New chair at Ludington State Park makes outdoors more accessible

(Photo: Friends of Ludington State Park)

People with mobility challenges can enjoy Ludington State Park in a new chair designed to help them get around.

The Action Track Chair was purchased by the Friends of Ludington State Park. The chair is free to use, and reservations can be made here.

It will allow people to access parts of the park they otherwise may have not been able to get to, such as Big Sable Point Lighthouse and other trails.

(Photo: Friends of Ludington State Park)

Area resident Jamie Spore uses a wheelchair because she was born with spina bifida. She recently was able to see more of the park using the chair.

"It was so cool to be able to explore parts of the state park that I’ve never seen before even though I have lived here all my life," she said. "My favorite part of the day was visiting the beach. That was a blast! That was the first time in my life I ever successfully drove through sand."

(Photo: Friends of Ludington State Park)

The chair is just the latest purchase by the Friends of Ludington State Park to make the park more accessible. A SeaCoast EnChroma viewer that allows people who are color-blind to see color was installed on the Skyline Trail this spring. 

"Over the past 10 years, we have really focused on accessibility improvements for our visitors," Ludington State Park Manager Jim Gallie said. "We've been fortunate to have such a great partnership with the Friends of Ludington State Park." 

Other improvements made with the help of the nonprofit include a bike fixing station that will be installed, and a kayak and canoe launch at Hamlin Lake Beach.