Scripps News Life


22 Tennessee state parks provide all-terrain wheelchairs for visitors to use

One person with a spinal cord injury said the all-terrain wheelchairs make it possible explore state parks.
Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 27, 2024

State parks in Tennessee are now providing all-terrain wheelchairs to make it easier for more visitors to explore the parks. Twenty-two state parks offer the wheelchairs.

"All-terrain wheelchairs are specialized wheelchairs designed to navigate a wide range of terrains that may be encountered in outdoor environments," the Tennessee State Parks website said.

The chairs are free to use for kids and adults.

"I thought that with a spinal cord injury, I would never be able to enjoy a nature trail again, and these chairs have just opened up that world again for me," Mary Lu Shipstad said.

After months of testing, the chairs are now available for parkgoers to use.

"We're trying to extend other parts of accessibility so everybody feels welcome and invited to come to Tennessee State Parks," deputy commissioner Greer Tidwell said.

The chairs are designed to navigate a wide range of terrains and give visitors the opportunity to access recreation that they would've been unable to access before.

You can request a wheelchair upon arrival to the park, but reservations are recommended to be sure one is available when you arrive. You can find the contact information for each park on the Tennessee State Parks website.

This article was originally published by Kelly Broderick for Scripps News Nashville.