Fairly undercover but certainly a crowning achievement for local governments, the Sea to Sky Trail which stretches from D’arcy to Squamish, is a fabulous amenity for recreational users in the corridor.
The idea for this concept has been around for hundreds of years as noted on the SLRD website:” In the late 1700s and early 1800s European settlement expanded both on the Coast and into the Interior, as pioneers ventured in pursuit of gold and the expansion of ranches. It was at this time, the young province of British Columbia undertook their largest capital project to date, a cattle trail for ranchers around Lillooet to transport their cattle to the Vancouver markets.
The trail proved too rigorous for the cattle, so the route was abandoned. But the idea of traveling through the Sea to Sky corridor persisted, eventually leading to the development first of gravel roads and railways, and then of highways and airports.”
The brainchild of two pioneers, Mike Manheim and Ross Kirkwood, the trail concept was imagined in 1991 but has been evolving more rapidly since 2005 when it became sanctioned within the funding structure of the SLRD and the RMOW. After a generous $300,000 donation from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, the committee has been making great headway on certain sections of the route.
The newly completed section from the Soo Crossing down to the stock car track in Pemberton is a glittering example of the beauty and splendour of our backyard. Named Gords Garden after the original project manager and Whistler councillor Gord McKeever, this section of trail traverses an old prehistoric rock slide, weaving through massive boulders alongside the churning rapids of the Green River. It is a beautiful section of trail and is studded with other wonders such as a grove of old growth firs and majestic cedars.
Not to be outdone, the southern sections of the Sea to Sky trail are also equally stunning. From Squamish, up through the Paradise Valley , leads you into the Cheakamus canyon and gorgeous views of the raging river within the canyon walls. Next comes the quaint little Starvation Lake and the basalt lava flows of the Brandywine area. Beautiful sections of trail traverse talus slopes and wind around rock outcroppings. Crossing the suspension bridge and the Whistler Bungee site is quite spectacular as well.
There are plans afoot to extend sections of the trail and tie in areas so there is limited travel on the highway. This trail really is a grand achievement and an incredible legacy for future recreationalists.
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