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September 26th, 2010
September 26th, 2010

Hidden Grove a precious gem just minutes from Sechelt

Vancouver Sun | September 25, 2010

Ancient trees combined with a work in progress; nature at work and volunteers putting in hours each week; beauty, history, educational values, easy exercise and tranquillity.

All of this and more is within 10 minutes of downtown Sechelt -- or just two minutes from Porpoise Bay Provincial Park -- at Hidden Grove.

In spite of nearby logging activity, Mother Nature hid the grove and even kept forest fires at bay for hundreds of years. In 2000, logging was proposed again and local residents found the ancient grove tucked away inside the logger´s licence area. The community banded together and fought off the loggers, realizing they had a precious gem on their doorstep.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, permits were obtained for the building of trails to:

- The Ancient Forest, a large pocket of mixed species with some specimens more than 700 years old.

- Views of Vancouver Island and Sechelt Inlet.

- A "Lonely Giant" cedar more than 700 years old, alone in an area logged just 60 years ago but mysteriously saved even after the loggers started cutting into it.

- A wetland source of a salmon-bearing brook, restored in another project by local residents.

- A huge "Twister Tree" that was struck by lightning hundreds of years ago but went on to grow to over 30 metres with its bark twisting around the trunk.

- Local first nations´ recent marking of trees as they gather cedar for making native wares.

But above all, Hidden Grove is a quiet, safe and peaceful old forest area for all.

Now fully accessible with good parking, recently the local Sechelt Community Forest declared the area a priority recreational project. An enlarged parking lot with room for buses and vehicles for the handicapped is underway. The volunteers will soon complete a trail giving wheelchairs proper access to the Ancient Grove area.

A comprehensive website,, presents maps, virtual tours, history and more. The smiles of visitors from all over the world as they tour the grove is the reward of the community volunteers, but they and their families enjoy this wonderful place for its beauty, too.


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