Parks departments across the country are beginning to offer free all-terrain wheelchairs at their visitors centers for disabled people to explore their states’ treasures of nature.
Such programs have already cropped up in Colorado, Michigan, and South Dakota, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park Service unit, has also added off-road wheelchairs to their park’s resources.
With some weighing 500 pounds or more, the motorized all-terrain wheelchair is like a Caterpillar but without the scoop and the cabin. The tracks can allow it to go up or over some serious obstacles, such as stumps, mud, snow, and more.
The first state to set the trend was Colorado, who started in 2017 with their Staunton State Park Track-Chair Program which provides free wheelchair access with the regular entrance fee.
Later the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources placed all-terrain wheelchairs in 12 of their state parks, boat launching sites, and trails.
Georgia and Minnesota recently joined this group, with the latter recently-wrapping up a pilot program that tested chairs in 5 parks, the Washington Post reports.
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