This page is a growing resource on accessible trails in Massachusetts and beyond. Please email info@accessrecboston if you have any additions!
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
Hiking is becoming more accessible in state parks. There are two categories of trails, Accessible and Assessed. Accessible Trails are either paved or made from stonedust and are generally one-quarter to three-quarter miles in length. Assessed Trails are actual dirt hiking trails and offer a more rugged experience. Maps have been designed to provide information on grades, cross slopes, trail surfaces and obstacles. Assessed trails are one-half to 2 miles in length.
Click here for a list of Accessible and Assessed Trails: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/accessibility/accessible-hiking-trails.html
In addition, for information on recorded indoor and outdoor park tours around Massachusetts for visitors who are blind, contact the Universal Access Office. To receive a free copy of the booklet “Hiking Trails for the Blind with a Sighted Guide” call 413 442-8928. This booklet offers hiking information in the Berkshires.
Assistive listening equipment is available upon request at many parks. Recorded brochures, walks, and tours are also available at some parks.
For further information, to request information in alternative formats, or to request American Sign Language interpretation for any DCR program, please contact the Universal Access Program office at:
P.O. Box 484
Amherst, MA 01004
Or call 413-545-5353 voice; 413-577-2200 TTY.
Mass Audubon is over halfway to its goal of creating twenty multi-sensory, ADA accessible trails! Find a trail near you: http://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/accessibility
- Audio tours
- Brailled texts and tactile maps
- Tour scripts and maps designed for high readability for visually impaired and sighted visitors
- New orientation maps and information panels
- Improved signage along trails
- Rope/post guiding systems
- Wider boardwalks
Also, check out the new Accessible Trails Manual, a comprehensive guidelines manual for developing and sustaining an accessible interpreted trail. The manual provides ideas for collaborative partnerships, developing and testing trail materials with volunteer expert users and resource professionals, and outreach. Get your copy here.
As the longest accessible trail in a mountainside environment in the United States, Crotched Mountain’s Accessible Trails in New Hampshire are not to be missed!
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. Memories of hiking these woods to reach the summit, gazing at the sunset, or listening to the chatter of birds in an active wetland can last a lifetime. 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.