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How to Use this Site

We created this website to make it easier for people with mobility limitations to find and visit trails, parks, and other places of interest in Northern California. Since access means different things to different people, we did not rate sites based on their level of accessibility. Rather, we have provided accessibility details about trail routes and key features, to help you make informed choices about places to visit, based on your particular access needs. We used the ADAAG (Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines) and California's Title 24 as a basis for evaluating the accessibility of various features such as restrooms, parking, and picnic tables. However, we have also included trails and facilities that do not meet these guidelines if we found that they could be used by at least some wheelchair riders.

We have done our best to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, but some details may have changed since we last visited a site, and we can’t guarantee that we haven’t missed anything. Also bear in mind that weather, time, and frequency of maintenance can alter trail conditions. We strongly recommend that you phone ahead to verify key information and determine current trail conditions before visiting these sites. For a range of experiences, we also suggest that you visit the same sites in different seasons.

Access Criteria

Features are designated accessible if they meet the criteria listed below. In cases where a feature meets most but not all of the criteria, it is designated as having limited accessibility, and we have noted which criteria it fails to meet.

ACCESSIBLE VISITOR CENTER

  • Is reached by an accessible path of travel

  • Has level or ramped entry

  • Entry door has at least 32" clearance (typical ramp)

ACCESSIBLE PARKING

  • Identified by the international access symbol and has an adjoining access aisle

  • Located on a firm and stable surface

  • Is level or on a slope not greater than 2 percent

ACCESSIBLE RESTROOM

  • Accessible path of travel

  • Entry and stall doors have at least 32" clearance

  • Has 5' x 5' turnaround space

  • Has grab bars on back wall and at least one side

  • Has clear space for lateral transfer

  • Toilet height is 17"-19"

  • Roll-under sink has knee clearance at least 29" high and 30" wide

ACCESSIBLE PICNIC TABLE

  • Path of travel is firm and stable

  • Located on a level, firm, and stable surface

  • At least 27" knee clearance

  • Seating is either at end of table or on the sides

ACCESSIBLE FISHING PIER
Has level access onto the pier and at least a 32”pathway. Safety regulations require that railings be 42”, which may limit views and fishing access from a seated position.

ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND
Has an accessible path of travel to the playground and is located on a firm and stable surface as approved by the Access Board. May or may not have accessible play structures.

The following categories are not based on any access codes or technical assessments; rather, they were developed for the purpose of this website and are therefore somewhat subjective. Measurements were not taken for trail grade; we relied upon the researchers’ years of experience using ramps.

TRAIL GRADE
The grade of ramps and inclines is measured by a ratio. A typical ramp is 1:12, meaning that the slope rises 1” for every 12” of length. Gentle slopes are less than or equal to 1:12, while steep slopes, by varying degrees, are greater than 1:12. We assigned each trail one of the following classifications:

  • Level

  • Gentle (1:12 or less, manual chair can negotiate)

  • Mostly level or gentle (has at least one steep section)

  • Steep (> 1:12, power chair and someone with good upper body strength can generally negotiate)

  • Very steep (dangerous without assistance)

TERRAIN

  • Hard: Paved, boardwalk, asphalt, brick

  • Firm: Hardened soil, decomposed granite with stabilizer

  • Moderately firm: Gravel or dirt mix with firm underlayment. May be problematic for manual wheelchairs but not motorized wheelchairs/scooters.

  • Soft: Wood fiber, loose gravel, loose dirt. Problematic for manual wheelchairs and possibly for motorized wheelchairs/scooters.

  • Very Soft: Wood fiber, loose gravel, loose dirt. Problematic for manual wheelchairs and possibly for motorized wheelchairs/scooters

 

Key to Site Features

Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheels Beach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hiker Hiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bike Bicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing' Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boat Boating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic table Picnic
Camping icon is a tent Camping   Swimming Icon is a person swimming Swimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hook Fishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binoculars Wildlife Viewing

 This is not a complete list of all accessible trails and parks in Northern California and their listing in this guide is not an endorsement by Access Northern California.

The access features reported in this guide are not intended to reflect compliance with any local, state or federal accessibility codes or guidelines. It is not the intent of this guide to certify or guarantee that the places listed meet any of the required accessibility codes and laws.

 

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