Handicapped Accessible Trails in Northern NH

Handicapped Accessible Trails in Northern NH                           

Handicapped Accessible Trails in Northern NH

Hiking friendly trails for those with special needs!

by Cody Laplante

Page 1 of 3     (Page 2) or (Page 3)

Each year thousands of tourists come to enjoy the rich natural resources that Northern New Hampshire has to offer. This region boasts the finest vistas in the state and some of the best hiking trails in the nation. Although this type of rigorous recreation can seem exclusive, there are many trails and park features that are accessible to people with physical disabilities. Below, you will find a researched list of the handicapped accessible hiking trails in Coös, Grafton, and Carroll counties of New Hampshire.

Remember that, regardless of the trail, hiking is a demanding physical activity. Even though they have all been deemed safe for people with disabilities by park staff, nothing is guaranteed. Use the following trails at your own risk. The state has not yet regulated this designation, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has determined the criteria for accessibility to be the following: grade, surface, width, and access points.


As the name suggests, the Oliverian Brook Trail runs along the Oliverian Brook. It is a highly forested, 3.5 mile trail that connects to the (non-accessible) trails leading to the top of Mt. Passaconaway. Perhaps a mile and a half is well suited as handicapped accessible so hikers cannot rely on a loop and must retrace their steps.

The trailhead and parking are off the Kangamangus highway (SR 112) at the end of Oliverian Brook Trail Road.


The staff of the Jericho Mountain State Park deem some of their trails to be handicap accessible. Their recommended route is the Lake Loop, for the level of maintenance, its relative flatness, and its scenic views of the lake. There can be seasonal mud, so handicap use is not recommended in early Spring.

Parking is available for this trail at the end of Jericho Lake Road. These trails are shared with ATVs and other motorized recreational vehicles.


The majority of the Newfound lake pathways surrounding Newfound Lake meet the guidelines suggested by the ADA: paved, unsteep, accessible, and sufficiently wide. The caveat is that the project is not yet complete so some areas are not as up to par and others are under construction. Contact them directly for the most current conditions or look here for general conditions.

The guides suggest parking at the Bristol entrance and going to the lake by that portion of the trail, which provides the easiest access while running alongside, and even crossing, the Newfound river.

The paths are free and open to the public year round but of course extra precautions must be taken in winter months when the safety of the paths is often jeopardized.


The Lower Ammonoosuc River Trail is a short, packed-gravel trail that leads directly to the stunning lower Ammonoosuc River waterfalls which flow over many bed of the state rock, Granite. As with most river and especially falls trails, use of this trail is often jeopardized due to flooding during the spring season.

Parking for this trail is located on Route 302 just east of the Zealand Campground. This trail is part of the White Mountain National Forest so related fees apply. To obtain contact information on accessible trails in the White Mountain National Forest, refer to this brochure.


The Clarksville Freedom Trail was made by community members "out of pure love" for their plot of land and for one heavily disabled boy who used to live in the community. The 1.5-mile trail, which land co-owner Linda Chapel secured a grant to blaze, features a variety of local fauna, black berries and blueberries, picnic tables (yes, at wheelchair height!), and even a covered bridge. She warns that the trail is 'limited accessibility' because the grade is sometimes steeper than 1%, but persons with all types of disabilities have used the trail without problem. Access to the trail can be found on Bressette Road, which is about a mile off of Route 145. Feel free to contact Linda with any questions at 538-6387.


Of Interest:
Handicapped Accessible Trails in Northern NH - Page 2
Handicapped Accessible Trails in Northern NH - Page 3
Making Your Home Wheelchair Safe


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