7 Handicap-Accessible Destinations That Go The Extra Mile
There is nothing quite like summertime in Michigan. From exploring the sandy shores of our great lakes to visiting one of the many sprawling cities, the list of beautiful places to visit is endless. However, for many of our catastrophic clients who have a disability related to an auto accident, or our elderly clients who have limited mobility or special needs, finding a handicap accessible location that they can vacation to or spend the day can be a challenge.
We have compiled a list of locations below that offer handicap accessible accommodations and activities that allow individuals and families of all abilities to enjoy their summer in Pure Michigan.
Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors (MiOFO)
Grass Lake, MI
MiOFO offers a wide array of outdoor recreational activities for wounded veterans and individuals with health challenges. Based around the Sharonville State Game Area, they offer year-round activities such as guided hunts with accessible trails and field grade mobility devices that you can rent, scenic rides, and visits to wildlife management areas. MiOFO is a great opportunity for wounded veterans to continue to enjoy their love of nature through their barrier-free program.
Ocqueoc Township, MI
Ocqueoc Falls is a breathtaking hidden gem in northeastern Michigan, and thanks to the DNR and Accessibility Advisory Council, in 2012 it became the first universally accessible waterfall in the nation. Areas designed to be accessible include picnic areas, trails, river access, and a rock climbing wall.
Ludington State Park
The picturesque sand dunes, beaches, and forests of Ludington State Park are destination favorites for many Michiganders. Stearns Park Beach, in particular, is well known for offering accessible walkways along the beach, allowing anyone who has trouble walking in the sand to go from the parking lot to the water. In addition to that, Ludington State Park offers handicap accessible campgrounds, fishing piers, trails, picnic areas, and more.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Grand Rapids, MI
The Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is an enchanting combination of fine art and horticulture. Both indoor and outdoor spaces here are designed barrier-free for people of all abilities to enjoy.
Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)
For those wanting an immersive artistic experience, the DIA is the perfect place to visit. It offers tools to maximize accessibility, such as assistive listening devices, large print text, American Sign Language (ASL) and verbal interpretations, and wheelchair accessible entrances. For visitors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, the museum has implemented a “Minds on Art” program to foster discussions based on observations in a safe environment.
Grand Haven State Park
Grand Haven, MI
Located along Lake Michigan and the Grand River, the shores of Grand Haven State Park are ideal for watching a peaceful sunset over a lighthouse. The park includes an accessible playground, fishing pier, beach houses, picnic shelters, and specially equipped sand wheelchairs that are available for use on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The Henry Ford
If you are looking for an educational day trip where you can get lost in local history and blank then you should check out The Henry Ford. The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Giant Screen Experience, and Lovett Hall and Benson Ford Research Center are all wheelchair accessible. Accommodations have also been made for guests that are blind, deaf or hard of hearing, have sensory sensitivities, or have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
The Disabled Traveler’s Companion: http://www.tdtcompanion.com/
Johnny’s Pass: http://johnnyspass.com/