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All-terrain wheelchairs added to two regional state parks

Tennessee State Parks announced this week the availability of new all-terrain wheelchairs at 10 state parks, including two in the Cumberlands, to bring the total number of parks with all-terrain wheelchairs to 22.

The all-terrain wheelchairs were added at Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park in Byrdstown, as well as Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park in Pall Mall. Other state parks where all-terrain wheelchairs were added included Cedars of Lebanon State Park, David Crockett State Park, Fall creek Falls State Park, Fort Pillow State Historic Park, Harrison Bay State Park, Indian Mountain State Park, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, and Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park.

The new wheelchairs are a result of a collaboration between the parks and Sunrise Medical, which designs and manufactures the wheelchairs, along with the TN Dept. of Disability & Aging.

“This is an important step for our parks, and we are eager to provide this service,” said Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner for conservation at the TN Dept. of Environment & Conservation. “We are grateful for the work of Sunrise Medical and our partnership with the TN Dept. of Disability & Aging. Tennessee State Parks are forever and for everyone.”

Brad Turner, commissioner of the TN Dept. of Disability & Aging, said the all-terrain wheelchairs give people with disabilities and older adults opportunities to see natural beauty of Tennessee state parks that would otherwise be out of reach. “I want to thank Tennessee State Parks and Sunrise Medical for their partnership and unwavering commitment to making our parks accessible to all Tennesseans.”

Cove Lake State Park in Caryville already had an all-terrain wheelchair. Other state parks that already had wheelchairs include Booker T. Washington State Park, Cumberland Mountain State Park, Cummins Falls State Park, Chickasaw State Park, Henry Horton State Park, Long Hunter State Park, Natchez Trace State Park, Radnor Lake State Park, Tims Ford State Park, Lamar Alexander Rocky Fork State Park, and Warriors’ Path State Park.

All-terrain wheelchairs are designed to navigate a wide range of terrains, giving visitors with limited mobility the opportunity to access and enjoy outdoor recreation that might otherwise be inaccessible. Use of the chairs is free. They can be operated independently, and also offer the option of allowing caretaker control. It is possible to request the wheelchair upon arrival at the park, but it may already be reserved for another guest. Visitors are urged to give advanced notice of the need for a wheelchair.

Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park is located near Dale Hollow Lake in Pickett County and celebrates the life of United Nations “father” Cordell Hull, the longest-serving U.S. Secretary of State who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945. It includes a replica of the log cabin he was born in. Established in 1997, it also includes a museum with some of his personal items, including a replica of his Nobel Peace Prize. Bunkum Cave is located on the 45-acre state park and is accessible via a 2.5-mile loop hiking trail.

Alvin C. York State Park is located on the Wolf River in Fentress County and commemorates the life of World War I hero Sgt. Alvin C. York. The park includes a visitor center modeled after the general store York owned after the war, his two-story house, a gristmill that he owned, the York Bible School, and picnic facilities. The York farm was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Nearby is the Wolf River Methodist Church where York professed his faith, and the Wolf River Cemetery where he and his wife are buried. These off-site properties are accessible via a hiking trail along the Wolf River.

GC Staff
GC Staff
Go Cumberlands is the premiere source of information for visitors to Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Plateau region.

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