DCR Access News

The DCR Universal Access Program produces a free newsletter two times per year highlighting current developments in outdoor recreation at state parks.

Here, you can view the text of the latest version of the Universal Access Program newsletter. This newsletter is published annually in May and December. If you would like to receive a copy of the newsletter, please contact us to get on our mailing list.

Current Issue

The current issue of DCR Access News is available to download in PDF format. Please contact us for copies in alternate formats.

Summer 2018

Volume 22, Issue 2

DCR’s Universal Access Program is dedicated to providing outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities. Accessibility to MassParks is achieved through site improvements, specialized adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs.

We invite you to use this newsletter to discover the most accessible recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks!

Pre-Register

Get into the activity sooner when you arrive!  Come with your release form filled out!

In the event of poor weather: Contact the providing organization listed below.

Need to cancel?

Please call the providing organization and leave a message.

Visit us on Facebook: See stories and photos from our programs across the state and share your own adventures!

Return to Walden Pond State Reservation

Two years after construction began, Walden Pond State Reservation has a new visitor center! We’re making our triumphant return to this gorgeous location for our adaptive kayaking program starting this July. Waypoint Adventure will lead the charge as we get our paddle on. Visit this historic conservation landmark to commemorate Henry David Thoreau’s 200th birth year and sign-up for an hour long flat-water paddling experience. Check out the new environmentally efficient building—home to several educational exhibits and lectures, dedicated to the literary scholar. See  below for Walden kayaking dates!

A photo of 10 colorful kayaks spread out on the water at Walden Pond. Some kayaks are tandem boats with two paddlers in them. One of the kayaks has pontoons.
Kayaks at Walden Pond.

Get to the water in a beach wheelchair!

There are two different beach wheelchairs available for use statewide to enjoy the waterfront. Beach wheelchairs get you to the water’s edge, while floating beach chairs roll into the water as conditions permit. Floating chairs require a Coast Guard certified personal floatation device while in the water (not provided). You must also bring your own transfer assistance. Take these chairs for a spin and enjoy a beautiful day on the water this summer! For more information and to find out where the chairs are located, visit www.mass.gov/service-details/beach-wheelchairs.

A photo of a young man sitting in a floating beach wheelchair, which is floating in the water. The chair has three wheels, and orange floats under the arm rests. Two people are standing on either side of the beach wheelchair. Everyone in the photo is smiling.
A floating beach wheelchair.
A photo of a woman in a DCR uniform standing behind a beach wheelchair and smiling. The beach wheelchair has large grey balloon tires and yellow cushions. The chair is made out of PVC pipe.
A sunbathing beach wheelchair.

Kayaking

Kayaking with Waypoint Adventure

Greater Boston Area

Registration is required: Contact Steve at (781) 325-7980 ext. 185 or email sdastous@waypointadventure.org to sign up or for more information.

Program Cost: $10 per person per session.

A photo of four people paddling in kayaks on the water. The shore behind the kayakers is a meadow with lush grass and flowers.
Kayakers on the Charles River.
Introductory Level—Ages 16+

Saturday, July 14: 10am–3 pm at Lake Cochituate (part of Cochituate State Park)

Introductory Level—Kids only!

Tuesday, July 17: 1pm–3pm at Walden Pond

Introductory Level—Beginners of all ages!

Tuesday, July 24: 5pm–7pm at Walden Pond

Tuesday, August 7: 1pm–3pm at Walden Pond

Tuesday, August 14: 1pm–3pm Walden Pond

Intermediate Level—Evening paddle!

Thursday, July 26: 6pm–8pm at Herter Park (part of the Charles River Reservation)

Intermediate Level—Adults only!

Tuesday, July 31: 12pm–2pm at Walden Pond

Tuesday, August 2: 12pm–2pm at Walden Pond

Intermediate Level—Ages 16+

Saturday, August 4: 10am–3pm at Malibu Beach

Intermediate Level—Evening paddle!

