Project Title:

Sunshine Coast Trail

Project Organization:

Powell River School District/Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $1,471,050
  • Powell River School District: $710,000
  • Community Development Trust: $264,922
  • UBCM: $7,000
  • Corporate Sponsorships: $160,000
  • BC Parks: $25,000
  • In Kind Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society: $737,800
  • Total Budget: $3,375,772

Project Highlight:

The 180km Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada's longest hut-to-hut trail. 

The Sunshine Coast is a popular tourism destination known for its spectacular coastal and mountain views, old-growth rainforests, and lakes. One of the Sunshine Coast’s most unique but underdeveloped tourism assets was the Sunshine Coast Trail. The Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society recognized the potential of the Trail and sought to create world-class tourism.

There were three primary components to this project. Significant improvements were made to the Sunshine Coast Trail including the construction of new sections of trail, the re-grading and improvement of existing portions of the trail and the addition of signage throughout the entirety of the trail. The project also included the construction and installation of 12, free-to-use huts along the length of the 180km trail supporting multi-day, hut-to-hut excursions. Finally, a fully-accessible wilderness camp complete with a fully-accessible lakeside trail was constructed to support educational initiatives. The camp offers groups a central dining area, an event hall and sleeping cabins.

Since the completion of this project in 2014, the wilderness camp and the hut-to-hut Sunshine Coast Trail have been hailed as major successes. The Sino-Brite language schools recently used the wilderness camp and Inland Lake trail, which led to the language school establishing a permanent facility in Powell River. The Sunshine Coast Trail is now a world-class trail that attracts visitors from around the world. It is the longest hut-to-hut hiking experience in Canada and was recently ranked as one of the top 50 hikes in the world by Explore Magazine.

Island Coastal Economic Trust approved funding for this project in 2014 through the Capital and Innovation program.