In Accessible Travel, News & Blog, SCI BC News

Maybe it’s that low Canadian dollar, or maybe you just prefer to spend your spare time here in beautiful BC. Whatever your reason, here are a dozen accessible wilderness trails to get you out and about this summer.

If you’re dreaming of a BC road trip this summer, or just want to explore some local haunts, there are plenty of accessible wilderness trails you could easily pencil into your itinerary. We’ve teamed up with Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to bring you 12 trails that feature wheelchair-friendly surfaces and grades, provide access to some of our province’s most stunning scenery, and are completely free to use. Set out from home, or fly into the nearest airport and rent a car, and enjoy the best of your very own backyard!

Keep in mind that the listings on these pages are only an introduction. We recommend you do your own research before you go to ensure the trails are a match for your abilities, interests, and needs in terms of other disability-specific features such as accessible bathrooms.

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1. Naikoon Provincial Park

Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) is a string of islands located off BC’s northern coast. On the northeast tip, you’ll find Naikoon Provincial Park and its newly-extended wooden boardwalks that provide wheelchair adventurers with excellent access to some of the sacred territory of the Haida Nation, with its ancient forests and spectacular coastline. Magical, magnificent and mystical.

  • Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Sandspit International Airport (YZP). Pacific Coastal Airlines flies daily between Vancouver’s South Terminal and the Masset Municipal Airport. Inland Air has daily scheduled flights between Prince Rupert and the Village of Masset.

2. The Shorepine Bog Trail

Tofino’s Shorepine Bog Trail is a fully accessible, 800-metre boardwalk that will take you through a unique ecosystem in Pacific Rim National Park—a bog that only a few plant species are able to survive in due to the acidic soil found here. The only tree that can survive locally is the Shore Pine, which grows in fascinating, twisted, irregular shapes. After, you can hit the beach by borrowing an all-terrain wheelchair at Ucluelet’s Kwisitis Visitor Centre, at the south end of Wickaninnish Beach.

  • Pacific Coastal Airlines  flies daily from Vancouver’s South Terminal (YVR) to Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ). KD Air has daily flights from Vancouver’s South Terminal to Tofino-Long Beach Airport.
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3. The Galloping Goose

The Galloping Goose is a converted railway line that’s now part of the Trans Canada Trail. Beginning close to downtown Victoria, it extends some 55 kilometres to Sooke, and passes through the communities of Metchosin, Colwood, Langford, View Royal, and Saanich. The trail can be accessed at many points, allowing you to choose a journey of a length or duration that’s perfect for you. And it features connections to many other trails and parks, including East Sooke Park.

  • Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Victoria International Airport (YYJ). Pacific Coastal Airlines flies daily between Vancouver’s South Terminal and Victoria International Airport. WestJet has daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Victoria.

4. Seymour Valley Trailway

It’s hard to imagine getting bored of Vancouver’s incredible Stanley Park Seawall trail. But if you really want a change, consider the Seymour Valley Trailway in North Vancouver. This paved, 10-kilometre path takes you through the incredible forests of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. There are lots of picnic areas to stop at before you reach the end, where you’ll find Seymour River Fish Hatchery & Education Centre

  • Fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on your local airline.
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5. The Valley Trail

Located just outside Whistler Village, the Valley Trail is actually a network with more than 40 kilometres of paved paths and boardwalks that connect all of Whistler’s picturesque neighbourhoods, lakes and parks. There are many bite-sized loops you can try, including the Whistler Golf Club Loop and the Creekside to the Lakes Loop. A must-wheel if you’re in the Whistler area this summer.

  • Fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on your local airline.

6. Inland Lake Trail

Located close to Powell River on the upper Sunshine Coast, this 13 kilometre trail circles Inland Lake and offers accessible routes throughout Inland Lake Provincial Park. The trail is composed of crushed limestone paths, boardwalks and bridges. It’s well-marked with many different view points, and even has several pit toilets along the route. There are connections to other trails as well, including a loop trail around nearby Anthony Lake.

  • Pacific Coastal Airlines flies daily between Vancouver’s South Terminal (YVR) and the Powell River Airport (YPW). 
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7. Isobel Lake Low Mobility Trail

Located just outside downtown Kamloops, this gorgeous 3.2 kilometre lakeside wheelchair accessible wilderness loop features an interpretive trail, fishing wharfs, and a lake stocked with rainbow trout specifically for children and those with disabilities. The trail is well-marked with many places to stop and enjoy the lake view or have a picnic.

  • Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Kamloops Airport (YKA), also known as Fulton Field Airport. WestJet and Air Canada fly daily between Vancouver and Kelowna International Airport (YLW). 

8. Hemlock Grove Interpretive Trail

Just east of Revelstoke is Glacier National Park. Here, you can find the amazing Hemlock Grove Interpretive Trail, a 350 metre, fully wheelchair-accessible boardwalk trail that allows you to explore an ancient forest of breathtakingly immense giant cedars and hemlocks. Access is just off the Trans Canada, so if you’re travelling the route, make time for this superb trail.

  • Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Kamloops Airport (YKA) and Penticton Regional Airport (YYF). WestJet and Air Canada fly daily between Vancouver and Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Pacific Coastal Airlines and Air Canada have daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC).
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9. Cariboo Chilcotin Trails Network

The Cariboo Regional District, located in the BC Interior, is to be applauded for its extensive Low Mobility Trails Network. It features 19 wheelchair accessible wilderness trails throughout the region, which reward visitors with views of the area’s stunning landscapes, wildlife and rich history. There’s an incredible amount of diversity in these trails—we suggest starting at www.cariboord.bc.ca.

  • Pacific Coastal Airlines and Central Mountain Air fly daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Williams Lake Airport (YWL). Central Mountain Air flies daily between Vancouver and the Quesnel Airport (YQZ). 

10. Ancient Forest Boardwalk

The Ancient Forest, located 113 kilometres east of Prince George on Highway 16, received Provincial Park status in 2016. Constructed almost entirely through donations and volunteer efforts, it features more than 400 metres of boardwalk trail leading from the parking lot through a giant, old- growth cedar rain forest before ending at a tranquil stream.

  • Air Canada, WestJet and Central Mountain Air fly daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Prince George Airport (YXS). 
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11. Great West Life Mobility Trail

Part of the Dougherty Creek recreational area 23 kilometres south of Prince George, this 450 metre trail meanders through mature spruce and Douglas fir along beautiful Dougherty Creek. It includes several bridges and resting areas.

  • Air Canada, WestJet and Central Mountain Air fly daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Prince George Airport (YXS). 

12. Kinuseo Falls

Kinuseo Falls are located south of Tumbler Ridge on the Murray River, in the Peace Country’s Monkman Provincial Park. A 200-metre trail takes you to the lower viewing platform located at the lip of these spectacular, world-class falls, where you can witness them in all their glory.

  • Air Canada and WestJet fly daily from Vancouver (YVR) to Fort St. John Airport (YXJ). 
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Planning a road trip to central or northern BC? Check out our new Access BC website

To date, we’ve audited the accessibility of more than 450 outdoor spaces in North-Central BC, including municipal, provincial and federal parks, recreation sites, and visitors’ centres. Access in-depth accessibility specifications, as well as virtual tours and videos, suggested driving routes and maps, and accessible tourism tips. Happy trails!

This blog post was created in partnership with Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Learn more about accessible air travel via our Accessible Travel Video Series.

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