Despite ranging terrain and a dense forest, Vancouver Island is home to a long list of accessible trails, making it easy for anyone with mobility concerns to take in the many elements.
Pacific Rim National Park
In the Pacific Rim area, wheelchair users can rest assured that the off-terrain landscape of some trails won’t have an impact on their equipment. An all-terrain wheelchair is available at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre. Made entirely of boardwalk, the Shorepine Bog Trail is free of stairs, and loops through the sunning old-growth forest of the national park.
Central Vancouver Island
Built with accessibility in mind, for Forbidden Plateau’s Paradise Meadows route in Strathcona Provincial Park is mixed terrain, including both boardwalks and gravel. It’s a stunning loop trail, easily a day trip away from Comox Valley or even Campbell River.
Just a little further south along the coast, Lighthouse Country Regional Trail offers about 2.5 km worth of accessible trails. It’s also equipped with a tapping rail, for those with visual or balance impairments.
For a walk with a little water, try the accessible paths to Little Qualicum Falls, or stroll the boardwalk at Parksville beach.
Cowichan’s famed Kinsol Trestle is just a short kilometre from the parking lot, and on a hard-packed gravel trail, it’s easy to make your way through the green forest to the expansive views from the top of this architectural feat.
South Vancouver Island
Further south in the Victoria area, there’s an impressive network of accessible trails as part of the Galloping Goose. The Capital Regional District provides a comprehensive overview, tips for what to expect, and info on adaptive equipment rentals.
North Vancouver Island
The more remote terrain of Vancouver Island North shouldn’t dissuade wheelchair users: San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park is heralded for its sea stacks and wild beaches, but the hard packed trail and boardwalks keep it open to everyone.
Remember to respect the terrain, environment, and other users while you are enjoying the trails. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors.
When you are hiking, biking, and camping in BC, you are in bear habitat. Make sure you are informed, prepared, and aware at all times. Wildsafe BC is a great resource for making any bear experiences you may have in BC positive and conflict free.