It has been at least 7 years since my family and I visited the Hudson Gardens & Event Center last. From what I remembered, it seemed pretty accessible, but we weren’t really looking for those features since our son did not have a mobility concern at the time. There were places for him to run around, get close to the ponds and the fountains, and just have a bunch of fun. Now with his wheelchair, the experience was noticeably different.
Is Hudson Gardens Accessible?
Our first real obstacle came when we were trying to enter the Rose Garden to see the fountain. We were able to do a wheelie to get the front tires onto the bricks, but it wasn’t easy with many wheelchairs having anti-tip measures as a standard feature.
Even a small wedge across the width of the bricks or take the first row of bricks out to add the wedge on either side would allow better access.
Along with the gardens, there are beehives, flower boxes, and a vegetable garden. These areas are surrounded by grass or mulch and can be prohibitive without the right durable medical equipment.
Our Next Obstacle
Our next obstacle was finding a shady place to sit that wasn’t too bumpy for the wheelchair. The mulch surrounding one shaded area was our best bet. Thank goodness the seat on Samuel’s wheelchair is squishy and can take the bouncing. He is also great about going with the flow.
There is a very pretty bridge overlooking a section of a pond, but since there is not a drop section for those in wheelchairs, all of the railings throughout the gardens were exactly at seated eye level, which blocked a beautiful views and experiences.
Lilly Pond Obstacle
The second to last obstacle that we experienced was moving around a path close to a pond filled with Lilly pads and other beautiful water plants. The beginning of the path was definitely wide enough for the wheelchair to comfortably traverse, but at the end of the path, it narrowed significantly and we had to go off-road to get over the large stones. You may have to go through the mulch to get out if you can’t roller over them.
Potential Grade Issue
Our last concern that we came across was the grade on the south side of the gardens from the Visitor’s Center. It might be difficult for someone with a manual wheelchair to traverse that hill without someone to assist.
Overall, a very enjoyable morning. I was sweating like crazy at the end, since there was quite a bit of extra force that I needed to exert to make sure we saw what we wanted to see.
Grade for Hudson Gardens & Event Center – B
Our answer to Is Hudson Gardens accessible is mostly
Manual Wheelchairs: Doable, but can be tough in spots
Electric Wheelchairs: Easy (except for the Rose Garden fountain) and some other small spots
Strollers: Easy Peasy
Bathrooms: Many wheelchair accessible bathrooms located conveniently all over the gardens. Easy to get to. Bathrooms included regulation ADA size stall where a full-size wheelchair could rotate 360 degrees. Missing push button-activated doors.
Parking: Multiple disability and van disabled parking spaces
Benches: Many situated conveniently all over the gardens.
COVID: Mask wearing was good. Social distancing was being performed.
Tips: With some minor adjustments, visiting the Hudson Gardens & Event Center would be more enjoyable for people that use wheelchairs.
Overall, we had a great time and I got my steps in.