Hikers with disabilities can find the Pacific Northwest’s most accessible trails in a new book

Syren Nagakyrie is the author of “The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Western Washington and Oregon”.

SEATTLE — A one-of-a-kind new guide for hikers with disabilities hoping to hit the trails of western Washington and Oregon is now on the shelves.

“A sense of belonging, spaces so often told to me that I don’t belong,” said Syren Nagakyrie, author of “The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Western Washington and Oregon.”

“Everyone deserves to have access to the outdoors, including people with disabilities, you know it’s so important to us to have spaces where we can go out and experience this beautiful place just for everyone” , Nagakyrie said.

It was this mentality that led them to start a non-profit organization, Disabled Hikers, in 2018. It advocates for people with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors and for parks and trails to improve accessibility.

“Disability is one of the biggest communities in the world, 25% of people have some kind of disability, 60% of people have some kind of chronic illness.” said Nagakyrie.

After two years of research and hiking over 150 trails, they released “The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Western Washington and Oregon,” which was released earlier this month. It breaks down the 60 best outdoor trails in the Pacific Northwest that are accessible and best suited for people with disabilities.

“I wish it existed when I was growing up as a kid,” Nagakyrie said. “Growing up with multiple disabilities and not having access to community information that I needed or wanted. So, I created it.”

They believe Washington State Parks is on the right path to greater accessibility for everyone. However, they also believe that there is still work to be done.

“You can become disabled at any time, so even if you don’t think it affects you now, it could tomorrow,” Nagakyrie said.