Accessible trail opens in Qualicum Bay Saturday

Qualicum Bay residents will be able to take a hike - regardless of their mobility

The new 2.5-kilometre trail section in Qualicum Bay is fully accessible to those with physical and visual impairment.

The new 2.5-kilometre trail section in Qualicum Bay is fully accessible to those with physical and visual impairment.

People facing physical challenges in Lighthouse Country will be able to get out and about for a nice walk in the woods, thanks to the opening this coming weekend of a special accessible section of trail in Qualicum Bay.

The trail will be officially opened from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 23 with a special ceremony at the trailhead on Lioness Boulevard, beside the Lighthouse Community Centre and Lions Community Park.

A children’s bike parade on the trail will kick off at 10 a.m., with registration and free bike decorating starting at 9:30 a.m.

Featuring 2.5 kilometres of fully accessible woodland trail, the site also has over 150 metres of raised boardwalk, benches, a picnic table, fish bridges and wood carvings. The trail, part of the Lighthouse Country Regional Trail in Qualicum Bay and Bowser, is specially designed for wheelchair and medi-scooter users and the visually impaired.

Following the brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees will have a chance to take to the woods, with refreshments available at both the trailhead and the halfway mark.

Those with a little more stamina and sense of adventure can take a guided tour of the Nile Valley woodlot trails and learn about new places to walk and run — all under 10 kilometres in length.

Joan Michel, the parks and trails coordinator for the Regional District of Nanaimo’s parks department, said there is only one other similarly accessible trail in the RDN — at Cathedral Grove.