Chapter T2: Scoping Requirements

T201  Application

T201.1  Scope.  All newly designed and constructed trails, outdoor recreation access routes, beach access routes, and picnic and camping facilities and altered portions of existing trails, outdoor recreation access routes, beach access routes, and picnic and camping facilities shall comply with these requirements.

T201.2  Application Based on Building or Facility Use.  Where a facility or site contains more than one use, each portion shall comply with the applicable requirements for that use.

T201.3  Temporary and Permanent Facilities.  These requirements shall apply to temporary and permanent facilities.

T201.4  Requirements for Buildings and Facilities.  All areas of newly designed and newly constructed buildings and facilities and altered portions of existing buildings and facilities subject to the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines in Appendices C and D to 36 CFR part 1191 shall comply with the applicable requirements in that document.

Advisory T201.4  Requirements for Buildings and Facilities.  Other constructed elements and spaces such as toilet and bathing facilities, vault toilets, parking facilities, and visitor centers are already addressed in the ABA Accessibility Guidelines.  Additionally, recreation facilities such as fishing piers and platforms, recreation boating facilities, and swimming pools and spas, are also addressed.

T202  Additions and Alterations to Existing Facilities

T202.1  General.  Additions and alterations to existing facilities shall comply with T202.

T202.2  Additions.  Each addition to an existing facility shall comply with the requirements for new construction.

T202.3  Alterations.  Where existing trails connecting to designated trailheads or accessible trails are altered, they shall comply with Chapter T2.  Where existing picnic and camping elements or spaces, outdoor recreation access routes or beach access routes are altered, each altered element or space shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter T2.

EXCEPTIONS:  1.  Where the circulation path to the altered element or space is not altered, an outdoor recreation access route shall not be required.

2.  Where elements complying with T306 through T322 are altered and the ground surface is not altered, the ground surface shall not be required to comply with T306.4.

Advisory T202.3  Alterations.  The following guidance is provided to assist designers and operators distinguish between actions considered “maintenance or repair” and those considered an “alteration.” Where actions are considered an “alteration,” certain technical provisions will apply.  Routine or periodic maintenance activities do not trigger the technical and scoping provisions.  For example, if an entirely new bridge were installed to replace a step stone crossing, the bridge would be required to comply with the relevant provisions.  The trail on either side of the new bridge may not require modification.

As a general rule, alterations are performed to change the original purpose, intent, or design of a facility.  Examples of actions that would be considered alterations include, but are not limited to:

  • Installation of a new trail tread surface, bridge, boardwalk, railing, safety barrier, signage, and puncheon;
  • Construction, reconstruction, or installation of a new trail segment, new built features such as restrooms or picnic areas, bridges, gates, benches, safety barriers, and steps;
  • Removal of existing features;
  • Hardening of trail surfaces; and
  • Rerouting or widening a significant portion of an existing trail.

Maintenance and repair are performed to return a facility to the standards or conditions to which it was originally designed and built.  This type of work is not an alteration because it does not change the original purpose, intent, or design of the facility.  It is recognized that in outdoor environments, the ability to maintain a facility is usually much more limited than in the built environment.  Except in highly developed areas, maintenance and repair occurs relatively infrequently.  Examples of actions that would be considered maintenance and repair includes, but are not limited to:

  • Removal of debris and vegetation such as downed trees or broken branches in the trailway, clearing the trail of encroaching brush or grasses, and removing rock slides;
  • Maintenance of the trail tread such as filling ruts and entrenchments, reshaping the trail bed, repairing the trail surface and washouts, installing rip rap (rock placed to retain cut and fill slopes), and constructing retaining walls or cribbing to support the trail tread;
  • Replacing or installing necessary drainage structures such as drainage dips, water bars, or culverts, and realigning sections of trail to deter erosion or avoid boggy or marshy areas; and
  • Repair of trail and trailhead structures, including painting, removing graffiti, and replacement of deteriorated, damaged, or vandalized parts of structures such as sections of bridges, boardwalks, information kiosks, fencing, and railings.

Although not required, resource managers are encouraged to maximize the opportunity to improve the accessibility of outdoor facilities through maintenance and repair activities.  Every time a facility is maintained, the opportunity to improve access is present.

