The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia strives to be an inclusive travel destination to people of all abilities.
Read on to learn more about accessible travel on the Sunshine Coast, including links and information on getting around, accommodation, things to do, guide animals, & more. Don't forget to check out our blog post featuring ideas for an accessible getaway on the Sunshine Coast.
BC Ferries provides daily scheduled sailings to Langdale and Powell River with parking, ramp and elevator access for those looking for accessible options. After a scenic cruise travellers can follow the Purple Banners along the main highway directing them to local art galleries and artisan workshops. There are a variety of coffee shops and eateries serving up organic goodness that provide paved walkways and accessibility if stairs or uneven terrain are difficult. Shops and restaurants with designated accessible parking stalls are located along main routes and are open year round.
There are many accessible accommodation options on the Sunshine Coast. It is recommended to check the accessibility rating before booking.
THINGS TO DO
BC Parks is the second largest parks system in Canada and many of its provincial parks offer accessible features such as paths, trails and other amenities.
The Inland Lake Forest Provincial Park and Trail System are located 12 kilometers north of Powell River and are a must see. The park has excellent camping, fishing, boating and outdoors oriented activities and provides basic facilities for all abilities. The 12 kilometer wheelchair accessible circuit includes 8 picnic/rest areas, 4 overnight camping areas and 6 fishing piers. The trail is a crushed limestone covered pathway with minimal grades. Small, rustic log cabins are located at the overnight campsite areas. The cabins are reserved for those in need of an accessible option, but are open to others if available.
Visit Hidden Groves and experience the variety of old growth trees and the ambiance of a true West Coast Forest. Both Monty’s Way and Take It Easy trails are wheelchair or walker accessible.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at Cliff Gilker Park located just off Hwy 101. The parks trail system has colour coded hiking routes taking you through forests and walking over creeks observing waterfalls. The viewing platform is wheelchair accessible.
The “User-Friendly” Trail Guide is a helpful resource for those looking for easy-to-use walking, hiking, and wheeling trails on the South Coast. The guide was created to inspire those with mobility challenges to get out and explore the Sunshine Coast. Trails were selected because they are shorter, wider, flatter, and more even than the average mountain trail. Pick up your print copy for free in one of our local visitor centres, or click the button below to see the PDF version.
Boating enthusiasts have access to a number of government docks along the coast. Tie up at the Gibsons Marina and enjoy the shops and restaurants of Gibsons Landing or dock at Desolation Sound (near Lund) – the oldest and largest provincial marine park in British Columbia. Boaters can motor along to tropical sandy beaches of Savary Island to view the marine biodiversity and beauty of the coast. Government wharfs and marinas are wheelchair accessible and provide gripped ramps and railings.
TRAVELLERS WITH GUIDE ANIMALS
Any persons accompanied by a guide animal has the same rights, privileges and obligations as a person not accompanied by an animal. As well, a fee may not be charged for a guide animal accompanying a person with a disability. For more information, visit the Ministry of Justice website.
SPEECH OR HEARING IMPAIRMENT
For persons with hearing or speech impairment, there are services available at the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Call 604-736-7391 (voice) or 604-736-2527 (TTY).
There are four Visitor Centres on the Sunshine Coast that offer professional visitor counselling, helpful travel information and literature, and assistance with activity and accommodation reservations.