Building Adaptive Trail Programming: Lessons from the Field

This webinar will introduce best practices for implementing an adaptive hiking program showcasing two successful programs.

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Event Details

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May 23, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
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Webinar Outline

While many adaptive sports programs offer general outdoor programming, only a handful have implemented adaptive hiking. In fact, many of the current adaptive hiking programs are led by parks and private property owners.

Starting an adaptive hiking program is tremendously beneficial to organizations and individuals alike—and it may be easier than you think! Whether you are looking to improve pre-existing adaptive programming or are starting fresh, we are here to give you the tools you need to get rolling.

In this session, you’ll learn best practices for implementing an adaptive hiking program, and you’ll hear directly from two different programs—Devin Hemker, from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Scott Trager, from Northeast Off-Road Adventures.

Using these innovative programs from around the country as case studies, we will give you concrete information to revitalize accessibility in your community programming.

This presentation covers both motorized and nonmotorized devices, used primarily on natural surfaces, but also applicable to paved surfaces.

The presenters invite you to check out their introductory webinar on this topic held in April 2024 (or watch the recording): Adaptive Trail Mobility Equipment and Programming 101

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss how parks and private property owners are accelerating access to adaptive hiking
  • Outline two different adaptive recreation programs, including the types of equipment they use and the how they manage their trails
  • Learn how adaptive hiking programming could be supported by your organization


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Webinar Resources

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)




Webinar Partners


Tish Scolnik, Co-Founder and CEO, GRIT
Los Angeles, California

Tish Scolnik is the cofounder and CEO of GRIT, a mission-driven company that believes every person, regardless of their physical ability, deserves access to the outdoors and adventure. Tish began working on wheelchair design through an engineering course while she was a student at MIT. Today, riders all across the country use the GRIT Freedom Chair to enjoy the outdoors. Over the past decade Tish has collaborated with programs to expand access to adaptive hiking, including adaptive sports programs, parks, veterans organizations, community groups, and other like-minded partners. She enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with her husband and their two sons.


Devin Hemker, Accessibility Program Specialist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Austin, Texas

Devin Hemker joined TPWD as an intern in 2022 for the Facility Management team after graduating with a Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services from Texas State University. After her internship she transitioned into the Accessibility Program Specialist position, managing our all-terrain wheelchair collection, our parks transition plans, and other accessibility needs for State Parks. She likes cooking, camping, and hanging out at the river with her fiancé Jake, and their two dogs. Louie (4, Black Lab/Catahoula mix) loves mealtime, swimming, and drinking water. Ralphy (3, Deaf Merle Catahoula) lives for fetch, but only with the $8 orange "chuck it" brand balls.


Scott Trager, Founder and President, Northeast Off-Road Adventures (NORA)
Ellenville, New York

Scott Trager is founder & president of Northeast Off Road Adventures (NORA, est 2011) in Ellenville, NY. NORA's training, driving tours, team outings and adventure programs serve commercial, government and private sector clients. Scott's 30+ year career included roles as software developer, project & product manager, global team leader at companies including Merrill Lynch and Bloomberg, and adjunct college professor. Scott's education includes a BS in Computer Science, MS in Management Science, Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and he is a certified 4 wheel drive instructor. In 2018, Scott and his team created NORA's Specialized Outdoor Adaptive Recreation Program (SOAR) which offers adaptive hiking, off-road driving and other recreational activities to guests with mobility impairments.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

  • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Summit, as well as for other trail and outdoor recreation-related conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.



While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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2,840 views • posted 01/25/2024