Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park

The Autism Nature Trail (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. Located in Letchworth State Park, the #1 State Park in the country, The ANT will become a new attraction at Letchworth State Park which hosts nearly one million visitors annually and remains a desired destination for responsible and safe outdoor recreation.

The ANT is a one-mile looped main Trail with eight stations at various intervals, offering a range of experiences from quiet engagement to active exploration and adventure, including: the Sunshine Slope, a gentle, sloping maze in a natural clearing; the Music Circle, a circular grove of pine trees featuring nature-inspired instruments; and the Meadow Run and Climb, a dedicated space for running, jumping, climbing, balancing and testing strength, coordination and confidence. Specialized elements like cuddle swings, gliders, and “alone zones” also are a part of the Trail experience, each created to provide an inclusive environment for individuals of different needs and abilities. Signage telling visitors what to expect as they make their way around the Trail creates purposeful consistency and predictability.

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.

Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park

Main Phone:585.201.8066
Mailing Address:6773 Trailside Road
Castile, NY 14427

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The Autism Nature Trail (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. Located in Letchworth State Park, the #1 State Park in the country, The ANT will become a new attraction at Letchworth State Park which hosts nearly one million visitors annually and remains a desired destination for responsible and safe outdoor recreation.

The ANT is a one-mile looped main Trail with eight stations at various intervals, offering a range of experiences from quiet engagement to active exploration and adventure, including: the Sunshine Slope, a gentle, sloping maze in a natural clearing; the Music Circle, a circular grove of pine trees featuring nature-inspired instruments; and the Meadow Run and Climb, a dedicated space for running, jumping, climbing, balancing and testing strength, coordination and confidence. Specialized elements like cuddle swings, gliders, and “alone zones” also are a part of the Trail experience, each created to provide an inclusive environment for individuals of different needs and abilities. Signage telling visitors what to expect as they make their way around the Trail creates purposeful consistency and predictability.

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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Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park

6773 Trailside Road
Castile, NY 14427

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