Trailability Program: Increasing Universal Access to Trails

2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner

El Paso County, Colo., CO

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About the Program

Category: Human Services (Best in Category)

Year: 2023

The El Paso County Trailability Program aims to provide accessible recreational opportunities to individuals with limited mobility, while preserving and protecting the natural resources within El Paso County parks and open spaces. Serving as a free program to the community, El Paso County has ensured financial constraints are not barriers to participation. The program utilizes Terrain Hoppers, allowing individuals who thought they could not explore the parks to be immersed in nature. These battery-operated vehicles are quiet and gentle, preserving and protecting El Paso County's natural resources. Staff and volunteers act as guides and nature interpreters after training in disability awareness and safe operation of the Terrain Hopper vehicles. Guides offer as much help as desired from the participant and can fully operate the device should the rider not be able or want to drive. Participants can enjoy miles of trails while engaging in friendly conversation and thoughtful nature discussions with their guide. In the inaugural season in 2022, 32 individuals participated in the program, re-experiencing freedom, and empowerment. The Trailability Program broadens and enhances the quality of life for all residents and guests in El Paso County, Colorado.

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