Thursday, August 16: 6pm–8pm at Lake Cochituate (part of Cochituate State Park)

Kayaking with Stavros Outdoor Access

D.A.R. State Forest, Goshen

Sign up for an hour-long paddle! Registration is required: Call Brenda Kennedy at (413) 259-0009 to sign up or for more information.

Program Cost: $5 per person per session.

Mondays, 10am–3pm

July 9, 16, 23, 30 & August 20

A photo of two women sitting in a tandem kayak on the water. The kayak has a large, open cockpit. The woman in front is holding up her paddle with both hands and smiling. The women behind her is holding up a large disc and also smiling.
Kayakers at DAR State Forest.

Kayaking with All Out Adventures

Sign up for an hour-long paddle! 

Registration is required: Call (413) 584-2052 to sign up or for more info.

Program Cost: $5 per person per session.

Cochituate State Park, Natick

Mondays, 9:45am–3:15pm

July 9, 16, 23, 30

August 6, 13, 20

Quinsigamond State Park, Worcester

Thursday, 9:45am–3:15pm

July 26        

August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

D.A.R. State Forest, Goshen

Wednesdays, 9:45am–3:15pm

July 11, 18, 25 

August 1, 8, 15, 22 

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool in Worcester

Go for a recreational swim with Easter Seals MA on quiet Friday mornings before the pool opens to the public. This swim program focuses on recreation skills and is not a learn to swim program. Program is open to children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Friday mornings for 6 weeks, July 13–August 17

Program Cost: $30 for 6-week program. Scholarship is available upon request

Reservations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. To sign up or for more information, contact Patrick Remy at (508) 751-6417 or email rec@eastersealsma.org  

Rowing

Jones Ferry in Holyoke

Learn to row or scull with Stephanie Moore of Holyoke Rows.  Specialized rowing shells and adaptive support as needed. Enjoy exercising on the Connecticut River and/or train for competition. Sign up for an hour-long experience! 

Thursdays, by appointment, June–October

Program Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required.

To sign up, call  Stephanie Moore at (413) 320-3134  or email smoore@holyokerows.org

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course in Canton

Take to the green this summer and perfect your swing with golfers from the Massachusetts Paragolfers Association (MPGA). Enjoy competitive or recreational play! All-terrain wheelchairs (ParaGolfers) that assist golfers into a standing position to swing are available at this course.

Mondays, June 11, 25, July 9, 23, August 6, 20, September 17

Program Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required.

To sign up, call Steve Kuketz at (508) 889-7581 or email steve.kuketz@comcast.net

Sailing

Charles River at the Esplanade, Boston

Take sailing lessons or go out for a recreational sail with Community Boating, Inc. Book an appointment to reserve time with a sailing instructor. Adaptive seating and Hoyer lift are available.

April–October 31, 7 days a week on an appointment basis

Program Cost: $50 for the season. Need-based, reduced fee of $1 available

Book online when possible! For more information, call: (617) 651-1209

New members: www.community-boating.org/programs/universal-access-program/new-members

Returning members: www.community-boating.org/programs/universal-access-program/schedule-an-appointment

Cycling

Join All Out Adventures this summer and explore a wide variety of adaptive bikes for adults and kids, including hand cycles, trikes, tandems, and recumbent bikes.

Ride occasionally or weekly! Reserve your one-hour time slot now!

Pre-registration is required. To sign up, call (413) 584-2052 or email info@alloutadventures.org.

Program Cost: $3 per person.

Norwottuck Rail Trail, Hadley

Fridays, 10am–3pm

June 15, 22, 29

July 6, 13, 20

August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Artesani ParkBrighton

Wednesdays, 11am–3pm

September 12, 19, 26

October 3

A photo of three cyclists riding together on a bike bath. The two cyclists in front are riding a tandem cycle together. The woman in the front of the tandem cycle is sitting in a seat with a back and head support. The woman behind her is pedaling and steering the cycle. The other cyclist is following on an upright bicycle.
Cyclists using a Duet tandem cycle on the Norwottuck Rail Trail.

