Letchworth State Park
Castile, NY 14427
The Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park (The ANT) is a first-of-its-kind, interactive experience in nature, designed specifically for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.
The ANT is an ADA-compliant one-mile looped main Trail with eight stations at various intervals, offering a range of experiences from quiet engagement to active exploration and adventure. Sensory stations and other features of Autism Nature Trail include:
Combating Social Isolation & Encouraging Inclusivity Statistics show that young people with autism spend disproportionate amounts of time indoors, often finding comfort in digital activities which results in social isolation. This disconnectedness not only affects individuals with ASD but also can affect caregivers and entire families. Because of our current and necessary sequestering due to COVID-19, many people can relate to this isolation with everyone now having a clearer understanding of feeling cut off from the world outside. The ANT is designed as a series of accessible and safe outdoor spaces in nature, yet far from the distractions and often overwhelming stimuli of everyday outside life.
Activities along the Trail support and encourage sensory perception, while also providing enjoyable activities for visitors of all abilities and ages. The eight sensory stations engage each individual’s auditory, visual, tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive processing, using nature and natural materials as the tools for skill-building. The ANT’s natural setting allows for safe social distancing and planned interaction throughout the experience of the Trail.
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