First National Park Offers Heavy-Duty Wheelchairs for Disabled Visitors

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park in Michigan, is now leading the pack when it comes to its disabled visitors.

A heavy-duty wheelchair has been implemented, dubbed the “track chair,” equipped with treads to navigate the steep hills and sandy trails of the park.

The track chair program was launched in May by an organization that helps to make the park more accessible to everyone.

“Here at Sleeping Bear Dunes, about half the park is designated wilderness so in those areas we can’t do a lot of maintenance or changes [to increase accessibility,]” group board chairman Kerry Kelly told CNN. “So the better option is to have a vehicle that can take the person into these areas so they can experience the trail as it is without having to make major modifications.”

The chair can be used for free, visitors just have to reserve it a few days in advance. Friends of Sleeping Bear hope to purchase another track chair soon, and they hope that other parks follow suit so everyone can enjoy the beauty of the National Parks.

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