EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Adventure is now more accessible for people with disabilities thanks to El Paso County’s Trailability Program.
People with mobility impairments can cruise around certain parks on off-road power scooters, called Terrain Hoppers. The program is free and the county has volunteers that go out with each rider.
“I can go be with my family if they’re on the trails, if they’re in the woods, if they’re anywhere. I can be with them now. I can’t even explain what that means to me,” said Dr. Jeremy J Chatelain. “With the terrain hopper, I am smooth and as light as a feather. With the suspension on it, it goes so smoothly over any obstacle.”
Terrain Hoppers are versatile off-road mobility power scooters designed to provide access to adventure, making the inaccessible, accessible for many.
Terrain Hoppers are available for reservation through the El Paso County Trailability Program at the Bear Creek Nature Center and the Fountain Creek Nature Center.
Reservations can be made online for both parks by clicking here. You can also sign up as a volunteer to help grow the Trailability Program. They’re looking for volunteers to help grow the program by offering more time slots for people to participate.
“It can be designed for anyone with any type of mobility impairment. For those not like me, they either have full control of their hands. They can steer it using the handlebars and joystick there. Much like you would just a personal ATV or a bicycle,” said Chatelain.
El Paso County was able to acquire the vehicles thanks to a $25,000.00 donation from The Independence Center to fund the purchase of Terrain Hoppers.
“Our open spaces are vital to the mental and physical health of those in our region, both with and without disabilities,” said Indy Frazee, CEO of The Independence Center. “We applaud El Paso County for expanding trail access and we are proud to support their efforts with this gift.”
“I want to thank The Independence Center for their funding assistance,” said Brian Olson, El Paso County Facilities & Strategic Infrastructure Executive Director. “El Paso County takes our commitment to ADA very serious. Not because it is the law, but because it is the right thing to do.”