There are many types of user groups that want to explore the outdoors. The top 3 accessible trails (trails designed with Boomers, wheelchairs, families and the general public in the forefront of the planning process) in Prince George are: GWL Mobility Trail, The Ancient Forest and Forests for the World.

GWL Mobility Trail (Great West Life Mobility Nature Trail)

  • Drive 30 minutes (23km) south on Highway 97 until you turn left on Buckhorn Rd. Follow Buckhorn to Scott Rd, also on the left. Follow Scott Rd until you reach the gravel road and the parking lot will be on your next right. You can drive right up to the trailhead and park.
  • The trail meanders through a forest of Douglas Fir trees and truly is a beautiful place to venture. There is one very clearly marked wheelchair accessible trail. The trail is 450 meters, following Dougherty Creek and offers 8 benches throughout for occasional breaks and to take in the serenity. Try to spot some hidden friends on the trail: gnomes, tree faces, angels, owls and more, that have been placed in discreet spots throughout the trail.

 

The Ancient Forest

  • Located 1.5hours (113km) east of Prince George on Highway 16 there is a well-marked sign on the right hand side of the highway to lead you into the parking lot.
  • 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 the 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.
  • The Ancient Forest is a truly magical place and it deserves to be seen by everyone. A group of local volunteers began the project of building a universal boardwalk through part of the forest which was completed in August 2013. The boardwalk  takes you through 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 located right in the city of PG upon Cranbrook Hill. From Highway 97 (Central Street) turn onto 15th Avenue, turn right onto Foothills until you reach Cranbrook Hill Rd (left hand side). Cranbrook Hill is very steep so please take precaution; continue up until you reach Kueng Rd. Turn left on the gravel road and continue to the end where you’ll reach the parking lot and trailhead.
  • There are many trails within Forests for the World; though, there is only one loop around the lake that is fully accessible. Follow the map located at the trailhead to navigate the loop to Shane Lake. I believe it’s 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 of varying abilities. Forests for the World is a must see while in the city, regardless if you get around on two feet or two wheels!

 

Dawn Kealing Travel Writer, Life, Love and Adventure

dawnkealing@gmail.com http://www.dawnkealing.com

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