Here are a few thoughts on the accessiblity guidelines as they apply to trails at Shenandoah National Park:
Question 2: I thought the proposed guidelines were clear as written and don’t have any problems with the term “not feasible”. Initially I thought that specific examples would be useful, but as I considered the wide variety of trail layouts and conditions, I changed my mind. Sometimes examples led people to interpret guidelines too narrowly.
Question 3, part 2 and Question 25: While trail signs are one way to communicate information to visitors, there are other ways as well. To recommend or require a sign (as opposed to informational maps, guidebooks or other methods) is too restrictive. Currently very few of the trails at SNP have informational trail signs, and we’ve found that the ones we have are expensive to maintain and tend to get out-of-date due to changing trail conditions and changing regulations. We are discussing providing better accessibility information, but aren’t even considering doing that through trail signage.
Snags: I may have missed it, but I did not see any place where you mentioned snags or hazardous trees. We do not remove snags or hazardous trees from our trails, with the occasional exception of hazardous trees around our fully accessible trail. Are there any requirements here?
Melissa Rudacille, Maintenance Worker
Shenandoah National Park
540-999-3142, ext. 2