Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wheelchair Accessible Caves

A little over a year ago my daughter asked if I could ever take her to go see some caves. To which I immediately replied, "I'm sure I could. We have to do some research first though." I don't know if you've ever done a search for wheelchair accessible caves before, but nature isn't too wheelchair accessible sometimes.

I read a number of reviews, and went to so many websites that my head started to spin. It was a little confusing, because I would read websites that said there was no wheelchair access and then read reviews that would say some of the caves were accessible. I think the discrepancy has something to do with the difference between "wheelchair accessible" and "handicap accessible". Just because something is handicap accessible, doesn't mean that it will work out for wheelchair users.

We got to Mammoth Cave National Park, and I expected to be able to do something there cave related. After all, it's a national park. Nope... none of their cave tours are wheelchair accessible. All tours start at the Visitor Center, then a (non-wheelchair accessible)bus takes you to the mouth of the cave. I was told that I could follow the bus to the entrance of the big cave so I could hear a story, but then my daughter couldn't even go on the tour alone since she was only 12.

One of the rangers got an excited look on his face and told us to hang on, he'd be right back. He came back with a pamphlet for Cub Run Cave in Cub Run, KY. They have built a boardwalk that goes about 1/2 mile into the cave. I believe they did this just to keep people from walking on and contaminating the cave floor. It would have been great if the owner had the forethought to make the ramp ADA accessible... no such luck though. There are 12 steps to get up to the boardwalk. I just got out of the wheelchair and bumped up the steps on my butt and got back in the chair with a slightly wet butt. It a little narrow, so I could only turn around at certain spots. The tour guide was super great and friendly, however due to liability purposes can't help anyone up and down the steps. They supposedly have tentative plans to someday get rid of the stairs and slope the ramp down to the cave floor.

I took some pictures but the Cub Run Cave website has some good pictures as well. If you're interested in caves, and you have help or can bump up 12 steps, it's well worth the trip.

The other cave that we found was the Kentucky Action Park/Outlaw Cave in Cave City, KY. There isn't a ramp or boardwalk in this cave. The entrance is ground level though, a little rough... but there are no steps. The two caves and how they're treated couldn't be more different, but I think they're both great experiences though, especially considering the limited wheelchair accessible options.

Happy Caving!

Handcycling, anyone?

Our Mission, as the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group, is to improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries, living in Northwest Indiana; through education, advocacy, peer support, and recreational outings.

As the director of the NWI SCI Group, I would like to help further our cause by offering to go on a handcycle ride with anyone interested in experiencing handcycling.
I have two different styles... a Quickie Mach II and a Top End XLT.

I wold even be willing to loan one of my personal handcycles out for a short time as well. I find that riding gives me a feeling of freedom and independence that I don't experience in many other ways. I know the cycling season is coming to an end shortly, but there's always next summer.

Contact me at or call 219-531-0055 for more information.

Let's ride!


Spinal Cord Injury Walk 2010 Outcome

The Spinal Cord Injury Walk 2010 was on September 26th, 2010. We had just over 100 participants, and raised $5600 this year.

Thank you to all who participated, donated, and volunteered. Thank you to our sponsors, Allen and Associates, Wagenar Steel, and Elegan Sportswear. Chesterton Physical Therapy, Inc. supplied water and Family Catering prepared the hot dogs and Sloppy Joes.

All of the proceeds are to benefit the activities of the Northwest Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Group, Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, and paralysis research. Donations are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax ID# 27-1583899

Picture of the event are coming soon.

Shirts from the event are for sale for only $10 each plus $5 shipping per order.
Send sizes and appropriate donation amount to:

1052 Joliet Rd
Valparaiso, IN 46385

...or donate online at