• Horse Accessible Gates

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    • Abstract: Horse Accessible GatesAnother concern was finding a way to allow horse and Forest (figures 4 and 5) and at the Lolo National Forestpedestrian access, while restricting ATVs and motorcycles. (figure 6). The bottom log should be removed from the gate

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Horse Accessible Gates
Another concern was finding a way to allow horse and Forest (figures 4 and 5) and at the Lolo National Forest
pedestrian access, while restricting ATVs and motorcycles. (figure 6). The bottom log should be removed from the gate
Two types of structures that will allow horse access, but shown in figure 6 because the log could be a tripping hazard
restrict ATVs, are the “V” gates used at the Ashley National and it prevents wheelchair access. A horse stile restricts
Figure 4—A horse walking
through a “V” gate in Utah.
This gate is not accessible
because it is narrower than the
minimum width required for
passage of a wheelchair (32
inches) and the bar across the
opening is higher than 1 inch.
Figure 5—Accessible “V” gate drawing (MTDC–1057–02).
Combination Wheelchair/Horse
Accessible Gates
The greatest challenge was to find a gate that allowed horses
and wheelchairs to pass, but restricted all motorized traffic.
The “V” gate design (see figure 5) allows wheelchairs and
horses, but only restricts ATVs—not motorcycles. We combined
the kissing gate (see figure 1) with the horse stile to design
the horse gate with wheelchair accessibility (figure 8).
Wheelchairs are able to go into the center of the gate, turn
around and go out the other side. Horses can walk over the
two stiles. The gate dimensions work well together because
Figure 6—A gate in the Lolo National Forest that allows horses to pass, but the required turning diameter for a wheelchair is 60 inches.
restricts ATVs. This gate is not accessible because it is narrower than the This corresponds to the minimum required spacing of the
minimum width required for passage of a wheelchair (32 inches) and the
bar across the opening is higher than 1 inch. stiles for horses to step over them in stride. The stile should
be no higher than 12 inches because horses may choose to
ATVs and motorcycles and discourages mountain bikes, jump over stiles that are higher.
while allowing passage by horses (figure 7).
Figure 7—A horse stile. This gate is not accessible because the bars across
the opening are higher than 1 inch.
Figure 8—MTDC accessible horse gate drawing (MTDC–1057–01).
Road Closure Drawings
the restriction device. When foot travel is encouraged on the
Many forest roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic by gates
or other types of barriers. Often, foot travel is allowed beyond
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around a road closure gate, while restricting ATV use.
10) show four different ways to allow wheelchair access
other side of the barrier, passage for someone in a wheelchair
must be provided. The road closure drawings (figures 9 and
Figure 9—Accessible road closure gate drawing (MTDC–1056–01) with a kissing gate and post that allow accessibility.
Figure 10—Accessible road closure gate drawing (MTDC–1056–02) with “V” and “U” chicanes (hidden entries) that allow accessibility.
Another concern is not having enough room to allow both horse a horse-friendly barrier (figure 11). The kissing gate (see
and wheelchair access around a road closure barrier. This may figure 1) may be added adjacent to a cattleguard on a road to
be remedied by installing an accessible gate for wheelchair allow wheelchair access, while restricting cattle.
access (see figures 9 and 10) and replacing the road gate with
Figure 11—A horse-friendly barrier and accessible gate for road closure drawing (MTDC–1056–03).
Signs Other Accessibility Web Sites
Mountain bikes, motorcycles, and small ATVs may be able to American Trails http://www.americantrails.org/resources/
maneuver around obstacles and gates. In these cases, signs accessible/
should be considered for additional travel management. All signs
(including object markers) must meet the requirements of the National Center on Accessibility http://ncaonline.org/trails/
Sign and Poster Guidelines for the Forest Service (EM 7100–15),
chapter 6. Additionally, signs are required when mountain bikes USDA Forest Service—Accessibility http://www.fs.fed.us/
or motorized vehicles are allowed on Forest Service trails. recreation/programs/accessibility/
Summary Other Related Projects
This project developed drawings for gates that meet the acces- Beneficial Designs, Inc., is working on a project called Design-
sibility requirements for wheelchairs, horses, or both, but restrict ing an Accessible Vehicle Barrier for Trails.
motorized vehicle access. The new gates can help the Forest Beneficial Designs, Inc.
Service fulfill its policy of universal design, providing access 2240 Meridian Blvd., Suite C
to public lands for all people. Minden, NV 89423-8628
Phone: 775–783–8822
Fax: 775–783–8823
Web site: http://beneficialdesigns.com/169/
Web Sites for Gate Designs and
Suppliers in the United Kingdom
Scottish Natural Heritage http://www.snh.org.uk/publications
/on-line/accessguide/gates.asp Acknowledgments
For information and assistance, the author would like to thank
BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) http:// Ellen Eubanks, San Dimas Technology and Development
handbooks.btcv.org.uk/handbooks/content/section/3320 Center; Gina Reese, Ashley National Forest; Donna Sheehy,
Northern Region; and Janet Zeller, Washington Office.
Bushey and District Footpaths Association (BADFA) http:
//www.badfa.org.uk/gates&stiles/GATES.htm Thanks to MTDC’s publication and photography staffs,
especially Sunni Bradshaw, for technical support and to Deb
Centrewire Ltd. http://www.centrewire.com/installed.htm Mucci for design drawings.
Jackson’s Fine Fencing http://www.jacksons-fencing.co.uk/ The drawings in this tech tip are available on the Internet at:
pages/products/timber_prod_range.aspx?tc1=BD http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm06232340/
drawings/ (Username: t-d, Password: t-d)
These drawings can be viewed by Forest Service and Bureau
of Land Management employees on their internal computer
network at: http://fsweb.wo.fs.fed.us/eng/facilities/accrec/
About the Author
James “Scott” Groenier, professional engineer, began working Wisconsin and Illinois State Departments of Transportation
for MTDC as a project leader in 2003. Scott earned a bachelor’s and with an engineering consulting firm before joining the
degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Uni- Forest Service in 1992. He worked as the east zone structural
versity of Wisconsin at Madison and a master’s degree in civil engineer for the Eastern Region and as a civil engineer for the
engineering from Montana State University. He worked for the Ashley and Tongass National Forests before coming to MTDC.
Library Card
Groenier, James “Scott.” 2006. Accessible gates for trails and When the Forest Service installs a gate, berm, or other type
roads. Tech Tip 0623–2340–MTDC. Missoula, MT: U.S. of restriction to block motorized vehicle access but encourag-
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technol- es foot access, a passage 32 inches wide must be provided so
ogy and Development Center. 12 p. a person using a wheelchair can get through (Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).
This tech tip includes drawings for gates that can be used to
close roads and trails to motorized vehicle access while still Keywords: accessibility, all-terrain vehicles, ATVs, chicanes,
allowing access by wheelchairs and, in some cases, horses. horses, kissing gates, motorcycles, wheelchairs
Electronic copies of MTDC’s documents are available on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees
the Internet at: http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/t-d.php. can search a more complete collection of MTDC’s docu-
ments, videos, and CDs on their internal computer network
For further information about accessible gates, contact at: http://fsweb.mtdc.wo.fs.fed.us/search/.
Scott Groenier at MTDC.
Phone: 406–329–4719
Fax: 406–329–3719
E-mail: [email protected]
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