Hiking Trail Gates Don’t Violate ADA, Court Says

     (CN) – An Orange County park system did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act when it installed gates at the ends of its hiking trails, a California appeals court ruled.

     The Orange Park Community Association (OPCA) installed the gates to prevent vehicles from damaging the trail fences and endangering bikers and horseback riders.
     Evan Carolyn sued the association for violating the ADA, since he was planning to travel the trails in a horse-drawn carriage.
     “I am too weak from a muscular standpoint, and my balance is too poor to ride a horse,” Carolyn told the court. “Because of my disability, the only way that I could have access to the equestrian trails of the OPCA Trail System is in a horse-drawn carriage.”
     The trial court ruled for the association, finding that the trails are not a public accommodation under the ADA.
     Justice Ikola of the 4th District Court of Appeals in Santa Ana, Calif., affirmed the decision on appeal.
      “OPCA’s trails are not like the zoos, golf courses, health spas, bowling alleys, or amusement parks specifically identified as public accommodations in the ADA,” Ikola wrote.

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