When you or your loved one is in a wheelchair, finding wheelchair recreation (such as vacations, hiking, and outdoor activities) may be kind of tough, although it shouldn’t be. While many parks and recreational facilities are compliant with ADA standards, that doesn’t necessarily mean that wheelchair accessible trails in NJ are so readily available. Sometimes, ADA compliance can refer to wheelchair ramps at bathroom or picnic facilities, without much adaptation for wheelchair hiking. However, there are quite a few wheelchair accessible trails in NJ and handicap accessible trails for you to enjoy.
Federal Wheelchair Accessible Trails in NJ
Federal parks are maintained and run by the federal government, while state and local parks are maintained by the state or municipality. Federal parks are more likely to be ADA compliant, however, that’s not a guarantee. There are several federally owned wheelchair accessible trails in NJ:
- Dingmans Creek Trail. This is part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is located on the Pennsylvania border, and much of the park is in PA. This particular trail is a 0.4-mile boardwalk, which takes you past two lovely waterfalls (Dingmans and Silverthread Falls).
- McDade Recreational Trail. This trail is also part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and is said to have handicap accessible trails. However, not all trails may be accessible trails, so it’s best to call the park at 570-426-2452 before making the trip.
State Wheelchair Accessible Trails in NJ
In addition to federal locations, there are several state parks that have wheelchair accessible trails in NJ. However, park websites may not always have the most up-to-date information, so if in doubt, it’s always best to call before making plans to ensure there are wheelchair accessible hiking trails. Some state areas include:
- The Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. This forest is located in New Lisbon, NJ, which is also reasonably close to Connecticut and Pennsylvania. There is a 1.1-mile loop trail that is paved. Reportedly, there are other trails within the park that are easy to manage but may be a long journey.
- Cape May Point State Park. This state park is located in the southernmost tip of New Jersey in Cape May and offers a 0.5-mile wheelchair accessible trail. It may be one of the most scenic paved walking trails in NJ, as it offers views of a lighthouse and large pond on both sides, with glimpses of area wildlife, such as osprey.
- The Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. This trail is 34 miles in length, but the trail at mile marker 31.5 is ADA accessible. This state park is located near Princeton, which is central.
Making Non-Accessible Trails Work for You
If you are an avid hiker, you may wish to consider the possibility of adaptive wheelchairs for hiking. There are several different types of all-terrain wheelchairs (and add-ons) that you can use to make non-paved, yet simple, trails, more accessible to you. While wheelchair accessible trails in NJ are likely the best option, these off-road “power chairs” give you the mobility to access much more. There are both manual and motorized choices, and additional options, such as off-road walkers or crutch tips, depending on your depth of mobility. For one-time hiking trips, all-terrain wheelchair rental is also a cost-effective idea.
For more information on ADA-compliant recreation, or to learn about products that can help give you more mobility and freedom, such as stair lifts or wheelchair ramps, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want to help you live your best life.