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Hidden on Highway 1 in regional British Columbia—midway between Revelstoke and Sicamous—is the province’s very own fairytale wonderland. Keep reading to learn more about Canada’s Enchanted Forest, including its history and why you need to visit.
Revelstoke residents Doris and Ernest Needham constructed The Enchanted Forest in the 1950s. Doris was an artist who created—by hand and using only cement—different fairytale figurines. When she was looking for a place to display her unique work, she decided on The Enchanted Forest’s isolated location.
Over the next 10 years, the Needhams developed eight of the forest’s 40 acres as their retirement project. They constructed everything by hand, including the trails, the “Candy Cane” house, and the castle.
They officially opened The Enchanted Forest to the public on July 1, 1960, and 10 years later, one million people had stopped to enjoy the Needham’s charming creation. However, the Needhams soon realized their masterpiece was more than they could handle, so they sold the forest and retired so that they could “enjoy the fruits of their [labor].” The new owners were Rocky and Juliet Ehlers, with their three children.
The Enchanted Forest offers a lot of different activities and fun for people of all ages. Strolling through The Enchanted Forest, guests will be able to see over 350 handcrafted figurines as they walk along the main trail. The forest is also home to British Columbia’s grandest, and tallest, tree house. There’s also a stump house, giant mushrooms, and a castle, complete with a dungeon and dragons! See friends from fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as Goldilocks and Captain Hook.
The Nature Walk is a two-kilometer (1.2-mile) walk through the lush Canadian forest, where you’ll discover many trees, including an 800-year-old cedar grove. The Enchanted Forest also offers self-guided paddle boat tours of a large beaver pond where you can see beaver dams, lodges, and floating natural gardens. In fall, you can see salmon spawning from the Eagle River, which is The Enchanted Forest’s northern boundary. If you don’t want the fun to end, check out their twin attraction next door, Skytrek Adventure Park.
The official website sums up the experience awaiting you at The Enchanted Forest: “What began as a realization of a dream for Ernest and Doris now provides summer sightseers of all ages with a refreshing stop in the enchanting world of fantasy set in untouched nature.”