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Accessible Recreation

Open the Outdoors

The Black River Marsh accessible boardwalk and trail at Kohler-Andrae State Park surrounded by vibrant green wetland plants on a sunny day.
The accessible boardwalk and trail through Black River Marsh at Kohler-Andrae State Park are surrounded by vibrant green wetland plants on a sunny day.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is committed to providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all abilities around the state. Whether at our parks and forests, on land and water, there is something for everyone.

Find accessible activities

From adaptive equipment to accessible fishing piers, hiking trails, and campsites, the DNR State Parks Accessibility Map opens the outdoors to people of all abilities to make memories, learn new skills and enjoy the benefits of nature. Use this map to get inspired and take advantage of the wide array of accessible recreation opportunities available throughout Wisconsin's state parks, forests and recreation areas.

Use the interactive map on Find a Park to explore recreation opportunities that fit your abilities. Filter the map by Accessible Features and Services to find accessible trails, campsites, cabins, fishing piers, wildlife blinds, and adaptive equipment at state parks across the state.

Accessible equipment

Many state properties host adaptive equipment for outdoor recreation. The DNR adaptive equipment fleet includes adaptive kayaks, beach wheelchairs, cross-county sit skis and beach access mats. We're even adding universal kayak launches.

Park conditions can change, and adaptive equipment is added or moved at properties throughout the year. We recommend calling a property before your visit to ensure the equipment or accessible features you're interested in using are available. Be sure to ask about new equipment that may have been added, any questions you have about using the equipment or get updated information on any closures of accessible features.
ADAPTIVE KAYAKS

For individuals with mobility impairments, we now offer a unique way to experience the outdoors. Buckhorn, Council Grounds, Devil's Lake, and Perrot state parks have kayaks available with several adaptive devices. It is recommended to call the park before your visit to make sure it's available.

A blue and yellow adaptive kayak with outriggers on the back, which is available at Devil’s Lake State Park.
A blue and yellow adaptive kayak with
outriggers on the back, which is available
at Devil's Lake State Park.

These adapted kayaks are available for people with a wide range of disabilities, including people who need a more stable kayak for balance issues, ailments due to aging, etc. Whether you were a paddler before a disability or have never had an opportunity to get out on the water in a kayak due to physical limitations, we highly encourage you to get to one of these state parks to try it.

The adaptive kayaks feature outriggers near the back of the kayak (adjustable to four different widths depending on the user's level of function), providing incredible water stability. A raised back with side supports also offers the user a comfortable and secure seat while paddling. Not only is this adjustable, but parts of the seat can be removed altogether for individuals with greater upper-body function. Lastly, the paddle is equipped with hand braces that make paddling easier for individuals with limited grip.

BEACHES AND BEACH WHEELCHAIRS

Many of our state parks with beaches feature different elements of accessibility on generally inaccessible terrain.

Some parks have specialized beach wheelchairs with large inflatable tires that allow for easy maneuvering on sand and entry into the water. Others feature accessible beach access mats that provide a stable surface for people in wheelchairs or those with difficulty walking.

A young girl smiling and entering the water in a beach wheelchair at Big Bay State Park.
A young girl smiling and entering the
water in a beach wheelchair at Big Bay
State Park.

We are adding additional beach wheelchairs and access mats around the state, so check back for updates.

CROSS-COUNTRY SIT SKIS
Jane Schmieding using one of the cross-country sit skis at Governor Nelson State Park on a snowy winter day. Jane has MS which restricts her ability to walk.
Jane Schmieding using one of the
cross-country sit skis at Governor
Nelson State Park on a snowy winter day.
Jane has MS, which restricts her ability to walk.

Winter in Wisconsin is a difficult time for many people with disabilities, not only to enjoy the outdoors but to get around and complete simple tasks outside of the home due to snow.

Our cross-country sit skis are a fantastic opportunity for people with mobility impairments to get out into the peace and solitude of winter. The sit skis are available for free use at the locations listed below. All of these locations have flat groomed trails that allow for easier maneuverability.