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Accessibility at National Parks

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Accessibility for All in National Parks

The U.S. National Parks are beacon of inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that the beauty and wonder of our national parks are accessible to all, regardless of physical mobility. This commitment is embodied in the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), which protects over 111 million acres of federal public land.

Wilderness for All

Over 80 percent of all NPS lands are managed as wilderness by either law or NPS policy. These wilderness areas offer experiences for people of all abilities, from trails to canoeable rivers. The use of wheelchairs and other manually-powered mobility aids, such as walkers, crutches, canes, braces, and similar devices designed for individuals with mobility disabilities, is permitted. This ensures that a wild experience awaits everyone!

Accessible Facilities and Amenities

Many National Parks offer wheelchair-accessible trails, beaches, and campsites. Visitor centers often feature audio-described exhibits, tactile features for the blind, captioned and audio-described videos, as well as assistive listening devices in theaters and exhibits. Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, restaurants, lodging, camping facilities, picnic areas, visitor centers, museums, and more are available in many parks.

Programs for People with Disabilities

Many U.S. national parks offer programs specifically designed for people with disabilities, along with wheelchair-accessible activities and amenities. These programs enrich the experience of visiting national parks and cater to the diverse needs of visitors.

Accessible Transportation

To make the wonders of national parks accessible to all, some parks provide wheelchair-accessible shuttle buses to the main attractions within the park. There are also wheelchair-accessible open-air tour trams that allow you to explore the park comfortably.

Sightseeing Opportunities

In some parks, you can enjoy stunning views right from your car. Some parks offer trail rides that are accessible for people with disabilities. Bird-watching opportunities are also available in some parks, where walkways provide visitors with a clear view of the landscape and wildlife.

Remember to check the specific park’s website or contact a ranger for detailed information about accessible features, programs, and services before your visit. Providing feedback on your wilderness area mobility experience helps parks understand the needs and interests of their wilderness visitors and can influence future changes.

Exploring the Wilderness

Exploring the wilderness is a thrilling adventure, and national parks strive to make it a possibility for everyone. Whether you dream of hiking through rugged terrain, gazing at starry night skies, or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, there are options for you.

Accessibility is a Priority

The NPS is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, can experience the majesty of our national parks. By providing accessible facilities, transportation, and programs, they uphold their mission to preserve and protect these natural wonders while making them available to all. In conclusion, the NPS’s commitment to accessibility ensures that the wilderness is truly for all.

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