Outdoor Developed Areas

Outdoor Developed Areas

New provisions for outdoor developed areas, including trails, picnic and camping areas, and beach access routes, that will be added to the standards

wilderness area

Achieving accessibility in outdoor environments has long been a source of inquiry due to challenges and constraints posed by terrain, the degree of development, construction practices and materials, and other factors.

The Board has issued requirements that are now part of the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards and apply to national parks and other outdoor areas developed by the federal government. They do not apply to outdoor areas developed with federal grants or loans. A guide that explains these requirements also is available.

The new provisions address access to trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas on federal sites when newly built or altered. They also provide exceptions for situations where terrain and other factors make compliance impracticable. The new requirements are located in sections F201.4, F216.3, F244 to F248, and 1011 to 1019 of the ABA Standards.

The Board intends to develop guidelines for non-federal outdoor sites covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and areas developed with federal grants and loans covered by the ABA through a subsequent rulemaking.