Rehabilitation Center

TRAILS: Therapeutic Recreation & Independent Lifestyles

TRAILS is a comprehensive outreach program of the Rehabilitation Center at University of Utah Health Care, for individuals with spinal cord injury or disease that includes the following components.


TRAILS is designed to prepare individuals of all ability levels to engage in active living through recreational experiences. Utilizing opportunities and resources will help bridge the gap between rehabilitation and returning to the community. Participants can stay active through spinning, hand cycling, kayaking, canoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, swimming, sailing, wheelchair tennis or a variety of other activities year round.

Spinal Cord Injury Forum:

The Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Forum is an 8 week educational program for persons with spinal cord injury, personal care providers, peers, and health care professionals. The focus is on physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual wellness. Topics include: advocacy, health promotion, nutrition, psychosocial issues, sexuality, assistive technology, transportation, recreation, women's wellness, aging and disability.

Spinal Cord Injury Wellness:

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Wellness is an innovative component that provides persons with spinal cord injury an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive wellness program that includes exercise/conditioning, weight management, nutritional consultation, massage, upper extremity preservation, health risk management, yoga, and circuit resistance training. This unique opportunity eliminates barriers for participation, provides access to fully accessible equipment, knowledgeable and experienced supervision, financial accessibility, and socialization.

TRAIL Talk is a monthly continuation of the SCI Forum and meets monthly to discuss a variety of topics.

TRAIL Trek is a monthly activity that is peer directed, recreational and social.

Virtual Outreach:

One of the greatest challenges for spinal cord injury care is the barrier of distance between rural areas and the hospital. Virtual Outreach consists of web based, and telemedicine/telehealth links that enable expanded medical and outreach consultation and education services to all parts of the region.

Volunteer/Peer Support:

In collaboration with University of Utah Health Care Volunteer Services, TRAILS recruits volunteers who are interested in working with this specific population.  Individuals have an opportunity to become a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) volunteer specialist through extended training. The Peer/Mentor Program is a collaboration with United Spinal Association and links an experienced mentor to a peer who will work on problem-solving, self-management and assist with assimilation into an active lifestyle.


Transportation involves (1) safe and reliable transportation optimizing community involvement, (2) seamless referrals to adaptive driving programs, and (3) advocacy for accessible transportation. The overall goal is to promote the highest level of accessible and independent transportation.


TRAILS, in collaboration with the College of Health Sciences and the College of Health, will provide opportunities to advance excellence in recreation focused research. Current research is focused on increasing active lifestyles and decreasing secondary health conditions.

Contact Us


Tanja Kari, Program Coordinator