I have been asked about how people who struggle to walk distances, tire easily, are in a wheelchair or on crutches or have any other situation which makes it hard to get around can still have a great day at the Saratoga Springs Race Course. Whether you are planning a trip for a handicapped friend or family member or you are looking for information for yourself, here is what you need to know for someone who is handicapped to enjoy “The Track”.
A day at the Saratoga Race Course involves quite a bit of walking. The betting windows and food/drink vendors are spread all around the backyard grassy area as well as all through the buildings. For someone who doesn’t easily get around that is potential for an exhausting day without much fun.
The Saratoga Springs Race Course does not offer wheelchairs for rent or to borrow. If you have a wheelchair, please be sure to bring it. There are multiple ways to assist someone who has trouble walking for any sort of distance. Some walkers have a seat built in so you can sit and rest whenever you need. Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are a good idea. Knee walkers/scooters that help people who can not walk on one leg are a great idea to bring. There are wheelchair accessible seating in the Grandstand and Clubhouse.
Saratoga Springs Race Course has three escalators for patron use.
- Walk into the Grandstand near Gate A.
- Inside the Grandstand behind the carousel (now called Easy Goer and Fourstardave).
- Accessed from outside, Copper Roofed Escalator between Grandstand and Clubhouse.
Elevator for Each Side
Both the Grandstand and Clubhouse have an elevator. The Grandstand elevator is a freight elevator located in the center of the building behind Fourstardave Restaurant and faces the track.
The elevator for the Clubhouse is on the edge of The Porch area near the entrance to the Clubhouse. This elevator also faces the track.
Use the Handicap Drop-Off Areas
The main Handicapped Drop-Off area is on Union Ave in front of Gate A. Pull right up to the curb and park for as long as you need to assist the person who is handicapped. There are many benches near the drop-off, some in the shade where the person can sit, relax and wait there for whoever is parking. Once everyone is together, walk in through Gate A or Gate B depending on where you are going once inside.
There is another handicap drop-off near the Gate off of Nelson Ave. To get to the drop-off, take Nelson Ave and turn onto Frank Sullivan Place, which is a one-way street. There is a huge taxi lane but you can drive up to the curve to drop someone off. It’s not labeled as a Drop-Off but there is a lane you can pull up to and drop off people.
There are no benches available at this gate, so having that camping type portable chair would be great.
Parking for Handicapped Patrons
There are a few parking areas which are labeled for handicap use only. If you enter the free, public parking lot from East Avenue (near Union) there is a handicapped parking area on the right.
Bring a Portable Chair
For people who get tired out while walking, bring a fold up camping-type chair that you carry on your shoulder. I have also seen people with chairs that have backpack straps and today I saw a woman who’s cane unfolds into a little stool. Whenever you (or the person you are walking with) needs to stop and rest, just take out the chair, set it down and sit. Once you feel up for more walking, you can tuck up the chair and be on your way.
Go in the Closest Gate
If you are heading to the Grandstand, the Top of the Stretch, or picnic tables at the playground use the Handicapped Drop-Off area on Union Ave then head through Gate A, the Grandstand is in front of you.
If you are going to the Big Red Spring, Reserved Picnic Tables, Festival Tent or a wooden picnic table your party has claimed in the backyard, use the Handicapped Drop-off area on Union Ave and enter through Gate B.
If you are going to the Clubhouse, The Rail Pavilion, the Suites, or the Paddock Tent, the closer gate is Gate C/D off Nelson Ave.
Depending on where your party claimed their picnic table in the backyard, you could enter through Gate A or B. See if someone who knows where the table is located can tell you to which gate the table is closest.
Do you have any information or tips to share to help make going to the Saratoga Springs Race Course easier for folks who are handicapped? Please share in the comments.
Thanks for reading! I hope this helps! :o)