(Minnesota) — June 1st, 2022 — Beginning June 2, visitors with mobility disabilities can use an all-terrain track chair or an adaptive beach chair at five state parks throughout the state. The all-terrain track chairs enable visitors with mobility disabilities to explore non-accessible trails and other areas within state parks.
Track chairs are off-road, electric powered chairs that can be used on designated trails within the park. These chairs can help visitors explore areas of the state parks in new ways, often on trails that are not suitable for regular wheelchairs.
Five Minnesota state parks will have track chairs available.
- Camden State Park – 507-872-7031
- Crow Wing State Park – 218-825-3075
- Lake Bemidji State Park – 218-308-2300 (available mid-June)
- Maplewood State Park – 218-863-8383 (not available until late summer/early fall)
- Myre-Big Island State Park – 507-668-7060
Each park has unique areas to visit along the trails.
There is no charge to use the chair. However, a state park vehicle permit is required for all vehicles entering the park. There are discounted vehicle permits if you have a vehicle hang tag for a disability.
“Minnesota state parks are for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age or ability,” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Assistant Commissioner Shannon Lotthammer said. “Adaptive equipment like these all-terrain track chairs allows visitors to explore the great outdoors. Along with other parks and trails providers across the state—like our partners in Olmsted County and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center—we hope to provide a system of adaptive-supported recreation opportunities, from backyard to backcountry.”
Approximately one in four people in the U.S. are living with some form of disability.
“We know spending time in nature provides significant health and wellness benefits to people,” MCD Executive Director David Dively said. “Providing adaptive equipment like the track chairs for visitors to use is critical to ensuring all Minnesotans have access to these outdoor opportunities and furthers our work to ensure Minnesotans with disabilities can live, work, and play in the communities they choose.”
Adaptive equipment also is available for use in local and regional parks and trails systems throughout the state, including Olmstead County Parks and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. The adaptive beach chair is located at McCarthy Beach State Park and enables visitors to enjoy a one-of-a-kind beach experience within a state park setting.
For more information, visit the DNR’s website.