Monday, March 08, 2010

wheelchair accessible trails / Wildwood Park

My caregiver antenna usually twitches when it comes to “wheelchair accessible” labels. Yet Sunday was a beautiful sunny late Winter afternoon and off we headed to boldly explore the wheelchair accessible ‘Boardwalk’ nature trails of Wildwood Park on the Northern most fringes of Harrisburg, PA.

Applause, applause! The two wheelchair accessible trails are everything and more they are promoted to be including proximity with wet woodlands and marsh.
To find wheelchair accessible permanently-mounted binoculars along the ‘boardwalks’ was mind boggling.
If you build it, will they come? … Well, if tracks in the snow tell a story, then apparently Patti was the ONLY wheelchair to use the ‘North Boardwalk’ trail on Sunday.
Boardwalks were 90% clear and dry with only some patchy snow on stretches through deepest woodland.

Accessible parking (4 spaces) is available in the Olewine Nature Center lot. Then there is about a 100 yds of blacktop and gravel mix surface to the Delta Boardwalk and about another 100 yards North across Paxton Creek to the North Boardwalk.

North Boardwalk features bird blinds that jut out into the wetlands, and yes there are wheelchair eye level viewing portals.

The Boardwalks are indeed wooden boardwalks, level and easy for rolling or pushing. However the connecting paths between boardwalks and parking lot are not level. Whether those distances are easy is relative to abilities. Some may find them ‘not easy’, but I doubt anyone would consider them difficult. Electric scooters or power chairs should have no problems maneuvering from parking lot to boardwalks.

Boardwalks are listed as a half mile each, one way. So basically we enjoyed wheelchair accessible wandering through two miles of wetlands and marsh. Access to the wild is such a treat. Multiple Sclerosis may try to deny, but with a little help we can do much.
Thank you … Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, Friends of Wildwood, Benjamin Olewine and Audubon Pennsylvania.
UPDATED 3/09: Special thanks to ALL the volunteers who work to keep the trails open and inviting year 'round. ... a special 'shout out' to the 14 yr old volunteer who spent his Sunday morning shoveling snow off the Delta Boardwalk.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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  1. looks like a great place to visit Patrick; and that was neat with the telescopes wheelchair eye level! a very nice treat! it is good too that people are thinking about these things when planning new parks, exhibits, etc.


  2. Hi,
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