Georgia has a number of trails with minimal obstacles. Some are very easy and others are wheelchair accessible. Here are just a few of them.
Most of the links given were found through Internet search. Some places I have been able to visit and a few have been recommended to me by other people who have been there. 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.
Big Oaks Recreation Area on Hartwell Lake
Big Oaks is a summer day-use area on Hartwell Lake, a man-made 56,000 acre lake bordering Georgia and SC on the Savannah, Tukgaloo and Seneca Rivers. Description on Oh Ranger! Map Phone (706) 856-0300 Hartwell Lake Visitor Center phone 888-893-0678 Reviewed on tripadvisor
Hartwell Dam Walking Trail on the Georgia side 1.37 miles one-way “….follows the shoreline of Hartwell Lake from Big Oaks up to the concrete portion of the dam on the Georgia side.”
Hartwell Dam Walking Trail on the South Carolina side 0.75 mile one-way. “….follows the shoreline up to the concrete portion of Hartwell Dam on the South Carolina side. For a shorter walk, you can access this trail from the South Carolina Recreation Area, located approximately midway between the South Carolina Overlook and the GA/SC border.”
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge has “…29,452 acres of freshwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks, and bottomland hardwoods. About half the refuge is bottomland, composed primarily of cypress, gum, and maple species. Access to these areas is by boat only. ”
(843) 784-2468 Reviewed on Trip Advisor Maps Trail Map
Thanks to Ranger Amy Ochoa for the following information:
The only wheelchair accessible trail is at the Visitor Center is an 800 ft. long paved trail “that runs from one side of the side to the other. ” However there is “an outstanding 4.25 mile wildlife drive that visitors can drive around and get … the same wildlife viewing opportunities as walking on the trails…..pretty much anywhere along it there’s room for a car to pull to the side, stop, even get out and look, while still allowing room for a vehicle to pass by.”
? “The trails are all the same surface; grass covered, earthen dikes. They’re not always mowed, depending on the availability of heavy equipment operators to run the large mower, so things like fire ants and snakes could be present and not easily seen. Like any earthen path, they would all be subject to holes, bumps, etc. that could trip up someone not sure-footed.”
Paved Trails from Hiking in Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
“Paved or hard-surfaced trails suitable for wheelchairs and strollers are found at Amicalola Falls (great waterfall view), Cloudland Canyon (parking lot to overlook), Mistletoe (rubber surface), Fort Yargo (Birdberry Trail), Panola Mountain (hilly), Red Top Mountain (short loop), Skidaway Island (some sand and roots), Stephen C. Foster (Okefenokee boardwalk) and Tallulah Gorge (old railroad bed). “
The State of Georgia makes available this PDF chart addressing accommodations, activities, and accessibility of Georgia State Parks.
There are ADA Assessments for all of Georgia Parks trails. “These accessibility assessments are maintained at each state park and historic site where the trails are located and are available for review and/or can be provided electronically by directly contacting the state park or historic site office. For further information, contact Larry Blankenship at 404-656-6524.”
Amicalola Falls State Park has two wheelchair accessible trails that are briefly described on this website:
West Ridge Falls Access Trail – 0.3 miles in length. Rated easy to moderate. Wheelchair accessible with gentle slope. One of the best views of the falls and one of the easier trails. Trail surface is flat and coated with recycled tires.
Lodge Loop – 0.25 mile loop. Rated easy. Wheelchair accessible. Paved surface with educational displays. Trail is lighted for early morning and/or evening use.”
Black Rock Mountain State Park is in Rabun County. Terry Guthrie sent these photos. He writes, “The park has two accessible overlooks on the way to the visitor’s center, and the visitor’s center itself provides good views.” I am putting more of Terry’s photos in the Photography page. Trail Map Park phone 706-746-2141
Black Rock Lake in Black Rock Mountain State Park. The trail around the lake is .8 mile long and is rated easy. Thank you to Rex Matthews, who wrote that “There is no nearby handicapped parking access, the trail is flat but not paved or surfaced, and they prefer that people not try to take wheelchairs on it due to rutting, etc.”
Crooked River State Park – There are several short nature trails described in the website, which sound as if they would be easy walking, but there is no indication of wheelchair accessibility.
Fort Yargo State Park –
Fort Yargo is a 1816-acre park featuring “… a 1792 log fort built by settlers for protection against Creek and Cherokee Indians. Today, visitors come to Fort Yargo for its wide variety of outdoor recreation and scenery. ”
Phone 770-867-3489 Trails Map
Birdberry Trail 0.9 mile round trip paved Map
Moccasin Creek State Park –
On the shore of 2,800 acre lake Burton, Moccasin Creek has a fully accessible fishing pier which sits above a trout-filled creek open only to seniors 65 and older and children 11 and younger, as well as all ages with a Georgia disability fishing license. Although a mountain location, Moccasin Creek is relatively flat.
Interpretive Trail 1 mile
Panola Mountain State Park
Panola Mountain is a 100-acre granite outcrop. This monadnock and its rare ecosystem is still pristine as it was known to Native Americans centuries ago.
Panola Mountain State Park is part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. Trails Trail map and Guide Phone 770-389-7801
? Outcrop Trail 0.75 mile was referred to as a “handicap access trail” in a now defunct guide. Call before you go to see if it is something you can do.
There is a two mile self-guided nature trail and a 12 mile paved trail, which connects Panola Mountain with Arabia Mountain and Stonecrest Mall.
Redtop Mountain State Park –
The park is on 12,000 acre Lake Allatoona. There are more than 15 miles of trails winding through the forested park…” The park is named for its red iron-rich soil.
Lakeside Trail 0.75 mile paved 3/4 mile loop by Lake Altoona. Trails descriptions Trails map Rave reviews from Yelp Phone 770-975-0055
Skidaway Island State Park
This park borders the “…Skidaway narrows, a part of Georgia’s Intracoastal Waterway. Trails wind through maritime forest and past salt marsh, leading to a boardwalk and observation tower. Visitors can watch for deer, fiddler crabs, raccoon, egrets and other wildlife.”
Sandpiper Trail loop 1 mile A lovely glimpse into the ecology of the Golden Isles.
Big Ferry trail 3 miles easy, but not so much for a wheelchair.
Here are some positive reviews from Trip Advisor
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Most of CNC is handicap and wheelchair accessible. Jon Copsey writes that, “Our wildlife walk, pollinator gardens, aviaries and living wetlands areas are all paved and are easily accessible. Our wooded trails are less-so. I would not describe them as wheelchair accessible due to roots and slippery surfaces. Our easiest trail, Kingfisher Trail, while on a gentle incline, would still be difficult for a wheelchair. Depending on the mobility of the elderly, it may also be too difficult.” Check with the Discovery Center before you head out to learn more about which trails might be suitable for you. Phone 770-992-2055 Trail Guide Map Reviewed on Trip Advisor, Yelp
Kingfisher Pond Trail 0.25 mile runs along the eastern edge of the pond and connects with the Beaver Pond Trail.
River Boardwalk Trail 0.50 mile Self-guided nature trail interpreting the habitats along the river. The boardwalk is accessible, but can get slippery in wet weather.
Homestead Trail 0.25 “easy hike with beautiful view of both the forest and the pond. ”
Beaver Pond Trail 0.25 mile self-guided tour of both pond and forest habitats.
Georgia’s Living Wetlands garden More than 200 species of native plants found in five different wetland habitats.
A mixture of locations are described at the website NE Georgia Mountains ADA Accessible Outdoor Places to Visit
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has listings of wheelchair accessible trails in Georgia.