These enhancements will also directly support the Sunshine Coast Tourism destination development goal of increasing the total contribution of the visitor economy and enhancing the overall visitor experience of the Sunshine Coast as a preferred travel destination for higher value domestic and international markets.
The Powell Forest Canoe Route consists of a 57 km long route comprising of 8 lakes, 5 portages, 23 campsites and forest trails. It is one of only 3 wilderness paddle trails in British Columbia and considered one of the region’s hidden gems. For the past five years, visitor use of this destination trail has increased by 8-13% year over year. The trail and sites have been serving far more visitations per year than originally built for. This highlights the need and opportunity to add capacity at strategic campsites and on sections of the trail.
Led by the Powell River Educational Services Society (PRESS), the Powell Forest Canoe Route Revitalization project will add incremental capacity upgrades to help sustainably improve the route as a world-class destination trail. A new gateway staging area will be provided, alongside historical and Indigenous interpretive signage (through informational kiosks, online and print media) and support for new employment and economic opportunities through the growth of existing businesses and diversification, such as the Powell Lake Outdoor Learning Centre (OLC).The project will bring the trail up to modern and sustainable trail and environmental-use standards, create employment opportunities, enhance the overall visitor experience, extend economic impacts into the shoulder seasons and providing long-term sustainability and protection of the asset.