Hiking with Spoons

The Secret Lives of Parks

Dec 21 2021 • 26 mins


At least 41 million people in the United States, more than one in eight, live with some kind of disability, and some estimates put this figure even higher. For those who may be grappling with anxiety, fatigue, pain and other chronic conditions, the idea of encountering physical hurdles on a trip can be enough to avoid a park altogether, causing people to lose out on the kinds of life-changing experiences that so many of us take for granted. Host Jennifer Errick explores some of the factors that go into accessibility planning and how to be welcoming to people of different ability levels with guests Syren Nagakyrie, activist and founder of Disabled Hikers; Jeff Doryland, deputy facility manager and accessibility coordinator at Olympic National Park; and Jeremy Buzzell, manager of accessibility for the National Park Service. Visit the Disabled Hikers website at https://disabledhikers.com. Learn about accessibility at Olympic National Park and get detailed descriptions of the park's front-country trails at https://parkb.it/olympicaccess. Explore accessibility features across the National Park System at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/accessibility/. Learn about Syren Nagakyrie's upcoming book, "The Disabled Hikers Guide to Western Washington and Oregon.

Original theme music by Chad Fischer.

Sound effects by Jeff Rice.

This episode was produced by Jennifer Errick with moral and technical support from Todd Christopher and Bev Stanton.

The Secret Lives of Parks is a production of the National Parks Conservation Association. With more than 1.6 million members and supporters, NPCA is the nation’s only independent, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting national parks. Learn more at npca.org.