All-terrain wheelchairs allow more state park visitors to enjoy nature trails

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Wheelchair users are in for a new and improved experience when visiting Louisiana state parks thanks to the donations of all-terrain wheelchairs.

“I do feel like it will be in high demand because it’s an amazing thing for the park to have, for anybody to have mobility issues to still be able to enjoy the park with their family,” Sam Houston Jones State Park Manager Tracie Ramey said.

The Trackchair offers many versatile features, like a joystick for someone else to operate it for you if you can’t operate it yourself. With biking and hiking trails about 8 miles long at Sam Houston, the battery life can give you a joyride that will last the whole visit.

It’s something Southwest Louisiana Independence Center Executive Director Rocky Fuselier said he’s looking forward to.

“I think it’s awesome. I’ve been wanting to get a Trackchair for myself, but it’s kind of expensive,” Fuselier said. “It’s not something that I could just grab and purchase, but knowing that we can go there to utilize the Trrackchair to get around to go on the trail would be awesome.”

Fuselier said he doesn’t go to the park very often because the trails are just not accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

“I’ve been to Sam Houston and went on a trail before and I got stuck on the routes a bunch of times. It was like a nightmare,” he said.

This news may be the game changer for him, and he’s already started planning ahead.

“You can go all kinds of places, back in the woods or places where you can get close to the water and go fishing,” Fuselier said.

It’s something he used to do before he broke his neck in a diving accident 41 years ago.

The all-terrain chair is up for grabs at Sam Houston Jones State Park. There’s only one available at the moment, so you’ll have to reserve the chair at least 48 hours in advance.

“There’s a lot of people I know that would love to have a Trackchair and this will a least give them a chance to go check one out,” Fuselier said.