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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 26 Field Trips below are accessible for standard-wheelchairs:


Trip # Title Date 1 Date 2 (if applicable) Time Nearest Town County
2 Waterfowl Identification at Goose Pond Thursday, April 27 6-8:30PM Arlington Columbia
7 Spring Ephemerals & Edibles in an Urban Gem Sunday, April 30 Saturday, May 13 9:30-11:30AM Wauwatosa Milwaukee
40 Tour of UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences Wednesday, May 17 10AM-12PM Milwaukee Milwaukee
58 Forest Bathing & Foraging: Pheasant Branch Sunday, May 21 9AM-12PM Middleton Dane
60 Peninsula State Park: Geology & Accessibility Thursday, May 25 1-3PM Fish Creek Door
78 Pontoon the Mississippi River Saturday, June 3 Saturday, October 14 1-3PM Winona, MN
101 Through the Eyes of the Coyote Saturday, June 10 Saturday, June 24 9AM-12PM Wauwatosa Milwaukee
137 Become a Purple Martin Landlord Friday, July 7 8AM-11AM Oregon Dane
146 LaCrosse Landfill Wednesday, July 12 9-10AM La Crosse La Crosse
150 Adams Garden Park: Urban Nature Restoration Thursday, July 13 1-3PM Milwaukee Milwaukee
153 Lakeshore State Park: Urban Oasis Friday, July 14 10AM-12PM Milwaukee Milwaukee
164 Behind the Scenes Tour of a Wildlife Hospital Wednesday, July 19 12-2PM Milwaukee Milwaukee
180 Demystify Waste: Tour Dane County Landfill & Trash Lab Thursday, August 3 Saturday, August 12 9-10:30AM Madison Dane
188 Falling in Love with the Night Sky: Wyalusing Thursday, August 10 8:30-11PM Prairie du Chien Grant
205 Hummingbirds: Ecology & Banding Saturday, August 26 7:30-9:30AM Milton Rock
230 Birding for Everyone with Access Ability Wisconsin Friday, September 15 5:30-8PM Verona Dane
241 Nevin State Fish Hatchery: Raising Healthy Trout Saturday, September 30 9:30-11:30AM Fitchburg Dane
249 Behind the Scenes at the Wisconsin State Herbarium Saturday, October 7 9AM-12PM Madison Dane
256 Crane Roosting Tour at Crex Meadows Friday, October 20 4:30-7PM Grantsburg Burnett
257 Owls under the Stars Friday, October 20 7-10PM Fall Creek Eau Claire
263 Migration on the Mighty Mississippi Friday, November 3 Monday, November 6 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

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 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.