Summary of Provisions

Camping Facilities

The definitions in F106.5 include two new terms: camping facility and camping unit.  A camping facility is a site, or portion of a site, developed for outdoor recreational purposes that contains camping units.  National forests and parks usually contain a number of separate camping facilities.  A camping unit is an outdoor space in a camping facility used for camping that contains outdoor constructed features, parking spaces for recreational vehicles or other vehicles, tent pads or tent platforms, or camp shelters.  A camping unit can contain some or all of the components listed in the definition.

Camping facilities on trails are addressed in the scoping provisions for trails in F247.5.1 and are discussed under Trails.  All other camping facilities are addressed in the scoping provisions in F244.

The scoping provision in Table F244.2.1 specifies the minimum number of accessible camping units required in newly constructed camping facilities.  For existing camping facilities, the scoping provision applies only to the camping units that are altered or added until the number of accessible camping units complies with the minimum number required for new construction.

An exception addresses the situation where individual components within camping units are altered to ensure that accessible components are located within accessible camping units.  Under the exception, where a Federal agency is implementing a transition plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and has designated specific camping units in an existing camping facility to become accessible, the agency is not required to comply with the scoping provisions when altering individual components within camping units that are not designated to become accessible under the transition plan.

The scoping provision in F244.2.3 requires accessible camping units to be dispersed within the camping facility to provide choices of camping units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

The scoping provisions in F244.2.4 require:

  • Outdoor constructed features within accessible camping units to comply with the technical provisions in 1011.  These technical provisions are discussed under Outdoor Constructed Features.
  • Parking spaces within accessible camping units for recreational vehicles and vehicles other than recreational vehicles to comply with the technical provisions in 1012.  These technical provisions address minimum width, firm and stable surface, and maximum slope.
  • Tent pads and tent platforms within accessible camping units to comply with the technical provisions in 1013.  These technical provisions address clear ground space on usable sides of the tent pads and tent platforms, maximum slope, and maximum tent platform height.  A conditional exception is added to the technical provisions for clear ground spaces and is discussed under Conditional Exceptions.
  • Camp shelters within accessible camping units to comply with the technical provisions in 1014. These technical provisions address clear ground space, floor space, turning space, firm and stable surface, maximum slope, and maximum floor height.  A conditional exception is added to these technical provisions and is discussed under Conditional Exceptions.

Exceptions address the situation where more than one component of the same type is provided within an accessible camping unit.  The exceptions require no more than 20 percent but at least two of the same type of component to be accessible.

The scoping provision in F244.3 requires at least 20 percent of the outdoor constructed features in common use and public use areas that serve accessible camping units to be accessible.  The scoping provision in F244.4 addresses pull-up spaces for recreational vehicles at dump stations.

The scoping provisions in F244.5 address outdoor recreation routes in camping facilities and are shown in the table below.

Scoping Provisions for Outdoor Recreation Access Routes in Camping Facilities
LocationOutdoor Recreation Access Route Required to Connect
Accessible camping units Accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities within each accessible camping unit
Common use and public use areas Each accessible camping unit to accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities in common use and public use areas that serve the accessible camping unit
Recreational vehicle dump stations Outdoor recreation access route not required to connect accessible camping units to recreational vehicle dump stations, provided outdoor recreation access route connects accessible vehicle pull-up space at the dump station to accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities at the dump station
Adjacent recreation facilities connected to camping facility by a circulation path Accessible camping units to accessible route serving the adjacent recreation facility (e.g., accessible route serving entry point to a fishing platform)

The NPRM included a scoping provision for accessible recreational vehicle parking spaces in general use parking areas at camping facilities.  This scoping provision has not been included in the draft final accessibility guidelines because providing accessible recreational vehicle parking spaces in general use parking areas raises issues affecting other facilities, in addition to camping facilities.  The Access Board will consider these issues when the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines are updated.

Picnic Facilities

The definitions in F106.5 include two new terms: picnic facility and picnic unit.  A picnic facility is a site, or portion of a site, developed for outdoor recreational purposes that contains picnic units.  A picnic unit is an outdoor space in a picnic facility used for picnicking that contains outdoor constructed features.  A picnic unit can contain only one outdoor constructed feature (e.g., a picnic table or a grill).

Picnic facilities on trails are addressed in the scoping provisions for trails in F247.5.2 and are discussed under Trails.  All other picnic facilities are addressed in the scoping provisions at F245.

The scoping provision in F245.2 requires at least 20 percent of picnic units in newly constructed picnic facilities to be accessible, where more than two picnic units are provided.  In picnic facilities with two or fewer picnic units, each newly constructed picnic unit is required to be accessible.  For existing picnic facilities, at least 20 percent of the picnic units that are altered or added are required to be accessible until the number of accessible picnic units complies with the minimum number required for new construction.

An exception addresses the situation where individual components within picnic units are altered to ensure that accessible components are located within accessible picnic units.  Under the exception, where a Federal agency is implementing a transition plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and has designated specific picnic units in an existing picnic facility to become accessible, the agency is not required to comply with the scoping provisions when altering individual components within picnic units that are not designated to become accessible under the transition plan.

