Visiting the White Mountains of New Hampshire in a Wheelchair – Yes it can be done! How do I know? Over a year ago my father suffered a major stroke and was left paralized on his right side. Very sad as this was a man who walked 3 miles a day and still lifted a few hand weight and did his pushups each morning – Semper Fi! Once a Marine always a Marine! Mom was very nervous about taking a tirp from NY to NH. We drove together and found many easy exits on I91 and US Rte 302 for breaks with handicap accessable bathrooms. The real joy was that we were able to accommodate my dad in a wheelchair at the Bartlett Inn. There is access through our back door with just a 4 inch curb up the back and then into the kitchen – doable in a wheelchair. Inn Room 5 is on the main floor and so this provided easy access to the bedroom and the inn living and dining rooms too. The bathroom is not large enough to be truly handicap accessable for a wheel chair but my dad is able to take a few steps with help and to pivot so we managed ok. We have a toilet chair that made this possible. Best of all we found that some of the hikes we loved to take to NH Waterfalls including Sabbaday Falls on the Kankamgus Highway and Diana’s Baths Waterfalls in North Cownay NH were fit for a wheelchair. ( We had a transport chair not a large chair). The hiking trails were hard packed with pea stone and made each of these .5 mile trails possible. There were a couple of small hills that required a good push but we did it. The benches set up at intervals along the path were a great resting spot for my mom too.
Another thing my parents love to do is to have a drink on the veranda at the Mt Washington Hotel Bretton Woods NH. They had handicap access ramps through the front door and onto the veranda and we enjoyed a crystal clear sunset with beautiful viws of Mt Washington. We were also able to eat at our favorite restaurant, The White Mountain Cider Company in Glen NH. They have a ramp into the restaurant and we enjoyed Monday night Burgers (The Vietnamese burger was delicious!)
So come visit New Hampshire – don’t let a wheelchair hold you back. The Bartlett Inn has some limited handicap accessable rooms but there are other hotels locally that can provide full handicap accessable accommodations if necessary. The point is that it is possible to see the natural beauty in New Hampshire’s White Mountains from a wheelchair and this was great for my dad! A real sense of freedom and joy! We are already planning his next visit where he will get into the Bartlett Inn’s heated swimming pool this summer for some aqua therapy!