Tag Archives: mobility challenges

Hiking with a disability

Wooded, leaf covered trail with stone walls alongside the path
Knowing what trail surfaces you might encounter can make a difference in whether you feel you can visit an area or not.
Handicapped access sign in a wooded area
A handicapped accessibility designation can be helpful, but can also be misleading. This location had tree roots that made wheelchair access limited. Knowing such details can make the difference in each person’s decision whether to visit a specific area or not

This article was first published at the Travel Massive website. Many thanks to their editors for providing a platform for travel interests of all kinds, around the world.

Wooden bridge over the Colorado river, with mountains in the background
Knowing about bridges with railings is a big plus for those with balance issues. “Know before you go” is so helpful

Lots of trail guides and magazine articles provide information about the compelling reasons to visit any certain area. What is consistently missing is information about trail surfaces. Whether you have a disability or simply enjoy the outdoors you can be make a difference to others by noticing and then sharing with others details that are included in the article below.

My Story of Hiking with Mobility Challenges

author using hiking poles to safely ascend an outdoor area with steps
Mobility challenges do not keep people home. Lack of information and/or support makes getting outside more difficult

Travel Massive article:

Some people think that because I have written a number of trail guides I must be a super hiker. In fact, there was a time in my life when walking across a room was an insurmountable challenge. While healing has come after disastrous brain surgery that saved my life yet left my right side paralyzed, I still require support to navigate uneven surfaces: bumpy sidewalks, crowded airport terminals, or rooty or rocky outdoor spaces.

One of the most important factors that dictate whether I can safely manage an outing is asking about an area ahead of time. To safely navigate an outdoor trail, I need to know about trail surface Easy Walks, that is, not too many roots or rocks, relatively level, with something of interest along the way.

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Marjorie

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks, Finding the Sacred in Everyday (and some very strange) Places.

She has written for numerous local, regional, and national publications over the past 20+ years, has helped many families save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.

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Katy Trail, Missouri- 200 mile linear state park

Boat henge, along the Katy Trail, Columbia, Missouri

We planned to stop at other rail trails along the way from our start in New England, but our goal was Colorado. We had enjoyed several days in Pine Creek Gorge, PA where we pedaled perhaps half of the sixty-two mile trail. Travel always offers surprises, and our first “surprise” rail trail we had never heard of was the Katy Trail, a 240 mile linear state park that essentially travels across the width of Missouri.

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