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Field Trip Physical Demand & Accessibility

Planning your Field Trips Using our Physical Demand Rating

Trip titles in the Field Trip Guidebook are color coded with a physical demand rating to help you decide whether the activity level matches your abilities.

The color of the trip title indicates physical demand. Level 1 (Purple): Accessible to people with walking disabilities. Level 2 (Blue): Easy, short hike on level terrain. Level 3 (Green): Average hike with some hills. Level 4 (Orange): Challenging steeper terrain, long hike, or canoe with rapids. Level 5 (Red): Extreme conditions, off-trail or very steep or long hike.

Each trip is unique in its location and activities. Please reach us at or (608) 409-3123 if you have questions about the physical demand levels or accommodations for a specific Field Trip.


Using standard and outdoor wheelchairs on Field Trips

We are dedicated to providing opportunities for people with various physical abilities to join us out in the field. If you, a family member, or friend have mobility challenges, we have several options. See below for a list of standard-wheelchair accessible Field Trips and information on using outdoor wheelchairs from our friends at Access Ability Wisconsin.

The Field Trips below are accessible for standard-wheelchairs.

* indicates there are open spaces as of 7/8/24

Trip# Title Date Times Nearest Town County
124-B Pontoon the Mississippi River Saturday, October 12, 2024 12-2PM Winona, MN
165 *Lakeshore State Park: Urban Oasis Friday, July 19, 2024 10-11:30AM Milwaukee Milwaukee
169-A Creating Spaces for Crane Conservation Saturday, July 20, 2024 9AM-12PM Baraboo Sauk
169-B Creating Spaces for Crane Conservation Saturday, July 20, 2024 1-4PM Baraboo Sauk
195 Mammals of Wisconsin: UW Zoological Museum Tour & ID Skills Friday, August 9, 2024 9:30AM-12PM Madison Dane
209 Hummingbirds: Ecology & Banding Saturday, August 24, 2024 7:30-9:30AM Milton Rock
216 Falling in Love with the Night Sky: Wyalusing Thursday, August 29, 2024 8-11PM Prairie du Chien Grant
226-A A Night Out with Chimney Swifts Saturday, September 7, 2024 6-8PM Okauchee Lake Waukesha
226-B A Night Out with Chimney Swifts Sunday, September 8, 2024 6-8PM Okauchee Lake Waukesha
233 Climate Smart Forestry in Action Saturday, September 14, 2024 10AM-12PM Wauwatosa Milwaukee
235-A *Sketching in the UW Zoological Museum Sunday, September 15, 2024 10AM-2PM Madison Dane
235-B CANCELLED: Sketching in the UW Zoological Museum Sunday, September 22, 2024 10AM-2PM Madison Dane
239 *Urban Prairies: Restoration at Lakeshore State Park Friday, September 20, 2024 10-11AM Milwaukee Milwaukee
242 Nevin State Fish Hatchery: Raising Healthy Trout Saturday, September 28, 2024 9:30-11:30AM Fitchburg Dane
261 Owls under the Stars Friday, October 11, 2024 7:30-10:30PM Fall Creek Eau Claire
262 Behind the Scenes at the Wisconsin State Herbarium Saturday, October 12, 2024 9AM-12PM Madison Dane
267 Crane Roosting Tour at Crex Meadows Friday, October 18, 2024 4:30-7PM Grantsburg Burnett
274-A Migration on the Mighty Mississippi Tuesday, November 5, 2024 8:30AM-3PM La Crosse La Crosse
274-B Migration on the Mighty Mississippi Friday, November 8, 2024 8:30AM-3PM La Crosse La Crosse


Use an all-terrain outdoor wheelchair

All terrain outdoor wheelchair by Access Ability Wisconsin photo courtesy of River Edge Nature Center

Five Field Trips have Outdoor Wheelchairs to use on-site

Outdoor wheelchairs, as shown above, have rubber tank-like tracks that can easily ride over the dirt and grass. The Field Trips below have outdoor wheelchairs on site to use during on the trip. Contact us for details on reserving an outdoor wheelchair for use during one of these Field Trips.


Trip# Title Date Times Nearest Town County
184 Forest Bathing at Wehr Nature Center Sunday, July 28, 2024 9-11:30AM Franklin Milwaukee
225 Geologic Origins of Point Beach SNA Saturday, September 7, 2024 1:30-3:30PM Two Rivers Manitowoc
269 Glacial Ghosts of Whitnall Park Saturday, October 26, 2024 9-11AM Franklin Milwaukee

Access Ability Wisconsin

Access Ability Wisconsin (AAW) was created to facilitate and provide the means for individuals with mobility challenges to access and enjoy Wisconsin’s natural resources, and to provide recreational opportunities for all physically challenged people, not just wheelchair users, but anyone, regardless of age, with a permanent or temporary mobility challenge who wants to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors.

AAW has all-terrain Outdoor Wheelchairs (OWC) which use rubber tank-like tracks available to reserve and use free of charge at several locations throughout the state. You can reserve an OWC through AAW and tow it to other locations using an AAW enclosed trailer. Use the chair on your own outdoor excursion or on one of our Field Trips (contact us to discuss options).

Watch all-terrain wheelchairs in action: AAW video footage

More Resources for Exploring the Outdoors

Open the Outdoors is your resource for all of the available recreation options for individuals with disabilities.

Find out more: Wisconsin DNR – Open the Outdoors

Banner photo by Caitlin Williamson. Photo of family with all-terrain outdoor wheelchair courtesy of Riveredge Nature Center. Photo of person in all-terrain wheelchair posing in front of trailer courtesy of Access Ability Wisconsin.


Christine Tanzer

Christine Tanzer

Field Trip Program Director

(608) 409-3123

Christine Tanzer (she/her) has been at the helm of NRF's Field Trip program since 1997. She has coordinated over 3,000 trips, helping tens of thousands of people explore Wisconsin's most special places.