GWLMobilityTrail3

Top 3 Accessible Trails in Northern British Columbia

Prince George is a beautiful city located almost smack dab in the center of British Columbia. The city offers gorgeous sights; but, that’s not the only thing that makes the city a great place to visit, or even, call home… It’s the people. A perfect example of why the people in Prince George are so great is the number of accessible trails in or near the city. I’m here to share 3 top trails in the Prince George area that give freedom and accessibility to anyone who cares to venture along them.

What are accessible trails?

Accessible trails are not only usable by persons wanting to walk but also to those who may be constrained to a wheelchair or have a harder time walking. Wheelchairs typically cannot manoeuvre over tree roots or, as you may know, they can’t physically get up stairs. Accessible trails make the forest accessible to everyone that cares to see it!

GWL Mobility Trail (Great West Life Mobility Nature Trail)

The GWL Mobility Trail is located approximately 30 minutes outside of Prince George. To reach the trail drive 23km south on Highway 97 until you reach Buckhorn Road. Turn left onto Buckhorn road and follow until you reach Scott Road, which will be on your left side. Follow Scott Road until you reach gravel and the parking lot will be on your next right. You can drive right in until you reach the trailhead, there is wheelchair parking right beside the trailhead.

Great West Life Mobility Trail, GWL Mobility Trail, Accessible Trails

The trail meanders through the forest of Douglas Fir trees; it truly is a beautiful place to venture. There is only one trail, very clearly marked, which is wheelchair accessible; as well as, accessible to seniors and the general public. The trail is 450 meters long and offers 8 benches throughout in order for occasional breaks whenever the need be.

GWLMobilityTrail. Great West Life Mobility Trail

I don’t think they could have picked a better location to build this trail, right along Dougherty Creek and within a gorgeous cut of trees. This trail has really open doors for many who, typically, would never have been able to get out in the forest. While walking along the trails try to spot some hidden friends: gnomes, tree faces, angels, owls and more, that have been placed in hidden spots throughout the trail.

The Ancient Forest

The Ancient Forest is located approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes East of Prince George along Highway 16. There is a well-marked sign along the highway to lead you into the parking lot, which is located just off the highway.

Ancient Forest, Prince George, Accessible Trail

The Ancient Forest is a wet belt forest filled with ancient Western Cedar trees. During my first visit to the Ancient Forest I couldn’t help but wonder, “How does a forest like this survive in such harsh climates of northern BC?” After a bit of research I found that the cedars actually thrive on the water that comes down from melted snow packs in the mountains.

Ancient Forest, Accessible Trail

The Ancient Forest is a truly magical place, a place that deserves to be seen by everyone. Thankfully, again, the community of Prince George saw that this beautiful place wasn’t accessible to all; yet, they believed it should be! Then began the project of building a universal boardwalk into part of the forest. It doesn’t follow the typical trail of the Ancient Forest but it takes you through the forest along the ancient cedars and ends at a creek runoff which comes from the waterfall nearby. I’d say the Ancient Forest is one of Northern BC’s secret gems, it’s the first place I take anyone who is visiting this beautiful region.

Forests for the World

Forests for the world is the closest accessible trail, out of the three I’ve listed, to the city of PG… because it’s right within the city! Forests for the World is located upon Cranbrook Hill. Get onto Highway 97 (Central Street) and turn onto 15th Avenue, heading south, make a right turn onto Foothills until you reach Cranbrook Hill Road. Cranbrook hill is a very steep hill; take caution while driving up, there may be other vehicles, pedestrians or even wildlife on the roadway. Once you reach Kueng Road take a left and drive to the end where you’ll reach the parking lot and trailhead.

Fprests For the World, Prince George

There are many trails within Forests for the World; though, there is only one loop to the lake that is accessible to all. At the trailhead there is a map posting that will clearly guide you to said trailhead. You don’t have to feel left out, I honestly believe the loop to Shane Lake is the best trail in the forest! The Shane Lake loop trail is 1km in length, relatively flat and maintained so it’s accessible to those in wheelchairs.

Forests for the World, Prince George

Shane Lake offers an accessible lookout over the lake, as well as a dock down below. There are a variety of fish within the lake, it’s common to see many people fishing while walking around the lookout. The forest lining the trail is filled with Spruce, Pine and Douglas fir trees and beautiful wildflowers spring up along both sides of the trail. Forests for the World is a must see while in the city, regardless if you get around on two feet or two wheels!


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Top 3 Accessible Trails in Northern British Columbia

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Want to know of some other great trails, hikes or parks within the Northern Region of British Columbia? Check out Tourism Prince George and their #TakeonPG project!

 


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Dawn Kealing

Travel Blogger at Life, Love and Adventure
Hey! I'm a 20 something Canadian with backgrounds in Photography and Art. I'm here to bring you the most current information on travel and keep you up to date on the best adventure destinations around the world!

