: Pat Addabbo

Accessible Adventures for All

August 22, 2018 (Updated September 28, 2023)

Oregon is known as a destination for outdoor recreation, and many of the state’s iconic experiences are open to everyone — whether it’s playing on the beach, forest trail, ski slope, river, golf course or rock wall. Here are several guided adaptive experiences across the state that are accessible for all.

An athlete on adaptive skis heads on a downhill slope.
Oregon Adaptive Sports offers lessons in adaptive snow sports at Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo Ski Area. (Photo credit: Pat Addabbo)

Seasonal group outings in Central Oregon

Ride a bike, paddle a kayak, go indoor rock climbing, take a hike, play a round of golf, learn to mountain bike and even do yoga with Oregon Adaptive Sports in Central Oregon (check schedule for seasonal timing and locations). With this group, trained staff and volunteers use adaptive equipment and accessible transportation to help visitors choose their most comfortable activity level. In the winter, first-timers as well as seasoned athletes with disabilities may sign up for half-day and full-day lessons in skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing at Mt. Bachelor or Hoodoo Ski Area. Scholarships are available.

Wheelchair access on the beach

Visitors to many of Oregon’s beaches can now rent a wheelchair with large, wide tires to navigate the sandy shoreline. The wheels make it a breeze to head on and off the promenade — the hub of the coastal town’s shops, restaurants and entertainment. In Seaside, reserve a wheelchair through Sunset Empire Parks & Recreation District.) Cannon Beach provides sand wheelchairs through its Haystack Rock Awareness Program, to ensure children and other visitors can participate in educational offerings at the tidepools. The city of Manzanita also offers sand wheelchairs for its three beaches; contact their visitor center for free rentals.

In communities including Lincoln City, Seaside and at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Mobi-mats are installed from late May to early September, or as conditions allow. These long mats provide a more stable, even surface for walking or rolling over the sand. 

In Netarts, Manzanita, Pacific City and Seaside, visitors may request free use of David’s Chair — an “Action Trackchair” (available in adult size and children’s size) that allows people with mobility challenges to access the sandy beach. Outdoorsman David Hatrick came up with the idea to make these chairs publicly available at no cost after being diagnosed with ALS in 2017, passing away 18 months later. Now the nonprofit group run by his friend Steve Furst offers the trackchairs both at designated locations and on a “tow-and-go” basis.

Healing Reins has nationally accredited therapeutic programs open to people of all ages and abilities. (Photo credit: Healing Reins)

Horseback riding around Bend

In and around the Bend area, you can ride a horse for physical therapy or mental health wellness with Healing Reins. Their nationally accredited therapeutic programs are open to children, teens and adults of all ages and abilities.

Youth and adult sports around Portland

Portland-area athletes of all ages and skill levels can join Adaptive Sports Northwest. Many of the adaptive sports kick off in the fall, including wheelchair basketball for youth ages 7 to 17, wheelchair rugby for adults and adaptive swimming for youth ages 7 to 18. There also offer track, kayaking, cycling, goal ball, sit volleyball and more offered at locations throughout the Portland Region.

Project Healing Waters is a nonprofit that teaches fly fishing to veterans with emotional and physical disabilities. (Photo credit: Pat Addabbo)

Fly fishing for veterans

Project Healing Waters is a nonprofit that offers fly fishing instruction for veterans with emotional and physical disabilities. Classes include fly fishing 101 classes, casting instruction, fly tying classes, rod building classes and fishing outings, offered to active, reserve or disabled veteran military personnel meet eligibility requirements.

Adventures Without Limits aims to get people outdoors, no matter their background, ability or socioeconomic status. (Photo credit: Adventures Without Limits)

Year-round activities statewide

Based in Forest Grove with programming statewide, Adventures Without Limits aims to get people outdoors, no matter their background, ability or socioeconomic status (scholarships are available). Kids and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, at-risk youth and older adults — as well as the general public — are welcome to join in kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, rafting, rock climbing and youth day camps during the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Certified guides and a warehouse of adaptive equipment and accessible transportation and activity locations make it possible for everyone to be a weekend (or weekday) warrior.

For more inspiration: Read more about Oregon Adaptive Sports’ activities; accessible destinations in Oregon and accessible trails for backpacking and hiking. Watch John Williams’ videos about accessible adventures along the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

About The

Jen Anderson
Jen Anderson is a longtime journalist and travel writer/editor who is now Travel Oregon’s Content & Community Manager, helping to align content for visitors via social media, print and web. She’s called Oregon home for 25 years and loves finding the latest places to eat, drink and play around the state with her husband and two boys. Brewpubs, beaches and bike trails top the list.

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