T202.3.1  Prohibited Reduction in Access.  An alteration that decreases or has the effect of decreasing the accessibility of a facility or site below the requirements for new construction in effect at the time of the alteration is prohibited.

T202.3.2  Extent of Application.  An alteration of an existing facility or site shall not impose a requirement for accessibility greater than required for new construction.

T203  Trails

T203.1  General.  Where trails connecting to designated trailheads or accessible trails are provided, they shall comply with T303.  Where elements or spaces are provided on trails complying with T303, they shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter T2 and Chapter T3.

Advisory T203.1  General.  These technical provisions apply only to newly designed and constructed trails, and altered portions of existing pedestrian trails that connect to an accessible trail or designated trailhead.  Where new trails connect to existing inaccessible trails or do not connect to a designated trailhead, the technical provisions do not apply.  However, trails should not be intentionally separated from an accessible trail or designated trailhead to avoid the technical provisions.  Accessible elements complying with T306 through T322 located along a trail are not required to be connected by an outdoor recreation access route.

Trails include, but are not limited to, a trail through a forested park, a shared use path, or a back country trail.  Trails covered by section T203 do not include pathways such as sidewalks, pathways in amusement parks, commercial theme parks, carnivals, or between buildings on college campuses.  These exterior accessible routes are covered by the revised ABA accessibility guidelines.

A trail designed, designated, and constructed for pedestrian use may also have other uses, such as bicycling or in-line skating.  Section T203 applies only to trails where travel on foot is one of the designated uses for which the trail was created.  For example, a trail designed specifically for mountain biking would not be considered a “pedestrian trail” whether or not pedestrians actually use the trail.  However, a multi-use trail designated for both hiking and mountain biking would be considered a pedestrian trail and subject to these provisions.

Many trails are used as non motorized transportation facilities.  Users may include bicyclists and skaters as well as pedestrians.  The accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas apply to these trails.  However, bicyclists and skaters have design needs that may exceed the minimum guidelines for trails in some areas.  Where there are differences, the more stringent provision should be applied.

T204  Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

T204.1  General.  Outdoor recreation access routes shall be provided in accordance with T204 and shall comply with T304.

T204.2  Where Required.  At least one outdoor recreation access route complying with T304 shall connect accessible elements and spaces within the area.

EXCEPTIONS:  1.  Elements located on trails shall not be required to be connected by an outdoor recreation access route.

2.  Where multiple picnic tables are provided in an area, at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the picnic tables required by T206.2.2 shall be on an outdoor recreation access route.

3.  Where multiple fire rings are provided in an area, at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the fire rings required by T207.2.2 shall be on an outdoor recreation access route.

4.  Where multiple cooking surfaces are provided in an area, at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the cooking surfaces required by T208.2.2 shall be on an outdoor recreation access route.

5.  Where multiple benches are provided in an area, at least 40 percent, but no fewer than two, of the benches required by T213.2.2 shall be on an outdoor recreation access route.

T204.3  Location.  Outdoor recreation access routes shall coincide with or be located in the same area as general circulation paths.

T205  Beach Access Routes

T205.1  General.  Beach access routes shall be provided in accordance with T205 and shall comply with T305.

T205.2  Where Required:  New Beach.  Where a beach is newly constructed, a minimum of one beach access route complying with T305 shall be provided for every one-half mile of linear feet of new beach.

T205.3  Where Required:  Existing Beach.  Where a route is provided for pedestrian use and constructed from a developed site to, or along the edge of, an existing beach, a beach access route complying with T305 shall be provided.

EXCEPTIONS:  1.  A temporary beach access route shall be permitted.

2.  Routes which are created solely for shoreline maintenance shall not be required to comply with T205.

3.  Routes provided solely as undeveloped public easements shall not be required to comply with T205.

4.  Where a beach access route exists within one-half mile and is within the beach of the same jurisdiction, a beach access route shall not be required.

5.  When existing beaches are replenished for beach nourishment, a beach access route shall not be required.

6.  A beach access route shall not be required where a route provided for pedestrian use along the edge of an existing beach is elevated 6 inches (150 mm) or higher above the beach surface.

T205.4  Location.  Beach access routes shall coincide with or be located in the same area as general circulation paths.

T206  Picnic Tables

T206.1  General.  Where picnic tables are provided, they shall comply with T206.

