New Hampshire 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.
Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge Phone 603-482-3415 Map
Magalloway River Trail Trail Map 1/3 mile “….a good place to view moose, boreal birds and waterfowl. It features an easy walk through a forested river’s edge to an observation platform overlooking the backwaters of the Magalloway River.” trailfinder
White Mountain National Forest visitor center phone 603-536-3665 Accessible Water Bodies Accessible Trails
Pemigewasset Ranger District 603-536-1315
Forest Discovery Trail Guide Book 1.5 miles long in two loops. “There are breathtaking views, and opportunities to see some wildlife. ”
Lincoln Woods Trail ” The trail crosses a suspension bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, then follows an abandoned railroad grade for 2.8 miles along the west side of the river.”
Livermore Road a former logging road which is mostly level and shaded by trees.
Lower Ammonoosuc River Trail 0.2 mile trail to a view of the lower falls.
Saco Ranger District phone 603-447-5448
Rail N’ River Trail 0.5 mile “…fairly flat, shady loop trail takes you out to the Swift River…” This description came from a now expired website by Eric Rathbun.
Rocky Gorge Scenic Area There are two possible trails here. From the parking area to Falls Ponds is 1,300′, but a short stretch sounds a little steep. An alternate trail follows the river for about 1,000′.
Diana’s Baths “The Baths are located 0.8 miles from the trailhead at the parking area.”
Sabbaday Falls “…..0.4 mile trail leads to a picturesque series of cascades in a narrow flume. The gravel trail is wheelchair accessible, but is steep in places (6 to 25% grades) with frequent level spots.”
New Hampshire State Parks Interactive Parks/Trails Map with links to Parks. Once on an individual Park’s website, you are directed to call to learn about accessibility. Here is a list of the State Parks with links to trail information and maps, but disabilities are not addressed. NewHampshire.com lists the Parks by region with links to more information.
Beaver Brook Maps and Guides Thank you Celeste Philbrick Barr for the trail information.
Note that these trails are not paved, so there may be small roots, crushed gravel, etc.
Wildflower Trail Map of flowers “…minimal grade so many people with difficulty walking long distances,can manage it.”
“The Gardens at Maple Hill Farm(117 Ridge Road also) are very accessible from the parking lot. Many of the theme gardens are on the same level as the parking. A few are on a slight slope or require approaching from the front of the building.”
“Beaver Brook Trail starting on Route 130 is very flat for the first 1/2 mile and has a wide flat parking area.”
“The Potanipo Rail Trail (parking lot on West Hollis Road in Hollis) is a perfectly flat and wide rail trail that leads to the Great Meadow; a beautiful wetland with a large beaver dam. I would highly recommend that for best view for easiest hike.”
Crotched Mountain “With over 1,200 acres of permanently protected forest, open fields of wild blueberry and heather, and mysterious wetlands, Crotched Mountain is a place of unusual beauty. …… Crotched Mountain’s accessible trails provide a place where everyone – people with disabilities, seniors and families with children – are welcomed and able to experience nature up close. ” Call 603-547-3311 for information.
Trails at Crotched Mountain
Little Nature Museum & Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum
The director of the Indian Museum, which owns both properties, says that “Our trails are easy to walk & were created to be wheelchair accessible. Our museum is accessible as well.” Phone number for the Nature Museum is 603-746-6121 and for the Indian Museum is 603-456-2600.
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.”
The Loon Center Markus Wildlife Sanctuary Trail Map
Thank you Kellee Duckworth for the trail information.
” The shorter of our two trails, our Forest Trail, would be accessible for elderly walkers. It is a 0.25 mile forest walk on level ground…….. Unfortunately, neither of our trails are wheelchair accessible.”
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 New Hampshire.
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.