Universal Access means providing recreation opportunities for everyone - from the oldest adult to the youngest child and everyone in between including people with disabilities. Accessibility improvements invite families with children in strollers and people with mobility issues to our state lands. Various methods of communication are utilized to include people with hearing or sight disabilities in environmental education. Our focus is on inclusion and not separate programs.
The Department of Environmental Conservation welcomes all visitors to explore outdoor recreation on state lands and we are committed to providing an ever-increasing range of accessible opportunities. Currently, visitors to our accessible facilities can enjoy fishing, boating, hunting, canoeing, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, visiting historic assets, wildlife observation and camping at DEC campgrounds as well as primitive areas.
Many of our sites were designed to provide people with choices about the type of recreational experience and level of personal challenge they prefer. We encourage visitors to contact DEC's Access Coordinators directly to discuss their individual needs and recreational pursuits with knowledgeable staff.
The NYS Access Pass, which is administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), is accepted at DEC campgrounds and day use areas. For more information about Access Passes, please contact OPRHP (This link leaves the DEC website.). The Department of Environmental Conservation does not issue Access Passes.
Service animals are welcome at all DEC sites.
More about Accessible Recreation:
- Access Coordinators - List of access coordinators in each DEC region who can provide site-specific information related to accessible features
- Accessible Recreation Destinations - New York campgrounds, educational centers and lands offer many recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, including camping, picnicking, fishing and nature viewing
- Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) - Motor Vehicle Access to State Lands Under Jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Conservation for People with Disabilities.
- DEC Statement on Power Driven Mobility Devices - Clarification of ADA rule
- Americans with Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure - This policy establishes the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grievance procedure for prompt and equitable resolution of non-employment related complaints alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in practices and policies, or the provisions of DEC programs, services and activities offered by New York State.
- Great Stories From The Great Outdoors - Share positive and inspirational stories of your experiences in New York's great outdoors.
- Outdoor Recreation Opportunity Day Article - Five Rivers opens its wooded trails and wildlife-friendly gardens to an Inclusive Outdoor Recreation Opportunity Day in recognition of National Disability Awareness Month
- Fishing Access for Anglers with Disabilities - Map with links to regional web pages of fishing access sites for anglers with disabilities.