T206.2  Minimum Number

T206.2.1  Single Picnic Tables.  Where one picnic table is provided in an area, the picnic table shall comply with T306.

T206.2.2  Multiple Picnic Tables.  Where two or more picnic tables are provided in an area, at least 50 percent, but no fewer than two, of the picnic tables shall comply with T306.

Advisory T206.2.2  Multiple Picnic Tables.  Where two or more fixed picnic tables are provided in a picnic area, at least 50 percent, but never less than two, must comply with T306.  An “area” refers to a designated location where picnic related elements are located.  Areas may be separated and include different settings on the same site.  For example, a picnic area located next to a lake in a park is considered a separate picnic area from a pavilion with numerous picnic tables within the same park.  Picnic areas may also be separated and designated by a name or connected to a separate entrance.

T206.3  Dispersion.  Picnic tables required by T206.2 shall be dispersed among the types of settings or opportunities provided.  This provision shall not require an increase in the total number of picnic tables required by T206.

T206.4  Number of Wheelchair Spaces.  Each picnic table required by T206.2 shall have at least one wheelchair space complying with T306.2.  Where the table top perimeter exceeds 24 linear feet, wheelchair spaces shall be provided in accordance with Table T206.4.

T206.4  Wheelchair Spaces
Table Top Perimeter Minimum Number of Wheelchair Spaces
25 lf – 44 lf 2 spaces
45 lf – 64 lf 3 spaces
65 lf – 84 lf 4 spaces
85 lf – 104 lf 5 spaces
T207  Fire Rings

T207.1  General.  Where provided, fire rings shall comply with T207.

T207.2  Minimum Number

T207.2.1  Single Fire Ring.  Where one fire ring is provided in an area, the fire ring shall comply with T307.

T207.2.2  Multiple Fire Rings.  Where two or more fire rings are provided in an area, at least 50 percent, but no fewer than two, of the fire rings shall comply with T307.

T207.3  Dispersion.  Fire rings required by T207.2 shall be dispersed among the types provided.  This provision does not require an increase in the total number of fire rings required by T207.2.

T208  Cooking Surfaces, Grills, and Pedestal Grills

T208.1  General.  Where provided, cooking surfaces, grills, and pedestal grills shall comply with T208.

T208.2  Minimum Number

T208.2.1  Single Cooking Surface.  Where one cooking surface, grill, or pedestal grill is provided in an area, the cooking surface, grill, or pedestal grill shall comply with T308.

T208.2.2  Multiple Cooking Surfaces.  Where two or more cooking surfaces, grills, or pedestal grills are provided in an area, at least 50 percent, but no fewer than two, of the cooking surfaces, grills, or pedestal grills shall comply with T308.

T208.3  Dispersion.  Cooking surfaces required by T208.2 shall be dispersed among the types provided.  This provision does not require an increase in the total number of cooking surfaces required by T208.2.

T209  Trash and Recycling Containers

T209.1  General.  Where trash and recycling containers are provided, each trash or recycling container shall comply with T309.

EXCEPTION:  Fifty percent of the bins in multi-bin containers shall not be required to comply with T309.

T210  Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

T210.1  General.  Where wood stoves and fireplaces are provided, each wood stove and fireplace shall comply with T310.

T211  Overlooks and Viewing Areas

T211.1  General.  Where viewing areas are provided on designated overlooks, each viewing area shall comply with T311.

EXCEPTION:  Where multiple viewing areas are provided at a designated overlook, at least one of each viewing opportunity for distinct points of interest shall be required to comply with T311.3.

T212  Telescopes and Periscopes

T212.1  General.  Where telescopes or periscopes are provided in an area, at least 20 percent, but no fewer than one, of the telescopes or periscopes shall comply with T312.  Where only one telescope or periscope is provided, it shall comply with T312 and shall also be usable from the standing position.

T213  Benches

T213.1  General.  Where provided, benches shall comply with T213.

T213.2  Minimum Number.

T213.2.1  Single Bench.  Where one bench is provided in an area, the bench shall comply with T313.

T213.2.2  Multiple Benches.  Where two or more benches are provided in an area, at least 50 percent of the benches shall comply with T313.1 through T313.4.  At least 50% of the benches required by T213.2.2 shall also comply with T313.5.

