Already the number of visitors to the Hidden Grove has increased with a notable rise in the number of seniors and walkers with mobility issues.
Hidden Grove is a preserved area of old growth forest within the District of Sechelt. It is a popular year-round destination for both residents and visitors who enjoy the beautiful natural environment. There are few accessible trails in BC and the Sunshine Coast is no exception. The area attracts a significant number of seniors and others with mobility challenges and there are limited opportunities for this niche market to enjoy outdoor amenities. The Hidden Grove Trail project addresses this issue with the construction of an accessible 900 metre, hard-surface trail.
The new accessibility trail, completed in 2012, is named ayat-tsut or “take it easy” in the Sechelt language. The trail winds more than 450 metres from the parking lot through new-growth forest until it arrives at the Ancient Grove: a forest with trees as old as 750 years. The trail has a hard, compacted, surface and is at least five feet wide throughout. Maximum grades do not exceed accessibility standards of about 5 per cent.
Located 4 km from the highly popular Porpoise Bay Provincial Park, the Hidden Grove area is a prime destination for travelers looking to take in the region’s abundant natural beauty. The availability of a fully accessible outdoor amenity will help to grow the region’s tourism market by attracting more mobility challenged visitors, a growing niche market in BC. The trail’s proximity to residential areas will also support the attraction of new active-living resident.