From skiing in the mountains to relaxing on its beaches, Michigan is home to many activities that are wheelchair accessible. This article will give you insight into wheelchair-accessible things to do in Michigan. Regardless of what adventures you explore in Michigan, there are a couple of different ways to get around the state. That said, using a handicap-accessible van is always the most convenient way to get around.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking and canoeing are abundantly accessible within Michigan, and you can use this map to locate accessible boat launches. If you’re not bringing your own boat, there are plenty of rental locations close to the boat ramps. Many of the ramps also have accessible parking and facilities, making it very convenient for those using a wheelchair-accessible van.
Barrier Free Boating is a company that provides a custom-built pontoon boat, which has the capacity for three wheelchairs, completely free of charge. Check out Barrier Free Boating’s website to see the availability and to submit a reservation form. The boat is available for use from May 15th through September 30th, and their custom built wheelchair-accessible ramp is located along Otter Lake Village Park.
The peaceful sport of fishing is accessible to all within the state of Michigan. Enjoy the serenity that Michigan has to offer at its many bodies of water by visiting one of its accessible piers, docks, or shore locations. The majority of these locations offer paved parking and walkways, so navigating them with a wheelchair is easy
Trails and Parks
Beautiful trails await you throughout the Michigan State Parks. Thanks to foundations like Kali’s Cure for Paralysis, Inc., track wheelchairs are available to those in need at many state parks. These chairs will allow you to take on any type of terrain, including sand, snow and even up to 6 inches of water. The parks offer a variety of paved and unpaved trails for all kinds of wheelchair users. From June through October, you can even experience biking around Betsie Valley Trail in a special bike-chair hybrid by a trained volunteer with the Joy2Ride program. Plenty of the parks offer paved parking, which makes using an accessible van an effortless option.
The Moving Mountains adaptive program offers lessons during winter for those who want to explore the exhilarating sport of skiing. The program has a variety of different skiing equipment to suit different types of wheelchair users. The program’s expertly trained volunteers will ensure that skiing is a fun and safe activity for everyone involved.
Challenge Mountain provides activities year-round but has a special emphasis on its ski programs for those of a wide range of abilities. January through March, meet at the Challenge Mountain Lodge and Ski Area on Tuesdays and Thursdays for group activities. Individual and family sessions are available by appointment every Saturday. Call or email the organization to register for one of their programs. Since this is a more remote location than some of the other activities in Michigan, using an accessible van is the best way to get to the mountain.
Looking for a less strenuous activity for your visit to Michigan? Savor a relaxing day while shopping. Head on over to Frankenmuth River Place Shops to experience what the locals call “Little Bavaria.” Watch the experienced confectioners paddle freshly made fudge around a large marble slab, try over 45 flavors of popcorn, take a look at the cherry shop and try authentic German treats. This outdoor mall is handicap accessible with parking and paved walkways. If you aren’t using an accessible van, this may be an easier location to secure public transportation than some other locations listed above.
If shopping isn’t your idea of a relaxing day, Michigan still has more beauty and relaxation in store. With wheelchair-accessible parking spots and pathways, using a wheelchair-accessible makes it effortless to visit a multitude of accessible beaches. Many of the beaches even have specialized beach wheelchairs or electric track wheelchairs for use or rent. There are even floating wheelchairs available at select beaches which assist you in taking a dip. Although, we wouldn’t suggest doing that outside of the peak summer heat unless icy water is your cup of tea.
The state offers many modes of public transportation, including intercity buses, local transportation, and for-hire services. However, renting a wheelchair-accessible van is the best way to get around to make the most of your time and money while visiting our beautiful state.
Whatever activities you plan on experiencing on your trip, make the most of it by visiting one of our four Michigan locations to rent a wheelchair-accessible van.