filed under: user management
Their goal is to facilitate the removal of barriers to recreational trail usage through providing information, increasing accessible features, and supporting park managers in making changes.
Funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation with other support from the National Park Service and Move United, the Trail Access Project has made two videos to introduce and further their mission.
From their website, they describe why they are undertaking this mission:
"Some parks have wonderful facilities that most users would consider accessible; however, others need to improve upon the quality of experience available to visitors with disabilities. A person with a disability, along with their family and friends, is commonly restricted to a short, token, paved sidewalk near a crowded visitor center. The U.S. National Park Service website for one park describes 58 miles of mostly-flat hiking trails but states that those with disabilities can enjoy the park from their cars. The most visited national park in the U.S. boasts of 800 miles of hiking trails with 0.5 mile as "ADA accessible". Existing “accessible” trails frequently provide a minimal, less meaningful, and sometimes dangerous experience compared with those provided to an able-bodied person. Park managers sincerely want to change that discrimination.
The Trail Access Project was incorporated to provide actionable information to both park managers and trail users to enable more inclusive, meaningful exploration of America's extraordinary natural places."
Published February 2022
Off-road vehicles can have a substantial impact on the experience of other non-motorized visitors on trails that are shared or even on adjacent forest or park settings.
This research investigated the influence of several use-related, environmental, and managerial factors on soil loss on recreational trails and roads at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the U.S. National Park Service.
The sustainable management of ATV use is an expensive proposition requiring careful design, construction, and maintenance of ATV trails.
This research assessed the condition and sustainability of the trail system at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, a National Park Service unit that partners with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the management of this unit.