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Hiking to the bridge at Chapman Creek
Easy walk in the woods that starts at Sechelt Airport
Hiking to the bridge at Chapman Creek is a great little walk that you can easily do on a summer afternoon. It takes about a half-hour to walk from the start of the trail to the bridge that spans Chapman Creek. The path is wide and well maintained and there are lots of interesting things to stop and look at along the way.
How to get to the trail
To get to the trailhead, turn north on Field Road from Sunshine Coast Highway. Follow Field Road until it comes to a T-intersection. Then turn west on Hilltop Road and follow the road until you come to the parking lot at Sechelt Airport. There was lots of parking when we were there. I think there were only two other cars. There’s a big sign with a map of the area right beside the gate that opens to the trail. Be sure to close the gate behind you. And also be bear aware as we live in bear country.
Paul hadn’t been on this path before but I’d hiked it a couple of times. It was all new to him and he said he was surprised by how quickly the trail transitions from airport to forest. The area around the airport is built up and industrial, but if you walk down the trail a couple hundred meters, you might be surprised by how quiet it is.
Following the trail to the bridge at Chapman Creek
The trail is nice and wide and well cared for but it does narrow in a few places. You’ll see big mature trees (or what’s left of some of them) and you’ll hear a creek in the distance. There are ferns on both sides of the path and everywhere you look is so green. There’s light breaking through the trees, and you’re surrounded by the sound of birds. It's very nice. Paul’s right - It's not at all what you expect from a trail that’s next to the airport.
The trip from the parking lot to Chapman Creek should be about 30 minutes but we’re stopping to take pictures and shoot video and just generally examining our surroundings. We’re really taking our time and enjoying our afternoon.
This is a fantastic spot for taking pictures! There's lots of different light coming through the trees. Some objects are very well lit and others are deep in shadow. The contrast between the two is fascinating and it’s interesting to see how the light changes as it comes through the trees.
Despite our monkeying around with our cameras, we eventually make it to Chapman Creek. It’s exciting to finally see the creek after listening to it for so long.
Paul says his favourite hikes are the ones that involve water. That might mean hiking to a waterfall or a lake or a stretch of beach. Today it means Chapman Creek. I’m not so picky about a hike needing to have a water destination but I can’t argue that it’s very rewarding to walk through the woods and have Chapman Creek and its bridge reveal itself to us as we emerge through the trees.
Picnicking by the creek
We spend a few minutes hanging out on the bridge and taking pictures but then it’s time for a snack. (Paul’s second prerequisite for a successful hike!) We find a spot to sit down by the creek bank. The sound of the rushing water is hypnotizing and the chilly air that comes off the creek helps to cool us down after our walk. We sat there while eating and drinking and reflecting on how fortunate we are to live on BC’s Sunshine Coast. Even after living here for almost 9 years, we’re constantly struck by how beautiful the area is and by how many easily accessible trails there are to explore and enjoy.
Heading back to the car
I finish the last sip of my coffee and it’s time to make our way back to the parking lot at Sechelt Airport.
What a lovely little walk through the woods! It’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Even better when you can go with someone you love spending time with!
Photos from our hike
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