By Isabelle Southcott |

Will you pick up ten sticks the next time you’re out for a hike on the Sunshine Coast Trail?

While you’re at it, take a selfie, post it to the Sunshine Coast Trail’s Facebook page and you will be entered in a draw to win prizes.

“Everyone who uses the trail can participate in this,” says Eagle Walz, president of Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society and vice president of Tourism Powell River. “This is Powell River’s trail, it belongs to our community and it is up to us to look after it.”

Hikers who pick up sticks help maintain the Sunshine Coast Trail so it continues to attract visitors from all over the world. Visitors like Paul and Kate Strudwick, who were here in June, came to hike the trail and visit friends at the same time (see sidebar).

Although it may not seem like a big deal Eagle says this challenge could result in a lot of debris being cleared from the trail. That means that PAWS volunteers, who go out every Tuesday and Thursday for trail maintenance, will only have the toppled trees to deal with.

“Ten sticks will make a difference. If we have 1,000 people pick up ten stick each that is 10,000 sticks!”

And of course you can pick up more if you like.

Between 2,000 to 3,000 people use the trail each year. “We anticipate doubling that in the next three to five years,” said Eagle.

Pick up sticks, win a prize

To sweeten the challenge, PRPAWS and Tourism Powell River will hold a draw at the end of August.

If you pick up sticks and post a selfie on the SCT’s Facebook page, email them your info or drop your info off at the Visitor’s Bureau, your name will be entered to win prizes including movie tickets, B&B stays, and a basket of goods from Tourism.

Spanish perspective on the Sunshine Coast Trail

“You have to come to Powell River,” said their friend Teresa Harwood Lynn. “We can walk the Sunshine Coast Trail together.”

That was well over a year ago. But there’s no more effective form of evangelism than the personal invitation.

Paul and Kate Strudwick live in Menorca, Spain. Last month, they laced up their hiking boots, strapped on their packs and embarked upon a few sections of the Trail.

“It would be easy to presume that walking through any part of BC’s rain forest would be largely the same. But once on the Trail, it doesn’t take a very observant eye to realize that the scenery varies from hill to hill, from lake to lake, and from shore to shore,” said Paul.

When the couple hiked the Camino de Santiago they learned that, “Everyone makes their own Camino.”

“It has to be the same for the Sunshine Coast Trail. Each one who walks will find their own special places and moments.

“For me the idyllic experience of eating lunch in the sunshine on a bluff overlooking Little Sliammon Lake is only slightly ahead of the calming beauty of watching the intersection of nature and humanity at Fairview Bay,” said Paul.

“Walking the trail has much to teach: the forest is full of death, with the carcasses of ancient trees, but also rampant with the glowing green of new life; strenuous parts offer the opportunity to stretch and test the limits of our capabilities; the embracing of wilderness can reach within to draw out what is most important.

“For us, this has been a sampler of parts of the Trail. I’m sure that we will return to taste more.”


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