Activities + Recreation

In addition to trails, overlooks, and other points of interest, there can be so much to do at a park that sometimes it can be hard to choose what to do, so parks and other outdoor sites can make it clear what activities have been adapted for accessibility. This section highlights how parks and other outdoor spaces can implement such features where applicable. Visit the Adaptive Activities page for more ideas and organizations.


  • Parking: Typically, near main restrooms or other points of interest, such as the location of a beach wheelchair.
  • Restrooms: In addition to toilets, access to a changing area and/or shower if provided. (See previous sections for more info and examples.)
  • Promenades: Visitors want to know the length, points of interest, and any barriers. Let visitors know the promenade’s makeup. All paved? Main strip and then firm, packed surface? Is the promenade flat or are there areas to be aware of? (Incline cautions vary depending on the mobility device that’s used and the person controlling it.)
  • Beach Mats: In addition to walking along the beach, some will want to go onto the beach to spend the day. Or perhaps the ocean’s bluff is blocking the view, and a beach mat can be used so people can reach that high point to see and enjoy the ocean’s surf.
  • Beach Wheelchairs: Having a beach wheelchair locked up onsite is great advertising, and is to include clear directions on how to reserve, and thus unlock, the beach wheelchair.

Fishing Piers

  • Pathway: Barrier-free, firm pathway from designated parking spot to pier.
  • Borders: A border gives the edge a clear reference point; handrails are common. Different types of openings for fishing poles.
  • Maintenance: If there is one fishing pier in the entire park that is accessible, or in the whole area, let’s make sure it stays accessible.

Boat Docks

  • Ramp: The ramp to the boating area is anti-slip material.
  • Parking: Have a designated handicapped spot for just the boat dock/launch.
  • Toilets: The closest restroom is to have wheelchair access and a place to shower and change.


Horse Riding

  • Purpose: The most important aspect here is the platform to get on and off the horse.
  • Platform: A handrail is important for balancing while getting on and off a horse.
  • Safety: Rubber mats prevent slipping in most weather conditions, including hot days.
  • Parking: Include a designated handicapped parking spot that’s for horse trailers.


  • Parking: Designated handicapped parking is closest to the main gate or the area of the field that had been modified for access.
  • Pathways: A target is reachable by the archer from the shooting position by wheelchair. If on a field, a barrier-free, firm path is required to reach the target. Consider the topography and level of saturation in the area.
  • Aiming: The shooting platform is as wide as a platform on a trail, firm and level. If the area has full sun, install a canopy for shade either over the shooting platform or in a separate resting area.
  • Resting Area: The resting or picnic area has an accessible picnic table with an extended end, as stated under picnic table guidelines. If toilets are located in this area, then one is also wheelchair accessible.


  • Path: Barrier-free access to the playground from designated parking, including to the interior of the playground area.
  • Boarder: If there is a border, make sure there’s an opening or a ramp in and out of the playground area. This would be not just for the children to access but for parents as well.
  • Models and Types: Barrier-free or partially barrier-free jungle gyms and other playground equipment are available in many different shapes, sizes, and themes.

Ranger-Led Programs

  • Marketing: If the ranger-led program is accessible and advertised in the visitor center, include the universal symbol to indicate or at least to encourage further inquiry about specific access details at the main desk before committing and/or signing up. People working the desk are to be informed of the level of access to the ranger-led programs and potential or possible barriers.
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