The scoping provision in F245.2.3 requires accessible picnic units to be dispersed within the picnic facility to provide choices of picnic units comparable to, and integrated with, those available to others.

The scoping provisions in F245.2.4 require:

  • Outdoor constructed features within accessible picnic units to comply with the technical provisions in 1011.  These technical provisions are discussed under Outdoor Constructed Features.
  • Parking spaces within accessible picnic units to comply with the technical provisions in 1012.  These technical provisions address minimum width, firm and stable surface, and maximum slope.

An exception addresses the situation where more than one component of the same type is provided within an accessible picnic unit.  The exception requires no more than 20 percent but at least two of the same type of component to be accessible.

The scoping provision in F245.3 requires at least 20 percent of the outdoor constructed features in common use and public use areas that serve accessible picnic units to be accessible.

The scoping provisions in F245.4 address outdoor recreation access routes in picnic facilities and are shown in the table below.

Scoping Provisions for Outdoor Recreation Access Routes in Picnic Facilities
LocationOutdoor Recreation Access Route Required to Connect
Accessible picnic units Accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities within each accessible picnic unit
Common use and public use areas Each accessible picnic unit to accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities in common use and public use areas that serve the accessible picnic unit
Adjacent recreation facilities connected to picnic facility by a circulation path Accessible picnic units to accessible route serving the adjacent recreation facility (e.g., accessible route serving entry point to a play area)

Viewing Areas

Viewing areas are defined in F106.5 as an outdoor space developed for viewing a landscape or point of interest such as a mountain range, a valley, or a waterfall.

Viewing areas on trails are addressed in the scoping provisions for trails in F247.5.1 and are discussed under Trails.  All other viewing areas are addressed in the scoping provisions in F246.

The scoping provisions require each distinct viewing location within a viewing area to comply with the technical provisions in 1015, including clear ground space, turning space, and unobstructed view.  A conditional exception is added to the technical provisions for viewing areas and is discussed under Conditional Exceptions.  An exception is added to 1015.3 that permits guardrails and other safety barriers to obstruct the view.  Advisory 1015.3 recommends using see-thru panels or screened openings to create an unobstructed view where guardrails or other safety barriers are provided.

The scoping provisions require at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided within a viewing area to be accessible.  The scoping provisions also require an outdoor recreation access route to connect accessible parking spaces or other site arrival points to the accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities within the viewing area.

Outdoor Recreation Access Routes

The scoping provisions for outdoor recreation access routes are contained in the scoping provisions for camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, and trailheads.  The scoping provisions are discussed under the Summary of Provisions for those facilities.  Outdoor recreation access routes can only be provided at these facilities.  Where a roadway serves as the general circulation path for pedestrians at these facilities, the outdoor recreation access route can be provided within the roadway.  Outdoor recreation access routes are not required where camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, or outdoor constructed features are provided on trails.

The technical provisions for outdoor recreation access routes in 1016 address surface in 1016.2; clear width in 1016.3; passing spaces in 1016.4; obstacles in 1016.5; openings in 1016.6; slopes in 1016.7; resting intervals in 1016.8; and protruding objects in 1016.9.  The technical provisions are the same as in the NPRM, except as follows:

  • Conditional exceptions apply to each technical provision for alterations to existing camping facilities, picnic facilities, and trailheads.  Conditional exceptions apply to each technical provision for both newly constructed viewing areas and alterations to existing viewing areas.  The conditional exceptions are discussed under Conditional Exceptions.
  • Where an outdoor recreation access route is provided within a roadway, the outdoor recreation access route is not required to comply with the passing space, slope, and resting interval provisions.
  • Where concrete, asphalt, or boards are used, obstacles cannot exceed ½ inch in height and the cross slope and resting interval slope cannot exceed 1:48.  These provisions are discussed under Concrete, Asphalt, or Board Surfaces.
  • The NPRM exceptions for openings are included in 302.3 of the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines.
  • Where resting intervals are provided adjacent to the outdoor recreation access route, a turning space is required.

Trailheads

Trailheads are defined in F106.5 as an outdoor space developed to serve as an access point to a trail.  The junction of two or more trails, where no other access point is provided to the trails, is not a trailhead.

The scoping provisions for trailheads are contained in F247.4.  The provisions require new signs provided at trailheads on newly constructed or altered trails to include information on the length of the trail or trail segment; surface type; typical and minimum tread width; and typical and maximum running slope and cross slope. The U.S. Forest Service currently provides this information on trailhead signs posted on certain trails in national forests.

The scoping provisions require at least 20 percent of each type of outdoor constructed feature provided within a trailhead to be accessible.  The scoping provisions also require an outdoor recreation access route to connect accessible parking spaces or other site arrival points to the accessible outdoor constructed features, elements, spaces, and facilities within the trailhead.

Trails

Trails are defined in F106.5 as a pedestrian route developed primarily for outdoor recreational purposes.  A pedestrian route developed primarily to connect elements, spaces, or facilities within a site is not a trail.

