We believe that every park and preserve, and every city and county must develop a plan to ensure that fully accessible (universal access) paths are available. But we also understand that it is physically - and fiscally - impossible for every new path to meet these rigorous standards.
Our emerging Progressive Access framework views paths and trails on a continuum of difficulty. These do not just vary in terms of their length, surface, and slope but in other characteristics that challenge people with limited mobility. And it takes more than trails to get people Healthy Outdoors - by understanding this continuum, people can develop a plan to build their fitness and their capacity for more challenging trails over time, just like Margot!
This continuum also reveals alternative designs for paths and trails that can help our towns and counties develop networks that help everyone become Healthy Outdoors at a fraction of the cost and of the time compared to traditional designs. Read more about these alternatives for Kennett Greenways.
Watch how anyone walking with a stroller, a wheelchair, a cane, or just their own two feet can start their journey towards becoming Healthy Outdoors through walking. What is an Easy Paved Path? Where can I find these paths near Kennett? How do I find my zone that offers just the right amount of challenge? How to I develop a comfortable routine to begin to walk every day? Read more here.
Watch how anyone can take the next steps towards building their fitness on Harder and then the Hardest Paved Paths. What are these paths and where can I find them near Kennett? Am I ok with the steeper grades on the hardest paths that go far beyond universal access standards? Can I make my routine more resilient by planning for and adapting to the weather, so that I can walk every day, all year round?? Read more here.
Watch how Margot developed her love of being outdoors despite her disabilities. From getting around the supermarket and through New York City, walks became part of Margot's routine. During Covid, we developed her hiking routine on natural trails, and began to understand how her "zone" changed under different conditions. We can now plan for half day hiking and kayaking adventures. Read more here.
Check back later as these pages are added
With fitness and routines established on harder paved paths, even those using wheelchairs can transition to wide and relatively flat natural trails with surfaces that may not always be even or firm. For example, could I enjoy a mowed path through a meadow? Where can I find trails like these near Kennett? Can I begin to stretch my routine to include trips that might be a little longer? Read more later!
Having mastered natural surfaces over longer hikes, are you ready to try surfaces that become more uneven because of larger rocks and roots? What about steeper grades? When properly designed, trails like these can help even wheelchair users immerse themselves n nature, wandering for an hour or two through the woods. Where can I find these kinds of trails near Kennett? Read more later!
Once comfortable on natural surfaces over longer hikes, with more uneven surfaces, are you ready to explore the most challenging of local trails. Can I cross streams on narrow bridges or hopping on boulders? Or climb a narrow, uneven, or muddy trail up a steep hill? Where can I find these near Kennett? Read more later!
Once you are comfortable on more natural trails - especially more challenging ones - you are ready to hop in the car for a day trip to try trails than are farther away. How can I find these trails? What information should I gather to know if they are right for me? Read more later!