All-Terrain Wheelchairs Are Making State Parks More Accessible – K104.7

Several state parks in Georgia just became a lot more accessible thanks to the addition of some very special wheelchairs. CNN reports that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently unveiled a new fleet of high mobility all-terrain track wheelchairs. These are now available at eleven of Georgia’s state parks, historical sites, and wildlife centers.
Park visitors who meet certain requirements can reserve the all-terrain wheelchairs free of charge for hiking, hunting, fishing, or other outdoor activities. The new wheelchairs allow users to navigate more difficult terrain than they could in a regular wheelchair. They can even travel through mud, water, sand, and snow. However, while the wheelchairs allow for greater independence, users must be with a “buddy” at all times.
The rugged wheelchairs are part of a collaboration between the state and the Aimee Copeland Foundation. In a press release, Copeland says the wheelchair project is the “pride and joy” of her foundation, adding, “It’s been a long time coming and we’re honored to offer this life-changing program to the community.” The Georgia native established the nonprofit foundation after she lost her hands and feet to a rare bacterial infection following a zip-lining accident in 2012.
Travel blogger Cory Lee uses a wheelchair and is excited about the prospect of seeing more of Georgia’s natural environments. He told CNN that many of Georgia’s state parks were “lacking in accessibility.” However, he thinks the new wheelchairs will open up a whole new world for himself and other wheelchair users.
Several state parks in Michigan and Minnesota also began offering all-terrain wheelchairs to visitors earlier this year. One Minnesota user compares operating the wheelchair to driving a tank. You can see how they work in the WCCO-TV report below:
Summer is wrapping up, and the fall weather will be here soon. It’s the perfect time to get outdoors and explore. Lucky for us there are lots of great places to hike and learn about history all while enjoying nature. Here are 5 National Parks and Forests worth a day trip from Charlotte.
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