Vancouver Island’s oldest and biggest park is opening up to a group of people not usually able to experience its rugged beauty.
The Strathcona Wilderness Institute is hosting three TrailRider and Accessibility Days (July 24, Aug. 20 and Sept. 25) designed to give access to the mobility impaired.
These Accessibility Days will allow those that normally can’t experience the beautiful meadows and trails of Strathcona Provincial Park that opportunity thanks to The TrailRider. The TrailRider is a reclined wheelchair that is maneuvered by two volunteers (“Sherpas”) along the trails and boardwalks in the park.
The day can include short interpretive tours around the 2 km barrier-free Centennial Loop in Paradise Meadows, guided by naturalists, or longer excursions up to Battleship Lake, 3 kilometres one way, where participants can enjoy views of the lake from the fishing dock.
The day-use area also has picnic tables and a TrailRider accessible toilet. Or if your “Rider” would like a more challenging 9 km loop, the Battleship Lake/Helen Mackenzie Lake circuit can be done. All of these are free to attend but preregistration is requested so volunteers can be arranged.
Almost every weekend throughout the summer, the Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) hosts special events along with Guided Nature Walks and Hikes.
The SWI is a non-profit society incorporated to promote responsible and enjoyable use of the wilderness areas of Strathcona Provincial Park. They have two information huts up at Mt. Washington (near Raven Lodge) and at the entrance to the Buttle Lake area just off Highway 28.
Now that summer has started, and the snow is finally melting away, they are announcing that the SWI Centre is now open for visitors to come visit and learn more about Strathcona Provincial Park.
SWI relies on volunteers to fulfill its mission to inspire awareness, appreciation, and stewardship in Strathcona Provincial Park. They are in need of volunteers to help run the Information Centres and become Sherpas for the TrailRider and Accessibility Days.
Consider volunteering your time so that everyone can enjoy Strathcona Provincial Park. Their website, strathconapark.org has links to all their upcoming events and how to apply to volunteer.