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25 Responses to “Top 3 Accessible Trails in Northern British Columbia”

  1. Elaine J. Masters September 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    I’ve done a fair amount of walking and hiking this summer. Have to invest in a good pair of hiking shoes to make trails like this easier.
    Elaine J. Masters recently posted…A long distance drive – Going solo in the Central ValleyMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Actually, I didn’t even bring my hiking boots along for these hikes. :D They’re pretty gentle strolls anyone is accessible to take. :)

  2. Lesley September 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

    Even though it’s my home, we spent the summer exploring the trails and parks in eastern Canada. We’re hoping to explore the west next summer :) Such beauty.
    Lesley recently posted…The Incase EO Hardshell Roller is Carry On Luggage that FitsMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      I truly hope you get the chance! It’s really beautiful over here. :) I certainly have to make my way over to the West as well, I really am missing out on a lot of sights over there!

  3. Tami September 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    I love British Columbia! I grew up in Seattle and visited BC many times. I didn’t do much hiking, though. That pathway through the Ancient Forest looks awesome!
    Tami recently posted…Five Seattle FavoritesMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

      I’ve heard Seattle is very beautiful as well! I haven’t been there yet, though it seems everyone I know has, haha. The Ancient Forest is by far my favorite, as well as the most beautiful hike in this region. :)

  4. Mags September 26, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

    That’s so beautiful. I love the path through the forest. So peaceful!
    Mags recently posted…Braccia Pizzeria & Restaurante in Winter Park, FLMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      It’s so beautiful and a stunning place to have an afternoon stroll. :)

  5. Jen Joslin September 27, 2015 at 2:43 am #

    I love your pictures! Those trails and bridges all look beautiful. Which months are best for hiking there?
    Jen Joslin recently posted…Teaching English in VietnamMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks Jen! :) I’d say anything in late spring (May) to early fall (September) are good times to visit Northern British Columbia. Though, I think the BEST time is definitely late summer early fall (August to late September) because there are little to no mosquitos to bother you, as well the weather is a bit cooler which is nice for a day of hiking! :)

  6. Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers September 27, 2015 at 3:51 am #

    Those trails look stunning, we’d definitely be heading there if we get into British Columbia.
    Toni | 2 Aussie Travellers recently posted…Hakone Freepass | Is it good value?My Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      I truly hope you do! :) The Northern region of British Columbia is so stunning, it’s a shame for anyone to miss it! :)

  7. mar September 27, 2015 at 5:21 am #

    Nice shots, the forest always has a way to make all the worries go away! Being in nature is relaxing and healing
    mar recently posted…Fabulous High Tea at The Plaza, New YorkMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

      It really is a relaxing place, I love being surrounded by forests! :)

  8. Kanika Kalia September 27, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    That Ancient Forest trail looks awesome. I think its very important to have some accessible trails this good. It breaks my heart when I see people with special needs missing on such nature’s beauty because of their constraints. I will definitely visit these trails when I head to BC.

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

      It really is awesome!! I love the Ancient Forest. :) It really is sad that some people don’t get the share in the beauty on our planet. I’m so happy we can create places like this where everyone is welcome to access. :)

  9. Trisha Velarmino September 27, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    Too much hiking in that side of the world and I can’t wait to visit!
    Trisha Velarmino recently posted…Is it worth to quit school and travel the world?My Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

      I can’t wait for you to either! It’s beautiful over here, I’m certain you’ll love it. :)

  10. Alyssa September 27, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    All 3 of these trails look amazing! What a beautiful adventure. Nothing beats nature and everyone should make it a priority to explore and enjoy it as much as possible.
    Alyssa recently posted…World Peace DayMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

      They all are beautiful places for an afternoon stroll. :) It most definitely should be anyone’s priority to explore through nature. :)

  11. Meg Jerrard September 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Thanks for highlighting this Dawn – I love that the world is becoming more and more accessible meaning that we’re breaking down the conventional barriers which stood in the way of many people being able to see the world. I noticed that Costa Rica too is starting to put in a lot of accessible trails throughout the country, so glad to hear Canada is also doing this too.
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…Hipmunk City Love: What to Pack for a Trip to New OrleansMy Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

      I completely agree Meg, I believe the earth should be accessible for everyone to see! I’ve noticed Costa Rica implementing some accessible trails, it really is a great thing. :)

  12. Bobbi Gould September 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    Canada reminds me so much of Oregon! (where I’m from) Blue skies and lush green for DAYS! Will keep this in mind next time I am there!
    Bobbi Gould recently posted…Monthly Blogging Update!My Profile

    • Dawn Kealing September 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

      I have begun to notice that a lot of the west coast states and British Columbia share a lot of visual similarities! I would love to adventure down into the states sometime soon and see it for myself! :)

  13. Jenna September 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to visit Prince George for quite some time now–it looks great! All of these trails sound like a lot of fun, especially The Ancient Forest! Great post!
    Jenna recently posted…10 Tips for a Successful Road TripMy Profile

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