|Coastal trail at Belle Isle Marsh|
Trails designed for accessibility feature wider pathways (three to five feet wide), stable and slip resistant surfaces, low grades, minimal cross slopes, ramped bridges and easy-access viewing areas. Some accessible trails also feature seating at intervals, Braille signage, audio tours, and sensory elements to create a broader base of inclusion. It is common for designated accessible trails to be a quarter to a half mile in length, sometimes longer.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation offers several accessible trails across the state park system. In northeastern Massachusetts, Bradley Palmer State Park (Topsfield) and Harold Parker State Forest (N. Andover) both offer views of water from shaded accessible trails. Belle Isle Marsh and Webb Memorial Park provide coastal walks just north and south of Boston. In central Massachusetts, you can find accessible woodland trails at Dunn State Park (Gardner) and Wells State Park (Sturbridge). In the Connecticut River Valley, a forested lakeside trail is being extended to a beautiful new bridge at Mt. Tom State Reservation (Holyoke). In the Berkshires, there are accessible trails in D.A.R. State Forest (Goshen), Savoy Mountain State Forest (Savoy) and Pittsfield State Forest (Pittsfield).
|The Neponsett River Rail Trail in Dorchester has wonderful|
murals along the way.
Massachusetts Audubon features All Person's Trails at ten wildlife sanctuaries across the Commonwealth. These trails offer a quieter opportunity to observe nature with interpretive stations and sensory tours. You can also find accessible trails at Cape Cod National Seashore and in many town parks. It is well worth the effort to research accessible trails and plan your next outing!
Click on these links for more info:
Massachusetts State Parks
Massachusetts State Park Accessible Trails
National Rails to Trails Conservancy (look for rail trails nationwide)