accessible to wheelchair users with assistance”. These are The Pinnacles, Godfrey Glen, and the first 3/4 of the 2.2 mile Plaikni Falls trail.
Hell’s Canyon Overlook – We drove to the Hell’s Canyon Overlook this fall. From the wheelchair accessible overlook you look east across the Snake River towards Idaho. There are accessible toilets.
Siuslaw National Forest phone 541-750-7000 Accessible trails and viewing platforms
Oregon Dunes Loop Trail #1334 The first 1/2 mile of this trail is paved and goes to a viewing area and several picnic sites.
Sutton Trails #1321 Map This includes the Holman Vista Trail #1326 (accessible to the viewing deck) and Darlingtonia Trail #1320, a boardwalk across a bog with carnivorous plants.
Willamette National Forest phone 541-225-6300
Walton Ranch Interpretive Trail #4170 1/4 mile fine gravel surface with an elevation gain of 100′. “The trail crosses Trout Creek and ends at two viewing platforms. The first platform provides a view of the Walton Ranch site and wildlife habitat area. The second platform provides a better view of the west end of the meadow, where elk concentrate during winter months.”
Accessible Adventures: McKenzie Pass National Scenic Byway on the Willamette National Forest is a video on YouTube
Alderwood State Wayside phone 541-937-1173
This 76 acre park has a short trail along the Tom river.
Banks-Vernonia State Trail phone 503-324-0606 or 800-551-6949 About 26 miles west of Portland, this 21 mile rail trail is a “…tree-lined, easy-grade pathway [which] conducts you through sun-dappled glades and across swift, clear streams, filling your nose with wildflower scents and your ears with the songs of birds.”
Bridal Veil Falls State Scenic Viewpoint phone 503-695-2261
Upper Interpretive Loop Trail is 1/2 mile and “… takes visitors around the precipice of the cliffs of the Gorge”. “The trail is fenced beautifully with logged beams and wire to protect visitors along the viewpoint while maximizing every vantage point of the magnificent view of the Gorge.”
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail Bike Map phone 541-387-4010 or 503-695-2261
Bridge of the Gods Trailhead The trail is ADA compliant for three miles before coming to a staircase with bikewheel grooves.
Tooth Rock Trailhead The trail going east from the trailhead is ADA compliant for one mile.
OC and E Woods Line State Trail phone 541-883-5558 Brochure
This is a 109 mile, rail-to-trail conversion is open to all non-motorized recreation from Klamath Falls , east to Bly and north to Sycan Marsh. Be sure to call ahead for up-to-date information on trail conditions and to be sure the section you are interested in is appropriate for you. Currently (November, 2015) the Sprague River Bridge is closed to all traffic, even pedestrian.
Oregon State Parks possibilities Oregon State Parks uses “symbols to represent major park features & activities. Blue icons mean some/all are ADA accessible.” The following parks and recreation areas display the hiker symbol in blue on their website, but there are no descriptions of any accessible trails in the parks’ descriptions , brochures or maps. You might try calling the parks for clarification.
Collier Memorial State Park phone 541-783-2471
Crissey Field State Recreation Site phone 541-469-0224
Fort Yamhill State Heritage Area phone 503-879-8-5814
Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial Sate Park phone 541-997-3851
Lewis & Clark State Recreation Area phone 503-695-2261
Prineville Reservoir State Park 541-447-4363
Shore Acres State Park 541-888-3732
Starvation Creek State Park 541-374-8811 or 503-695-2261
Portland Metro phone 503-665-4995 ext. 0 “Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The agency’s boundary encompasses Portland, Oregon and 24 other cities – from the Columbia River in the north to the bend of the Willamette River near Wilsonville, and from the foothills of the Coast Range near Forest Grove to the banks of the Sandy River at Troutdale.”
Wheelchairtraveling.com on Portland’s accessibility
Access Recreation, conceived and led by Georgena Moran, is a wonderful project which provides assessments and videos to benefit hikers with disabilities in the Portland Metro region. There are candid descriptions, photos, maps and annotated profiles. Access Trails Overall map Hiking trails videos.
Cooper Mountain Nature Park has a 3/4 mile accessible loop trail Trail Map Field Guide
Scouters Mountain Nature Park has a 1/4 mile accessible loop at the top of the hill. Field Guide Map
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area Field Guide phone 503-797-1545 Map
The Interlakes Trail and the 40-mile Loop Trail are both wheelchair accessible as are the wildlife viewing platforms and restroom.
Mount Talbert Nature Park Website phone North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District at 503-794-8041 Trail Map There is a “short gravel trail” and picnic shelter which are accessible.
Graham Oaks Nature Park Field Guide
“Much of the park is wheelchair accessible, although some trails are more challenging. ” I suggest you call first for clarification: 503-665-4995
Forest Park Map of Trails and Roads Described on wheelchairtraveling.com
Leif Erikson Drive is an 11 mile gravel road.
The Lower Macleay Trail is paved for a short distance ending at Balch Creek.
Access Oregon published by Oregon Fish & Wildlife is a guide to fishing recreation areas throughout Oregon.
Access Recreation Here is a wonderful project in Washington and Oregon.
“Access Recreation [AR] is a Portland, Oregon ad hoc committee that has been developing uniform guidelines for minimum information that should be provided about hiking trails and outdoor recreational facilities, that would benefit hikers with disabilities. These guidelines can be applied to websites, printed materials and at trail sites. …..When put into place, these guidelines will provide the public with easy access to better information on the accessibility of recreational and hiking trails in the states of Oregon and Washington and nationwide.” Georgena Moran, founder and project coordinator, says it is a “two-year project [ends June 2016] and as for now only two trails have been trail mapped the with video accompaniment.” Article by Georgena, “Trails for Everyone”.
Accessible Trails a website by Eileen Garvin is full of suggestions of places to go to enjoy “the breathtaking splendor of Oregon.”
Nature For The Blind has a directory of Braille trails for almost every state in the US and for many other countries.
Oregon Hikers Forum is a service of the Trailkeepers of Oregon, a non-profit organization. They provide this marvelous Find a Hike page where you can put in your parameters to look for suitable hikes in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. I chose easy Family hikes with an elevation gain less than 500′ and came up with 186 trails. Limit that to 2 miles or less and you get 81. The Trailkeepers also have the online Oregon Hikers Field Guide for hiking in Oregon and Southern Washington.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy lists wheelchair accessible trails in Oregon.
“Lots of options for wheelchair, stroller recreation” This is a useful article from The Oregonian, by Terry Richard published March 23, 2008 and updated November 16, 3009.
Wheelchairtraveling.com is an outstanding resource.