| || |
Hiking and Biking
Fresh Air, Sunshine, and a Hike
Get a hold of a mobility map from your local forest preserve or nature trails. Not all have mobility maps, but most forest preserves have some paved paths and picnic areas. Your local bureau of tourism can help you locate paved or accessible areas. Or, consider one of America's 375 national parks. More paved paths were added to national parks since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; guidelines for recreation areas continue to be refined each year by the Access Board. Park volunteers assist visitors in any number of ways, and some speak foreign languages or use American Sign Language.
People with leg weakness may still be able to ride a bike, albeit an adapted bike. Are you aware of hand-cycles that you power with your arms and hands instead of your legs? Recumbent bicycles are also a good option, especially because it's a whole lot easier to stay in the seat, as well as maintain balance. Speaking of balance, tricycles are made for adults in very slick-looking models these days. Bicycles are even custom-made at a lot more places. The only drawback may be the price tag but being able to ride a bicycle is priceless to a lot of people, including parents of special needs children.
If you're interested in exploring the possibility of using an adapted bike, look on the Internet under "adaptive bicycles" and try to find a shop near you. Be persistent in your search because, as you'd expect, they're much less common than regular mainstream bike shops. Ask about adapted bicycles at larger bicycle dealers as well. When you find a place near you, go and visit with a friend and keep an open mind—just have fun, whether peddling or looking!
Products and Services
Access to Recreation, Inc.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (Formerly Courage Center)
Trikes and Cycling for Disabled Children and Adults
US Hand Cycling Federation