Six Outdoor Wisconsin Activities for All Abilities

Wisconsin is well known for its abundance of outdoor recreation and sports.  Regardless of ability or mobility levels, activities from kayaking to skydiving to enjoying the sand dunes of Lake Michigan are accessible to everyone. More than just ramps and elevators, travelers can find a variety of adaptive equipment, accessible parks and helpful programs to make sure everyone can enjoy Wisconsin’s great outdoors with ease and freedom.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources now offers a unique way to experience the outdoors. The state parks listed below now have specialized kayaks available for people with mobility impairments.

The adaptive kayaks are equipped with adjustable outriggers which provide incredible stability on the water and a raised back with side supports, offering the user a comfortable and secure seat while paddling. A paddle with hand adaptations is also provided which offers assistance to individuals with limited grip. All elements can be adjusted or removed to accommodate the user’s level of function.


Many of our state parks with beaches feature different elements of accessibility on normally rather inaccessible terrain.

Some parks have specialized beach wheelchairs which have large inflatable tires allowing for easy rolling on sand and entry into the water. Others have laid accessible beach trails providing a solid surface for people in wheelchairs or those with difficulty walking.


There are various opportunities in Wisconsin for people with disabilities to have a go at shore-fishing. There are adapted piers and platforms on Wisconsin’s beautiful lakes and rivers, designed to accommodate wheelchairs that are wide enough to turn around and that have lower railings and rod holders. To name just a couple:

For additional opportunities for adaptive shore fishing, visit the DNR’s Open the Outdoors.

There are three prominent groups in Wisconsin, providing enhanced fishing experiences to those with disabilities.

Cross Country Skiing

Sit skis offer the opportunity for people with mobility impairments to get out into the solitude of a good ole Wisconsin winter. The sit skis are available for free use at the state parks listed below. All of these spots have flat, groomed trails allowing for easier maneuvering.


While many skydiving facilities offer their services to those with a mobility disability, each case is evaluated individually to determine if the experience is safe for that person. The folks at Skydive Wissota Indianhead Sport Parachute Club have taken several people with various physical disabilities. While they want everyone to experience the thrill and exhilaration of skydiving, safety is their number one concern.


Adaptive Adventures provides outdoor sports opportunities to improve the quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families. They regularly hold recreation clinics including those all about watersports. Join them in Twin Lakes or Elkhorn to experience waterskiing, wakeboarding and more!

Through training and the use of the proper equipment, everyone can share a dream come true and enjoy the wonderful Wisconsin outdoors!

This entry was posted in Outdoors