In 2011 the newly formed Sechelt Groves Society aggressively pursued funding and other help for it’s first wheelchair accessible trail from: the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation, The BC Rehab Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, the Island Coastal EconomicTrust, Sunshine Coast Community Forest, Lehigh Materials and Swanson’s Redi-Mix.
Called ‘ayut-tsut’ which is ‘Take It Easy’ in the Sechelt language, the ‘out and back’ trail takes the visitor into the heart of the Hidden Groves and it’s special stand of large Douglas firs. Built to Ministry of Forests standards, it has a 5’ wide compacted surface with gentle grades, not exceeding 5%.
The trail was carefully roughed in by Jason Herz of Small World Excavating. His skillful routing resulted in minimal cutting of trees and graceful curves. The few trees that did need falling were cut by the Ministry of Forests Fire Suppression crew as a practice exercise.
The rest of the trail was completed entirely by the volunteer Trailbuilders. In order to move the vast quantities of road base and crusher dust a tracked dumper was imported to the coast but only carried one load of material before the engine gave out. The next machine was a 5’ wide wheeled front end loader which worked fine on straight sections but dug deep ruts on the curves. The final solution was a tracked front end loader which did the trick. The piles of material were dumped every 9’ and then shovelled and raked into movable forms along the sides, backed up by berms of native soil on the outer edges. The surface was then consolidated with multiple passes of a flat plate compactor before the forms were pulled out for the start of a new section. All the Trailbuilders put in extra hours to get the work done in between rain storms which turned the crusher dust to mud under the compactor. By the end of the 480 metre trail they had the system down pat and were flying along.
On May 12th, 2012 an official opening ceremony was held with Bonnie Klein cutting the ribbon.