Accessible Outdoors

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Making conservation areas more accessible to more Missourians

The Department is working to remove barriers that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying the outdoors. Throughout the state, construction of new facilities and renovations at older properties are providing access to Conservation Department areas, buildings, and shooting ranges.

The Department cannot guarantee accessibility at any particular site or property, but the area search helps you find conservation areas that have accessible facilities for people with disabilities.

MDC has a variety of devices to help with casting, holding, and reeling. Contact your local MDC office to reserve equipment for your outing.

Mobility Devices

Wheelchairs (manual or power) and manually powered mobility aids, like crutches, are allowed anywhere foot traffic is allowed.

Segway-style devices are permitted only for use by people with mobility disabilities on Department trails, inside Department buildings and on roads both open and closed to public vehicular traffic.

Individuals with mobility disabilities use MDC areas at their own risk. The Department makes no claims that trails are designed, maintained or managed for any mobility device. Permitted use does not infer that trails meet ADA standards, unless the trails are so designated.

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  1. Your device must be operated at typical walking speed. You must yield to pedestrian traffic.
  2. You may carry an able-bodied companion only if your device is built for multiple passengers.
  3. Your device width cannot exceed the trail width and must have a turning radius small enough to prevent damage to the area.
  4. Any person that damages cultural or natural resources on conservation areas may have their privileges revoked.
  5. Mobility devices cannot be used on trails and undeveloped areas that do not support their length, width and weight due to natural features and topography. You are encouraged to contact the area manager to ask questions about trail suitability.
  6. You use MDC areas at your own risk. The Department makes no claims that trails are designed, maintained or managed for any mobility device, unless they are marked as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disabled-accessible trails.
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Definition of an “Other Power-Drive Mobility Device”

Most people are familiar with the manual and power wheelchairs used by people with mobility disabilities. In recent years, some people with have begun using less-traditional mobility devices such as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and Segways®. These devices are collectively called “other power-driven mobility devices,” also known as OPDMD. They typically are powered by batteries or fuel and are not necessarily designed primarily for individuals with disabilities.

Common definitions:

Wheelchair: A manually operated or power-driven device designed primarily for use by an individual with a mobility disability for the purpose of indoor and outdoor locomotion.

Other Power-Driven Mobility Device (OPDMD or mobility device): Any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion, whether or not it was designed primarily for use by individuals with mobility disabilities. OPDMDs may include ATVs, electronic personal assistance mobility devices, such as the Segway ® Personal Transporter (PT), or any mobility device that is not a wheelchair, which is designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes.

Hunting from a mobility device

The Wildlife Code of Missouri makes it illegal to hunt game from any type of motorized vehicle. However, a person with a permanent or temporary disability may hunt and take wildlife from a stationary vehicle or other power-driven mobility device, provided he or she carries a Department-issued hunting medical exemption form. Wildlife may not be taken from or across a public roadway.

A special use permit is also required to hunt from a vehicle on Department managed lands.

Credible assurance

Individuals using mobility devices may be asked to provide “credible assurance” that the device is necessary because of the individual’s mobility disability. These assurances may be provided by either:

  • Presenting a valid state-issued disability placard or ID.
  • Offering a verbal statement not contradicted by observable fact.
Summary of Mobility Device Use on Department Areas
(SUP: Special Use Permit)
  Wheelchairs
(manually operated or power driven)
Manually-powered mobility aids (walkers, crutches, canes, etc.) Segway® PT, or devices of similar size and type All-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility vehicles Cars and trucks
May use anywhere pedestrians are allowed (without SUP) X X      
May use on Department trails (without SUP) X X X    
May use in Department buildings (without SUP) X X X    
May use on Department roads closed to public vehicular traffic (without SUP) X X X    
May use on Department roads open to public vehicular traffic (without SUP)* X X X X X
May use on Department roads closed to public vehicular traffic (with SUP)       X X
May travel off-road/trail (with SUP)     X X X

* So long as such use is in compliance with Missouri Revised Statutes §§ 304.013, 304.032 and 304.033. Under these state statutes:

  • All-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility vehicles MAY be used by handicapped persons for short distances on the state’s secondary roads between the hours of sunrise and sunset. This includes Department roads open to public vehicles.
  • Operators of all-terrain vehicles must have a bicycle safety flag.
  • Recreational off-highway vehicles must display a lighted headlamp and tail lamp and be equipped with a roll bar or roll cage construction. Persons operating an off-highway vehicle must wear a seat belt.