First Ever Autism Nature Trail in United States Opens Just 3 Hours From Utica
In a huge step toward being more accepting of neurodiversity, one New York State park has opened the nation's very first autism nature trail.
Letchworth State Park is a three-hour drive from Utica and has unveiled something quite exciting - an autism nature trail which is the very first of its kind in all of the entire United States which is geared toward sensory learning.
Melissa Tesznar Smith of Montrose recently visited Letchworth State Park and its autism nature trail and explained that the "trail is flat, easy to maneuver and very well thought out." Smith also noted that thought that went into the autism nature trail was nothing short of outstanding and that, "even as a 41-year-old, I greatly ENJOYED my stroll through this learning area of the park."
The Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth is a one-mile loop that features eight various stations at different intervals and each of the stations offers different experiences from those that involve quiet engagement to those that require sound and active exploration. There is even a section of the trail that was specifically designed for running, jumping, and climbing which is perfect for those who have a little more energy to get out than others.
The Autism Nature Trail is totally ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. Additionally, the restrooms near the trail have handicap stalls, an area in which to change a baby, and plenty of elbow room so that a caregiver can easily help an older child or an adult.
The cost to build this first-of-its-kind, inclusive nature trail was a staggering 3.7 million dollars and Letchworth State Park is thankful for future donations which will help with the maintenance of the trail.
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