Spreading over a remarkable 84 million acres, the USA’s National Park network has grown since Yellowstone was declared the first park in 1872. Today, these areas of vast wilderness, spectacular deserts and endless forests are one of the country’s biggest draws.
The National Park Service has done an excellent job of making them as open and accessible as possible. So with that in mind, here is Quingo Scooters’ pick of the very best accessible trails across US National Parks.
The General Sherman Tree Trail, Sequoia National Park
In the USA everything is bigger: and its trees are no different. The Sequoia National Park in California is home to the biggest in the world – spectacular redwoods hundreds of feet high. The largest of them all is the General Sherman Tree, which is over 270 feet tall!
The great news is that the trail that leads to this natural wonder is paved and completely accessible to all. It’s only a short distance (so need to worry about running out of charge on this trail) and passing beneath these giants is an experience that takes the breath away.
We also recommend checking out the Big Trees Trail, which is also accessible. It’s another short one (just under a mile) that has accessible parking and toilets at the start. It’s a varied and accessible trail, giving you a wonderful view of the trees but also taking you on a boardwalk through the nearby meadows.
Acadia National Park, Maine
Now to the other side of this vast country, to the state of Maine. We’ve picked this national park out because it’s something a bit different. We love the variety of Acadia – from rocky coastal headlands to beautiful birch forests, there is something for everyone. This national park is the perfect showcase for the wild Atlantic coast of the eastern US, and large parts of it are also accessible.
Driving the Park Loop Road is a great way to get a sense of this wonderful place and there are plenty of scenic spots to stop off on the way. There is a handy guide to accessibility at Acadia here, but we wanted to pick out one short trail in particular.
Thunder Hole is a truly spectacular spot – named for the way the ocean crashes against the rocks, this place is a must-see. There is ramped access to the trail down to Thunder Hole from the Loop Road and it is well worth stopping to take in this beautiful place.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The Grand Canyon might not seem to be one of the most accessible national parks. And yet while it’s true that getting down into the canyon itself is tricky, there are still plenty of places where you can take in this remarkable place.
Our tip is to head for the South Rim, where there are many accessible places to get unforgettable views out over the canyon itself. Getting around the park is also straightforward as there are regular and accessible shuttle buses. For an up-to-date overview of this service, check out their page here.
Finally, for a handy overview of the accessibility options right across the Grand Canyon National Park, take a look at the Park Service’s page here.
Arches National Park, Utah
Utah is lucky enough to have five National Parks, and Arches is one of our favourites. It is named for the 2,000 sandstone arches which dot the desert landscape. This includes the remarkable (and gravity-defying) ‘Delicate Arch’ which is over 50 feet high.
As with many of North America’s parks, much of the park is accessible by road and there is a 48-mile loop road that offers plenty of places to stop to take in the views. There is a short accessible trail at Park Avenue Viewpoint which is a great place to qustart.
Then, as you travel around the Loop Road you’ll also be able to explore accessible trails at Balanced Rock Viewpoint, the Windows Trail and of course, the iconic Delicate Arch itself. Start planning your trip to Arches National Park here.
To find out more about how the US National Parks Service are committed to accessibility, take a look at their dedicated accessibility page here. They also have a handy park finder service to help you plan your trip across the remoter parts of the US.
Did you know?
There is only one US state that doesn’t have a national park. Sorry Delaware…
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847