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More wheelchair accessible trails around Buffalo

Discover a variety of wheelchair accessible trails, parks, and nature paths around Buffalo, NY with this informational bucket list. This list of wheelchair friendly locations allows everyone in our community equal access to natural spaces.  

Most of these locations are open daily from sunrise to sunset. The public buildings at some of these parks and preserves have varying hours. I suggest that you check the hours of operation before arriving if you plan to use the facilities. I also encourage you to be mindful of the fact that not all of these areas are meticulously maintained during Buffalo’s harsh winters. The locations with asphalt paths are typically the best option for those tough enough to go exploring during the winter. 

1. Buffalo Harbor State Park/Greenway Nature Trail/Wilkeson Pointe

Address: 702 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY 14203 (This is the lot address for Buffalo DIY Skatepark which is nearest parking to the Greenway Nature Trail.)
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: Yes
Type of terrain: All flat asphalt.
Other Information: It would likely be best to park at the Wilkeson Pointe parking lot or the Buffalo Harbor lot. This location is along the lake and there are few shaded areas during the summer months. It is a great place for watching the sunset. Tifft Nature Preserve is right across the street from this location.

2. Delaware Park / Rumsey Woods Wheelchair Accessible Trails

Address: Meadow Dr, Buffalo, NY 14214
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: No
Type of terrain: Asphalt with some incline throughout.
Other information: You can pay to park in the Buffalo Zoo’s parking lot which has accessible parking spaces for the public. The zoo is located at the edge of Delaware Park. There is also parking behind the Albright Knox Art Gallery and Buffalo History Museum, but there may not be accessible parking spots at those locations. Visit the Olmsted Parks website for more information.

3. Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve

Address: 93 Honorine Dr, Depew, NY 14043
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: Yes, when the nature center is open.
Type of terrain: Most of the trails are compact gravel/dirt and includes an accessible boardwalk.
Other information: Great for families! A mobility scooter is available during building hours on a first come first serve basis. They also offer an audio tour of the Lily Pond Loop Trail. Visit Reinstein’s accessibility page for more information.

reinstein wheelchair accessible trails and center

4. Chestnut Ridge Park

Address: 6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: Yes. The main lodge has accessible bathrooms, but not all of the bathrooms throughout the park are fully accessible.
Type of terrain: Asphalt road with some incline throughout.
Other information: The road/walkway is usually plowed and salted in the winter. The park offers great views of Buffalo from the top of the sledding hill. Visit Erie County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry for more information.

5. Knox Farms State Park

Address: 437 Buffalo Rd, East Aurora, NY 14052
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: No
Type of terrain: Asphalt and some gravel.
Other information: This location includes a popular dog park and there are typically lots of dogs in the area, especially during the warmer months. The park is also considered a historic site with preserved buildings and barns on the property. Visit the Knox Farms website for more information.

6. Cazenovia Park

Address: Warren Spahn Way, Buffalo, NY 14220
Accessible parking: No
Accessible bathrooms: No
Type of terrain: Asphalt with a couple of hills. There are some gravel/dirt trails that may or may not be fully accessible.
Other information: You should be able to find parking for vans and accessibility vehicles, but there is no parking lot with designated accessible spaces. Paths may get icy in the winter months if there has been snow. Visit the Olmsted Parks website for more information.

gravel parking lot

7. Birdsong Park Nature Trail

Address: 7260 Jewett Holmwood Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Accessible parking: Yes
Accessible bathrooms: No
Type of terrain: Asphalt and stone gravel/dirt.
Other information: Great birding! Not all wheelchair accessible trails and paths may be maintained throughout the winter months. The boardwalks are not wheelchair accessible, but the rest of the trails and paths are. Be cautious of possible flooding after a lot of rain or snow melt. The trails are located behind a housing development. 

8. Tifft Nature Preserve

Address: 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY 14203
Accessible parking: No
Accessible bathrooms: No
Type of terrain: Stone/gravel, dirt, grass, and some accessible boardwalks.
Other information: Great spot for seeing wildlife! Not all trails and areas are fully accessible. It can get very muddy there because it is partially a wetland area. I recommend visiting on a warm day when there has not been recent rain. Do not forget your bug spray for this expedition. Visit Tifft’s website for more information and to check out their osprey cam!

Other locations to check out:

Here are some other places around Buffalo to enjoy the outdoors that might have some wheelchair accessible trails or paths. A few of these spots are a short trip away from Buffalo but are worth the drive. 

  • Stiglmerier Park in Cheektowaga, NY
  • Charles E. Burchfield Nature & Art Center in West Seneca, NY
  • Amherst State Park and Glen Falls in Williamsville, NY
  • Walton Woods in Getzville, NY
    You can find information on other wheelchair accessible trails in your area using Trail Link.

Nature Is For Everyone

Research has proven that spending time in nature can have positive effects on both our mental and physical health. Studies show that spending about two hours a week outside can increase self-esteem, reduce levels of anxiety, and improve overall mood. This is applicable to all people, including those with disabilities. 

Unfortunately, not all nature spaces are fully accessible to everyone. Just one small ledge, a path with an incline, or unstable terrain can bar someone from being able to access a public amenity. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has given a manade for parks and recreation departments to equally serve individuals with disabilities. This calls for inclusive policies and procedures such as eliminating physical barriers and hindrances that prevent some people from enjoying the benefits of a public space. Some parks and recreation centers have yet to fulfill this mandate.

The goal of this article is to help people who are looking for wheelchair accessible trails and parks to get the necessary information they need before heading out to enjoy these places. Just because a path is labeled as “wheelchair accessible” online does not mean that the area also provides other requirements that certain people need such as accessible bathrooms, parking, or terrain details. 

Not all people with disabilities face the same circumstances and the more information that can be shared the better. If you utilize any of these locations listed above and come across more information or tips that you feel could be valuable, please feel free to reach out to me so that I can include it.  

My email is: caeleyrobinson@gmail.com 

Happy trails!