Tag Archives: accessibility

Walking on a All Persons Trail

Access Nature Through These ADA-Accessible Trails

If you, or someone you care about, has had trouble accessing scenic outdoor areas via traditional trails in the past, our ADA-Accessible All Persons Trails may be your key to unlocking the great outdoors.  

What is an All Persons Trail? 

What began in 2008 with the construction of a pilot “sensory trail” at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk, has evolved into Mass Audubon’s Accessible Interpretive Trails Project, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The project has yielded the installation of 12 Americans With Disabilities (ADA)-accessible All Persons Trails throughout the state.  

The trails are typically 0.5-1 miles long and meander through some of Mass Audubon’s most scenic wildlife-watching areas in the state. They’re designed to meet ADA compliance for trail width, slope, and surfacing, and are typically made of crushed gravel material, or wooden boardwalk, suitable for wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers.

All Persons Trails Features

Post & Rope Guiding Systems: About half of our All Persons Trails have post and rope guiding systems that provide navigational support for visitors with low vision. Hanging from the guiding ropes along the trails, round beads are placed to indicate an interpretive stop marker is within an arm’s reach. Square beads indicate seating is nearby, with specific directions explained in tour booklets or audio recordings. 

Sensory-Supporting Features: You can take advantage of tactile maps, and interpretive booklets in regular print, large print, Braille, and audio formats. Audio tours, available on cellphone or audio players, provide sensory-rich interpretations of the sights, sounds, and nature found along your route.  

Stops Along the Way: If you need a break along your journey, or want to pause to soak in your surroundings, accessible wildlife observation structures, specialized gardens, seating, play areas, and picnic areas, can be found along your route.  

Service-Animals: Service animals are, as always, welcome to accompany your visit. Due to the nature of our wildlife conservation mission, we ask that those bringing their service animal familiarize themselves with our service animal statement prior to your visit.  

Find Your Trail 

With over 12 All Persons Trails throughout the state, you’re sure to find something close by. Whether it’s strolling through the farmyard loop at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, by the Frog Pond at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester, or over the boardwalk at Arcadia in Easthampton & Northampton, we hope to see you out on a trail soon! 

Search All Persons Trails

Please note some sanctuaries require reservations to visit at this time.