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Requirements for Recreational Trails and Beach Access Routes

The requirements for recreational trails and beach access routes apply to all organizations.

Consultation requirements for recreational trails

Consulting with people with disabilities can help identify and prevent accessibility barriers that may not be easily recognizable, and allows organizations to better meet the needs of their community.

When building new recreational trails, or making planned significant alterations to existing ones, organizations must consult with the public and people with disabilities to help determine particular trail features that affect the intended experience of the trail.

Municipalities must also consult with their accessibility advisory committee, if one has been established.

Features you must consult on include:

  • The trail’s slope
  • The need for and location of ramps on the trail, and
  • The need for, location of, and design of rest areas, passing areas, viewing areas, amenities and other features on the trail

Organizations and municipalities do not need to consult about beach access routes.

Technical requirements for recreational trails and beach access routes

When building new or making planned significant alterations to existing recreational trails and beach access routes, your organization must follow certain technical requirements, including:

  • Minimum width and height clearance measurements
  • Surface characteristics

If your organization plans to add a boardwalk or ramp to a trail or beach access route, similar technical requirements apply.

In addition, the following requirements apply to recreational trails:

  • Trail heads must have signage containing information about the physical characteristics of the trail, including length of the trail, average and minimum trail width and, location of amenities to help users decide how best to enjoy the trail experience.
  • When other media is used to provide information about the recreational trail (beyond advertising, notice or promotion), such as a park website or brochure, it must contain the same information as the trail head signage.
In respect of recreational trails and exterior paths of travel, a dedicated level area that is intended for public use to allow persons to stop or sit.
Items that provide conveniences or services for use by the public, examples of which include drinking fountains, benches and garbage receptacles.