Hiking

Take a gentle hike with Stavros Outdoor Access. Teamwork and assistive equipment, such as the Terra Trek mountain wheelchair, GRIT Freedom Chair, and all-terrain walkers unite people of all abilities! Bring a lunch and enjoy activities like scavenger hunts, nature activities, and letterboxing. Sighted guides available upon request.

Pre-registration is required. To sign up, call (413) 259-0009

Program Cost: $3 per person, $12 for families, $25 for groups.

A photo of four smiling hikers in the woods next to a pond. Two of the hikers are using hiking wheelchairs, and two hikers are standing. The hiking wheelchairs have levers that the hikers push forward to move themselves.
Hikers using Freedom Chairs at Mt. Tom. State Reservation.

Date

Day

Location

Town

Activity

June 6

Wednesday

Robinson State Park

Feeding Hills

Nature activities

June 8

Friday

Halibut Point State Park

Rockport

Quarry & ocean exploration

June 21

Thursday

Walden Pond State Reservation

Concord

History of Thoreau & pond side hike

June 25

Monday

Spectacle Island

Boston Harbor

Ferry trip and island tour

July 12

Thursday

Blue Hills Reservation

Milton

Letterboxing hunt

July 19

Thursday

Great Brook Farm State Park

Carlisle

Barn tour & ice cream social

August 23

Thursday

Moore State Park

Paxton

Letterboxing

Sept. 13

Thursday

Pittsfield State Forest

Pittsfield

Nature activities

Sept. 20

Thursday

Borderland State Park

North Easton

Mansion tour

October 4

Thursday

Mount Tom State Reservation

Holyoke

Beaver pond exploration

October 20

Saturday

Maudslay State Park

Newburyport

Haunted hike

Canoeing

Quabbin ReservoirFishing Area 3, Petersham

Grab a paddle and enjoy canoeing along Pottapaug Pond. Interested in fishing from a canoe? This site offers excellent warm water fishing in addition to trout and salmon. An adaptive fishing instructor will be at some of the programs so inquire when registering! This area also has an abundance of wildlife. Try to spot wild turkeys, bald eagles, common loons, hawks, and moose as you paddle. This serene canoeing experience is a can’t miss!

Tuesdays, July 24–August 28

Program Cost: $5 per person per session.

To sign up or for more information, call All Out Adventures at (413) 584-2052.

Charles River at Woerd Ave, Waltham

We’ve partnered with Access Sport America to bring more canoeing experiences to the greater Boston area! Enjoy teamwork at its finest in a 30 foot Hawaiian outrigger canoe! Specialized seating and adapted one or two-hand paddles available. For details, including cost, dates, and other programs, contact Access Sport America at (978) 246-6433.

A photo of a young man sitting in a canoe with a large outrigger. He is holding a curved paddle in front of him with both hands.
An outrigger canoe.

Save the dates

Skating in Summer Social

What: Join us for our annual summer skating cookout. We’ll be skating and playing games on the ice and grilling burgers and hot dogs outside. This beautiful skating rink is located on Constitution Beach so feel free to hit the beach and warm up after skating!

Where: Porrazzo Rink, 199 Coleridge St., East Boston, MA

When: Wednesday, August 29th from 11AM-2PM

RSVP: To sign up, call the Universal Access Program at (857) 260-1519 or email laila.soleimani@state.ma.us.

A photo of a skater sitting in an ice sled in a rink, wearing a helmet and holding a pair of sticks. Another skater is standing behind the sled and holding onto the handle. A hockey goal and hockey sticks are behind them on the ice.
Skaters using an ice sled at Porrazzo Rink.

Wheel-A-Thon

What: Bring your wheels and take in beautiful views of Ware River as you adventure along the Mass Central Rail Trail. Hosted by the East Quabbin Land Trust, there will be narrated natural history stops along the way, wagon rides, and hot dogs!

