All-terrain track chairs are available for rental at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

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Fall colors are starting to pop around the Northland and people are hitting up many woodland trails. This year, a big change has come to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, as they have joined 12 other parks in offering a new all-terrain track chair.

The chair can be used by those who may have an injury or other mobility issue. “The track wheelchair is a mobility device that allows people to get off of the hardened surfaces of the park and into the parks and on the trails. It’s something that has given people access to the park in a way that they haven’t had access to before,” said Jamie McBride, the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Area Program Consultant.

Split Rock has 10 miles of trails suited for the track trails as Jenna Udenburg, the President of Above and Beyond with U, showcased the use of the chair on Tuesday afternoon. Her time in the track chair brought back longtime memories that she was able to relive on another level.

“Today’s advantage was way more fun for me as a Northshore girl. I love being on different terrain. I absolutely adore being out on the beach. I haven’t been on the beach since I was a little kid. I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was eight and had arthritis since I was seven. So, it was really cool but very unnerving because I’m so used to being in my manual chair.”

All-terrain track chairs can be located at several state parks through Northeastern Minnesota including Blue Mounds, Camden, Crow Wing, Father Hennepin, Fort Snelling, Frontenac, Itasca, Lake Bemidji, Lake Carlson, McCarthy Beach, Maplewood, and Myre-Big Island. The chairs are free to use, all you have to call the park you wish to visit and make a reservation.