One Of The US' Most Accessible National Parks Is A Slice Of Scenic Paradise In Virginia

The Shenandoah National Park is nestled in the tree-covered Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, which are surprisingly close to the fast-paced city life found in Washington D.C. Inside the park, the views from the famous Skyline Drive are absolutely breathtaking. It's amazing how far you can see thanks to the 60 peaks found within the 311 square miles of the park's borders where you can go horseback riding, hiking, camping, or exploring the night sky. The park also offers educational classes on everything from basket making to amateur astronomy.


One of the best features about this wildlife-rich destination is that it's one of the most accessible parks in the country. Typically, exploring a wilderness with vision limitations or by wheelchair can be a daunting task, but at Shenandoah National Park, those who are handicapped are welcomed with open arms. It even has Braille park brochures! The generous amount of inclusive events and activities ensures that everyone can have a great time.

Shenandoah National Park goes beyond just wheelchair ramps

When it comes to accessibility, Shenandoah National Park is paving the way. It's not simply that the overlooks and trails are wheelchair-friendly; there is a wide range of accessible features for many of the educational classes and activities offered throughout the park. Assistive hearing devices are available for park films, and the ranger programs are inclusive for anyone who wants to join. There's also accessible lodging nearby at Lewis Mountain, Skyland Resort, and Big Meadows Lodge. After a full day of adventures, a great place to clean up and sleep is essential. (Or if you're looking for a relaxing couples getaway in the mountains, Shenandoah National Park has that covered, too.)


The park's wide-spread picnic sites also have accessible bathrooms for everyone. If you're planning a longer stay, Big Meadows, Lewis Mountain, and Loft Mountain campgroundshave accessible laundry and shower areas as well. This is a great feature for families with small children since, sometimes, the need for a washing machine arises. Being able to hop in the shower after a night camping is wonderful, too. Service dogs are also welcome within the Shenandoah National Park's guidelines, and if hiking is the goal, the tree-lined Limberlost Trail is completely accessible for those who are in a wheelchair.

Everyone deserves to enjoy National Parks

The bottom line is that Shenandoah National Park is a wonderful place that everyone can and should enjoy. It's an all-in-one opportunity to do some soul searching while gazing at the stars with your loaner telescope, hike on beautiful trails through the lush mountains, and even learn a bit while you're out there! The entire park experience is rich in ways to understand our world, the universe, and see native wildlife in their natural habitats. (The cabins in the park aren't too shabby, either.)


It's time that accessibility meant more than just a wheelchair ramp outside of the restrooms. Shenandoah National Park is breaking ground with its many inclusive activities, hotels, and campsites. This amazing location can get busy in the warmer months, so be sure to book your cabin in advance. There's a reason Shenandoah is one of the best parks for a family vacation. The Blue Ridge Mountains are calling your name.