Accessibility Check – Cheakamus Nature Trails, March 25

Carl Halvorson did a great deal of work to help ensure that the Cheakamus Centre nature trails would be accessible for people with mobility devices who wanted to join the March 26 nature outing. Carl raked trail surfaces, chopped away big roots, filled dips, and widened the trail at sharp corners. The bridges were already wide enough, and Carl made sure they would be safe by clearing away thick moss that could be slippery, by evening out approaches, and by widening some areas.

Carl invited us to try a test run on Saturday so he’d have a chance to resolve any issues before the official outing on Sunday.  Ed uses a mobility scooter with tires that have about 8 cm of tread in contact with the ground. The only problem we had during our test run was caused by the type of crushed rock used at one bridge: it did not provide good traction in a spot where Ed had to make a 90 degree turn.  Fortunately, a little muscle power loaned by Carl solved the problem.  Some parts of the trail surface were a bit muddy but because the trails are supported by gravel we had no problem. Our opinion is that someone with a self-propelled wheelchair would be able to negotiate most of the trails. Some areas would take extra effort because of the nature of the surfaces, and the crushed rock that gave Ed problems just wouldn’t work for someone in a manual wheelchair. The route we took was just over 2.5 km: that could be tiring and shorter loops would be available.

My favourite photo shows Carl ankle-deep in the creek, after he ran across so he could hunker down and use his phone to shoot a video of Ed driving across one of the bridges. We had fun.

Thanks, Carl!