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The need for adventure seems to be innate in many individuals. Whether the goal is to fly high in a hot air balloon, hike the mountains, or try to ride an obstinate camel, adventures are exciting and fun. For those are differently abled or have mobility needs, fear not. So many attractions and adventures around the world have become accessible and inclusive. Here are just a few.
South and Central America
Argentina and Brazil
There is a chain of waterfalls known as Iguazu Falls that spans the two countries and is surrounded by rainforest. UNESCO site, Iguazu National Park, is wheelchair accessible with well-cared-for walkways and paths to the falls. Electric carts are available for those who may need greater assistance. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors and Mother Nature at her most colorful.
Soar over the Arenal Volcano National Park on a zipline. The outfitter Il Viaggio Travel will help visitors into an upright sling to zipline down several lines above the forest.
Consider getting a bird’s eye view of the countryside by hot-air ballooning in Catalonia, which is two hours from Barcelona. Located in the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, the Vol de Coloms hot-air balloon company offers sightseeing tours over dormant volcanos and lush greenery. Accessible hot air balloon baskets are equipped with remote-controlled seats for wheelchair users.
If in Austria, visit Tyrol for an accessible hiking region with multiple trails, many of which are paved for convenience.
The Middle East
Another water-based option is to go kayaking through the mangroves in Qatar. Wheel the World accessible travel company offers kayaking tours from Doha to the UNESCO World Heritage site in Al Zubarah and through Al Thakhira natural reserve. Float between the mangroves and enjoy the natural wildlife of the area.
If dry heat is more your form of adventure, try riding a camel here with the Morocco Accessible Travel Consultants. They provide mobility-limited travelers with an adaptive saddle that has a backrest and headrest. Mounting and riding a camel is inherently adventurous, and where better to do so then trekking through the Erg Chebbi sand dunes?
The United States
Park City, Utah
For a winter adventure, hit the slopes in Park City, Utah, where the Park City Mountain Resort has implemented an adaptive ski program with certified instructors and adaptive equipment. Take a lesson with an instructor who can accommodate 3 or 4-track skiing, mono or bi-skiing, and more to suit any need.
Sheboygan, Wisconsin is about 50 miles north of Milwaukee, and a fabulous spot for sailing on Lake Michigan. The Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan, SEAS, is a nonprofit organization that offers adaptive sailing. They have custom-designed Sonar sailboats, which have a large cockpit, and known to be stable. For sailors with upper body limitations, bite switches are available for hands-free steering. The lake’s beaches are extremely wheelchair friendly.
Consider the Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska for fun for the whole family. The accessible suspension bridge provides a birds-eye view with access to gazebos. For those who are able, a trampoline net can also be enjoyed here. The Tree Adventure center and half mile Tree House Trail are ADA accessible.
U.S. National Parks
Enjoy the abundance of wheelchair-accessible trails, campgrounds and services in the U.S. national parks, including Zion National Park in Utah, the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, or California’s General Sherman Tree Trail.
Travel the world, find adventure, and enjoy life to the fullest, whether alone or with your family. No matter your destination, no matter your ability, global adventures await. So, get started and love the fun you find.