Hiking definitely requires full mobility, or maybe it doesn't! If you explore the delightful network of pathways in Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, you will come to a junction at the Wally Ross Trail. There you will immediately notice the Obstacle Free Trail sign. This trail was created as an universal access trail and made specifically for users who may have varying physical abilities with relatively safe access for all. How fantastic is that - a nature trail designed to be navigated independently by those who may be wheelchair bound. Nature for everyone!
As host city for the 2010 Winter Paralympics,Vancouver welcomed the world and earned a reputation as one of the world's most accessible places to visit. Of course, wheelchair access routes can present a few obstacles in the form of rocks, roots and steep inclines. Enter the TrailRider, a remote wheelchair, provided that access, whose origins are grounded in Vancouver. Former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, co-invented the TrailRider as part of his dream to make the outdoors more accessible. Imagine a unique, single tire 'wheelchair' powered by a couple of sherpas. This single piece of equipment allows a person with mobility restrictions to access the great outdoors. From Mount Everest base camp to Mount Kilimanjaro the TrailRider has been tested under extreme conditions and across challenging terrain.
Closer to home, the British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society operates an accessible hiking program based in Pacific Spirit Regional Park. As part of their goal to make the 'beautiful accessible' BCMSO also coordinates a TrailRider rental program. For only $10 per day, outdoor enthusiasts can rent a specialized TrailRider and embark on a self guided and self paced adventure. Here are a few suggestions for destination hikes:
* Camosun Bog, Pacific Spirit Park
* Spanish Banks, Vancouver
* Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver
* Green Timbers Urban Forest, Surrey
* Burns Bog, Delta Nature Reserve
Check out this terrific list of Accessible Trails in the Lower Mainland from Spinal Cord Injury BC. Are you looking for a more extreme adventure? Trail Peak features a list of TrailRider accessible routes.
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