The NPRM discussed shared-use paths that are developed for use by pedestrians and other groups such as bicyclists.  Shared use paths are also called “hiker-biker trails.”  The NPRM indicated that the scoping and technical provisions for trails apply to shared-use paths.  The Access Board has further considered this issue and plans to conduct a separate rulemaking in the future to address shared use paths because they are also used for transportation purposes and may be subject to higher design standards.

The scoping provisions for trails are contained in F247.  These provisions require trails to comply with the technical provisions for trails in 1017 when all the following conditions are met:

  • The trail is newly constructed or altered so that the original design, function, or purpose of the trail is changed.  Routine or periodic maintenance activities that are performed to return an existing trail to the condition to which the trail was originally designed are not alterations.
  • The trail is designed for pedestrian use.
  • The trail connects to a trailhead or to another trail that complies with the technical provisions in 1017.

The technical provisions for trails in 1017 address surface in 1017.2; clear tread width in 1017.3; passing spaces in 1017.4; obstacles in 1017.5; openings in 1017.6; slopes in 1017.7; resting intervals in 1017.8; protruding objects in 1017.9; and gates and barriers in 1017.10.  The technical provisions are the same as in the NPRM, except as follows:

  • Conditional exceptions apply to each technical provision for newly constructed and altered trails.  The conditional exceptions are discussed under Conditional Exceptions.
  • The exception based on situations where it is impractical to require the entire trail to comply with the technical provisions is revised.  The exception is discussed under Exceptions for Trails and Beach Access Routes.
  • Where concrete, asphalt, or boards are used, obstacles cannot exceed ½ inch in height and the cross slope and resting interval slope cannot exceed 1:48.  These provisions are discussed under Concrete, Asphalt, or Board Surfaces.
  • The NPRM exceptions for openings are included in 302.3 of the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines.
  • Where resting intervals are provided adjacent to the trail, a turning space is required.
  • Provisions are added for gates and barriers constructed to control access to trails.

The scoping provisions for trails also address camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, and outdoor constructed features provided on trails.  These facilities are required to comply with the applicable scoping and technical provisions for each facility, regardless of whether the trail complies with the technical provisions in 1017.  Individuals with disabilities use trails that do not comply with the technical provisions of 1017 and, therefore, facilities provided on such trails are required to be accessible.  Camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, and outdoor constructed features provided on trails are connected to a trail, and are not required to be connected to an outdoor recreation access route.

The draft final accessibility guidelines do not include provisions for pit toilets or warming huts. The technical assistance document that accompanies the final accessibility guidelines will include examples of pit toilets and discuss how provisions in 603 and 604 of the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines can be applied to pit toilets.

Beach Access Routes

The scoping provisions for beach access routes are contained in F248.  The provisions are revised from the NPRM based on the comments and information meeting.  The Access Board also visited beaches where beach access routes are provided.  The provisions require a permanent or removable beach access route to be provided when the entity that manages a beach engages in any of the following activities:

  • Constructs or alters any of these facilities to serve the beach: circulation paths, parking facilities, toilet facilities, or bathing facilities.
  • Undertakes a beach nourishment project.

There are three exceptions to the scoping provisions:

  • A beach access route is not required where pedestrian access to the beach is not permitted.
  • An entity is not required to expend more than 20 percent of the cost of constructing or altering the facilities to serve the beach to provide a beach access route.
  • An entity is not required to expend more than 20 percent of the cost of the beach nourishment project to provide a beach access route.

Where a beach access route is required, the entity is required to provide at least one beach access route for each ½ mile of shoreline managed by the entity.  The beach access route is required to coincide with or be located in the same area as pedestrian access points to the beach.  An exception limits the number of beach access routes required to not exceed the number of pedestrian access points provided by the entity to the beach.

The technical provisions for beach access routes in 1018 address connections in 1018.2; surface in 1018.3; clear width in 1018.4; obstacles in 1018.5; openings in 1018.6; slopes in 1018.7; resting intervals in 1018.8; protruding objects in 1018.9; and elevated dune crossings in 1018.10.  The technical provisions are the same as in the NPRM, except as follows:

  • Conditional exceptions apply to each technical provision for new construction and alterations.  The conditional exceptions are discussed under Conditional Exceptions.
  • An exception is added for situations where it is impractical to require a beach access route.  The exception is discussed under Exceptions for Trails and Beach Access Routes.
  • The clear width is increased to 60 inches minimum.  At beaches that provide beach access routes, they are the preferred path of travel for many beach users, and the increased width is necessary to provide adequate space for individuals with disabilities to pass other users and not go off into the sand.  Passing spaces and turning space are not required because of the increased width.
  • Removable beach access routes are not required to comply with the slope and resting interval provisions.
  • Where concrete, asphalt, or boards are used, obstacles cannot exceed ½ inch in height and the cross slope and resting interval slope cannot exceed 1:48.  These provisions are discussed under Concrete, Asphalt, or Board Surfaces.
  • The NPRM exceptions for openings are included in 302.3 of the ADA-ABA Accessibility Guidelines.
  • Where resting intervals are provided adjacent to the beach access route, a turning space is required.
  • A provision is added to address elevated dune crossings.  The provision requires handrails and edge protection on elevated dune crossings.  Exceptions permit the clear width to be reduced to 48 inches minimum and do not require resting intervals.