In 2007 the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was awarded the Access to Recreation grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The $700,000 grant allowed for accessibility improvements to the Complex, including accessible walkways throughout the Complex and lowered counters and tables inside the lodge and various accessible recreation initiatives.
First Universally Accessible Luge Track
In 2009, The Sports Complex constructed the world’s first universally accessible wheel luge track. The track’s design incorporates the principles of universal design making it accessible to people with varying mobility abilities. The all-season luge track also allows the sports complex to provide a luge offering outside of the winter season. Additionally, since 2009, procedures and equipment have been modified to provide universal accessibility to the Complex’ ice luge track, one of only three “kunstbahn” style tracks in the country and the only one that is universally accessible.
Access to Lost Lake
In 2009 a 2.5 mile trail to Lost Lake was constructed with accessible compacted crushed aggregate surface and gentle slopes. In 2012 a 100 foot wooden boardwalk and 225 square foot observation deck overlooking Lost Lake was constructed and connected to the Lost Lake Trail. Signage along the trail is tactile and accessible to people with visual impairments. The viewing scopes on the observation deck are universally accessible to people with a variety of abilities from a standing or seated position.
The Winter Sports Complex has also purchased equipment for adaptive sports with Access to Recreation funding. For ice skating the Complex offers adaptive sleds with a bucket seat and skate blades affixed to the bottom. Adaptive skaters use a stick to propel the sled on the ice. The Complex offers adaptive skiing with specially designed skis that allow the skier to sit on a seat and glide by pushing with ski poles. The ski trails are graded and groomed to accommodate adaptive skiing.
With the expansion of year-round recreation offerings, the Winter Sports Complex will continue its commitment to universal access to recreation in Muskegon State Park. Proposed projects will be designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities including a hillside incline elevator alongside the existing winter luge track, offering all participants inclusive access to the luge track using the same pathways.