Grateful Disabled Coloradans Have Chance to ‘Hike’ In State Park
A Colorado State Park is giving Coloradans with mobility impairments the ability to experience the wondrous beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
Coloradans Love Hiking, But Not Everybody Can
Hiking is one of Colorado's favorite pastimes and a great way to enjoy the scenic wonders of our great state. There is something very special about being on a mountain trail experiencing the majesty of the mountains, the sounds of the forest, the smells of a wildflower meadow, and feeling the crisp mountain air on your face. Unfortunately, not everyone in Colorado has the ability to experience something like this, that many of us take for granted.
For just a minute, think about someone you know who is confined to a wheelchair or who struggles to walk with the aid of a walker. In many cases, these are people just like you and me who love the outdoors - but, because of their limited mobility, they can't enjoy the beauty of Colorado's backcountry. They can't go out and do a basic hike.
Track Chair Program at Staunton State Park
Staunton State Park in central Colorado is now offering a track-chair program that gives individuals with disabilities the ability to explore designated trails in the park. The trails feature meadows, a variety of wildlife, geological and water features, and amazing views of Pikes Peak, Lions Head, and Mount Rosalie.
What Exactly Is A Track- Chair?
Simply put, track chairs are essentially motorized wheelchairs that have tracks instead of wheels that enable them to traverse over rough and rocky terrain. A track chair has an independent left and right track which increases the surface area of contact between the chair and the ground which makes it very stable. In the photos and video below, you can see how the track chair operates.
The Track-Chair Program
At Staunton State Park, they have slide boards and a sling lift available to facilitate transfer into the track chair if necessary. Volunteers accompany program participants and their guests on trips that can run anywhere from two to five hours and 2.5 to 5 miles in distance.
Track-Chair Trips are offered at Staunton State Park Friday through Sunday on a reservation basis from June through October. The popular trips are free, except for the daily $10 park entrance fee.
Staunton State Park is located about 40 miles southwest of Denver off of US Highway 285.