MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts 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 learn about more accessible natural areas from those of you 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.

Federal
State
Local
Private
Miscellaneous

Federal

  • Cape Cod National Seashore Park
    “Forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds, and uplands support diverse species. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches and walking and biking trails beckon today’s visitors.”   Accessibility
    Wheelchair Accessible ” Park trails at Doane Rock in Eastham and the Marconi Station Site in Wellfleet have been surfaced to accommodate wheelchairs.”  The Park has quite a few other adaptations, including beach wheelchairs.
    HikerwithcaneThe Salt Pond Visitor Center is near to the  1.5 mile Nauset Marsh Trail and the Buttonbush Trail, a .25 mile multi-sensory trail that featuring a guide rope and text panels printed in large lettering and Braille”.  Both trails are described as easy but with some log steps.  Call 508- 255 – 3421 for information.
    Here is “Everyone Outdoors”‘s article on “Wheelchair Accessible Cape Cod”.

  • Wheelchair AccessibleGreat Meadows National Wildlife Refuge has a wheelchair accessible trail around the lake, according to this Yelp review.  As described on AllTrails: “Concord Unit trail is a 2.7 mile loop trail located near Concord, Massachusetts that features a river and is good for all skill levels.  The trail ….. is accessible from March until November.”

  • Wheelchair AccessibleParker River National Wildlife Refuge has the 0.3 mile accessible Pine Trail and at least one beach wheelchair.  From a USGS webpage on birding: “Wheelchair accessible birding sites include the Salt Pannes Wildlife Observation Area, the North Pool Overlook, the 0.3 mile (0.5 kilometer) Pines Trail, and the observation platforms overlooking the beach and ocean at parking lots 1 and 7.   Here are Yelp Reviews.  Refuge Brochure

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State

  • Read the late Regina Sass’ essay on accessible state parks in Massachusetts from Yahoo Voices.

  • Accessible Trails in Massachusetts State Parks and Forests  This is a great website with short descriptions of the trails and links to the State Parks and Forests they are in.
    Massachusetts has “two categories of trails, Accessible and Assessed.  Accessible Trails are either paved or made from stonedust and are generally one-quarter to three-quarter miles in length. Assessed Trails are actual dirt hiking trails and offer a more rugged experience. Maps have been designed to provide information on grades, cross slopes, trail surfaces and obstacles. Assessed trails are one-half to 2 miles in length.”

  • The Department of Conservation and Recreation has a wonderful page with links to outdoor activities available to disabled people.  Here is their schedule of Activities – mostly adaptive kayaking.  This is a good downloadable brochure on Accessibility in the State Parks .

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Local

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Private

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Miscellaneous

  • “Everyone Outdoors” is a blog about “accessible adventures and adaptive recreation in Massachusetts State Parks and beyond”.  Lots of very helpful articles about equipment and other concerns as well as places to go.

  • This is not a trail, but number of towns in Massachusetts provide seated sleds for for accessible ice skating.  What fun!

  • General Hiking Guides –
    Here are two guides to trails in Rhode Island and adjacent states.Trails & Walks in Rhode Island   Auntie Beak’s Place    They both have good descriptions and lots of photographs, but are not designed for people with any kind of handicap.  If you want to know more about a specific trail, you could research it on these websites.

  • 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 Massachusetts.

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