T213.3  Dispersion.  Benches required by T213.2 shall be dispersed among the types provided.  This provision does not require an increase in the total number of benches required by T213.2.

T214  Utility Sinks

T214.1  General.  Where utility sinks are provided, at least 5 percent, but no fewer than one of each type of utility sinks provided in each area shall comply with T314.

T215  Mobility Device Storage Facilities

T215.1  General.  Where storage facilities are provided and individuals using wheelchairs or other individual mobility devices transfer from one individual mobility device to another individual mobility device, at least one storage facility shall comply with T315.

T216  Pit Toilets

T216.1  General.  Where pit toilets are provided, each pit toilet shall comply with T316.

T217  Utilities

T217.1  General.  Where provided, electric, water, sewage and other similar type utilities serving accessible elements shall comply with T317.

T218  Camping Facilities

T218.1  General.  Where recreational camping vehicle or trailer spaces, tent camping spaces, or camping shelters are provided, they shall comply with T218.

T218.2  Minimum Number.  Recreational camping vehicle or trailer spaces, tent camping spaces, and camping shelters shall be provided in accordance with Table T218.2.  Where picnic tables, fire rings, utilities, or other elements are provided in camping spaces required by T218.2, they shall comply with the applicable provisions of Chapters T2 and T3.

T218.2  Camping Spaces
Number of Camping Spaces Minimum Number of Accessible Camping Spaces
1 1
2 to 25 2
26 to 50 3
51 to 75 4
76 to 100 5
101 to 150 7
151 to 200 8
201 to 300 10
301 to 400 12
401 to 500 13
501 to 1000 2 percent of total
1001 and over 20, plus 1 for each 100 over 1000

T218.2.1  Recreational Camping Vehicle and Trailer Spaces.  Recreational camping vehicle or trailer spaces required by T218.2 shall comply with T318.2.1 and T318.2.4.

EXCEPTION:  Where camping spaces are designed for both tent camping and recreational camping vehicle or trailer use, at least 50 percent of the multi-use spaces required by T218 shall comply with T218.2.1 and the remainder shall be permitted to comply with T218.2.2.

T218.2.2  Tent Camping Spaces and Camp Shelters.  Tent camping spaces and camp shelters required by T218.2 shall comply with T318.2.2, T318.2.4, and T318.3.

T218.3  General Use Parking Areas.  In campgrounds with recreation camping vehicle or trailer spaces, at least one recreational camping vehicle or trailer parking space complying with T318.2.3 and T318.2.4 shall be provided in each general use parking area.

EXCEPTION:  Recreational camping vehicle or trailer parking provided within individual camping spaces shall not be required to comply with T218.3.

T219  Warming Huts

T219.1  General.  Where warming huts are provided, each warming hut shall comply with T319.

T220  Outdoor Rinsing Showers

T220.1  General.  Where provided, outdoor rinsing showers shall comply with T220.

Advisory T220.1  Outdoor Rinsing Showers.  Outdoor showers are usually rinsing facilities that permit people to wash off sand, water, dirt, or debris.  They are not designed for bathing, as they generally do not offer privacy and people are usually not permitted to disrobe.

T220.2  Minimum Number.

T220.2.1 Single Rinsing Shower.  Where one rinsing shower is provided, the rinsing shower shall comply with T320.1 through T320.4, and shall have a low shower spray head complying with T320.5 and a high shower spray head complying with T320.6.

T220.2.2 Multiple Rinsing Showers.  Where two or more rinsing showers are provided at a location, at least one shall comply with T320.1 through T320.4 and shall have a low shower spray head complying with T320.5, and at least one shall comply with T320.1 through T320.4 and shall have a high shower spray head complying with T320.6.

T221  Signs

T221.1  Trails.  Trails and trail segments complying with T303 shall be identified by signs complying with T321.2.

T221.2  Camping Spaces.  Camping spaces complying with T318 shall be identified by signs complying with T321.3.

EXCEPTIONS:  1.  Where all camping spaces in an area comply with T318, signs complying with T321.3 shall not be required.

2.  Where camping spaces are assigned upon arrival or through a reservation system, signs complying with T321.3 shall not be required.

T222  Protruding Objects

T222.1  General.  Protruding objects on trails, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes shall comply with T322.