Limberlost Trail - really worth it?

5:34 a.m. on July 21, 2006 (EDT)
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My wife is totally disabled - stroke and heart surgery. I'd like to show her what some of this is all about in some small way.

I see where the Limberlost Trail in the Shenandoah NP is sort of a nice easy short trail for physically challenged people. I could probably rent a wheel chair, as she only uses a cane now. She would not be able to go on any other type of trek. I take her to Babcock here in WV and she really likes it, but that is more sightseeing that getting into the woods. Would this give her a hiking experience?

Does anyone have recommendations or opinions on this particular trail or any others that may fit the above situation?

Steve

9:53 a.m. on July 21, 2006 (EDT)
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We did the Limberlost Trail when we were in Shenandoah a couple years ago. It's a pleasent little loop, mostly flat, with a wide, smooth crushed-stone surface. There are no views to speak of, but the trail passes through a variety of different habitats and appeared to be totally accessible by wheelchair.

You may have read descriptions of the trail that mentioned a stand of old-growth hemlock. However, most (all?) of those trees now dead. They were killed off by the wooly adelgid, an invasive insect species. So that's kind of a depressing part of the loop, but still very interesting.

12:59 p.m. on July 21, 2006 (EDT)
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Steve -
That is really great! There are a number of trails that are somewhat wilderness that are developed for people of limited abilities all over the country. It has been long enough since I spent any great amount of time on the East coast, so I can't point you to ones there. Here in Calif, we have a large number of such trails in the state and national parks. It has been over 20 years since we last lived in the DC area, but I recall a number of trails in Maryland, Virginia, and at least one in the part of WV closest to DC (my Pennsylvania relatives were all elderly by that time - I mean really elderly, not a young kid like you, in their 70s). Many of the trails were short, just a couple miles or less. Some were longer. I vaguely recall that there was some sort of guide to such trails, but one does tend to forget things after 20 years.

11:34 p.m. on July 21, 2006 (EDT)
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Steve, If you haven't done so already, you may want to look into getting a Golden Access Passport for the national park system. It's for disabled visitors will get your wife and you into the parks at no charge and it's free. I would bet you could find more info on accessible parks in your area through the NPS website.

October 20, 2014
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