Where: Mass Central Rail Trail, 1700 Hardwick Road, New Braintree

When: Saturday, June 30th from 10AM-2PM

RSVP: Call the East Quabbin Land Trust at (413) 477-8229 or visit www.EQLT.org

Summer 2018 Calendar

Date

Day

Activity

Location

Program Leader

April 1–October 31

Daily

Sailing

Charles River Esplanade

Community Boating, Inc.

June 2

Saturday

Adaptive Recreation Fair

Artesani Park, Brighton

Universal Access Program

June 6

Wednesday

Hiking

Robinson State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

June 7

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

June 8

Friday

Hiking

Halibut Point State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

June 11

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

June 14

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

June 15

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

June 21

Thursday

Hiking

Walden Pond State Reservation

All Out Adventures

June 21

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

June 22

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

June 25

Monday

Hiking

Spectacle Island

Stavros Outdoor Access

June 25

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

June 28

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

June 29

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

July 5

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

July 6

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

July 9

Monday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 9

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

July 9

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

July 11

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

July 12

Thursday

Hiking

Blue Hills Reservation

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 12

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

July 13

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

July 13

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

July 14

Saturday

Kayaking

Lake Cochituate

Waypoint Adventure

July 16

Monday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 16

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

July 17

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

July 18

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

July 19

Thursday

Hiking

Great Brook Farm State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 19

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

July 20

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

July 20

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

July 23

Monday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 23

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

July 23

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

July 24

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

July 24

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

July 25

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

July 26

Thursday

Kayaking

Herter Park

Waypoint Adventure

July 26

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

July 26

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

July 27

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

July 27

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

July 30

Monday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

July 30

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

July 31

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

July 31

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

August 1

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

August 2

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

August 2

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

August 3

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

August 3

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

August 4

Saturday

Kayaking

Malibu Beach

Waypoint Adventure

August 6

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

August 6

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

August 7

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

August 7

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

August 8

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

August 9

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

August 9

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

August 10

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

August 10

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

August 13

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

August 14

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

August 14

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

August 15

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

August 16

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

August 16

Thursday

Kayaking

Lake Cochituate

Waypoint Adventure

August 16

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

August 17

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

August 17

Friday

Swimming

Bennett Field Pool

Easter Seals Mass

August 20

Monday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

August 20

Monday

Kayaking

Cochituate State Park

All Out Adventures

August 20

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

August 21

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

August 21

Tuesday

Kayaking

Walden Pond State Reservation

Waypoint Adventure

August 22

Wednesday

Kayaking

DAR State Forest

All Out Adventures

August 23

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

August 23

Thursday

Hiking

Moore State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

August 23

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

August 24

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

August 28

Tuesday

Canoeing

Fishing Area 3

All Out Adventures

August 29

Wednesday

Ice Skating Social

Porrazzo Rink

Universal Access Program

August 30

Thursday

Kayaking

Quinsigamond State Park

All Out Adventures

August 30

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

August 31

Friday

Cycling

Norwottuck Rail Trail

All Out Adventures

September 6

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

September 12

Wednesday

Cycling

Artesani Park

All Out Adventures

September 13

Thursday

Hiking

Pittsfield State Forest

Stavros Outdoor Access

September 13

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

September 17

Monday

Golfing

Ponkapoag Golf Course

Mass Para-Golfers Association

September 19

Wednesday

Cycling

Artesani Park

All Out Adventures

September 20

Thursday

Hiking

Borderland State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

September 20

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

September 21

Friday

Abilities Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Universal Access Program

September 22

Saturday

Abilities Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Universal Access Program

September 23

Sunday

Abilities Expo

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

Universal Access Program

September 26

Wednesday

Cycling

Artesani Park

All Out Adventures

September 27

Thursday

Rowing

Connecticut River, Holyoke

Holyoke Rows

October 4

Thursday

Hiking

Mount Tom State Reservation

Stavros Outdoor Access

October 20

Saturday

Hiking

Maudslay State Park

Stavros Outdoor Access

April 1–October 31

Daily

Sailing

Charles River Esplanade

Community Boating, Inc.

Past Issues

Past issues of DCR Access News from 2011 onward are available in PDF format. Please contact our office for copies in alternate formats.

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