Magic lives on at the Enchanted Forest

For decades it has tantalized families as they whizzed along the Trans-Canada Highway and it’s not hard to see why...

The Enchanted Forest. For decades it has tantalized families as they whizzed along the Trans-Canada Highway and it’s not hard to see why. The tourist attraction, begun by Doris and Ernest Needham in the late 1950s and opened to the public after the TCH was completed, is a lovingly created and thoroughly magical place that offers visitors a nature walk through 800-year-old cedars and and a childhood fantasy of story-book characters and fairy-tale settings. Created by various artists the Enchanted Forest is inhabited by 350 handmade, child-sized figurines that include everything from the Three Little Pigs and Hansel and Gretl to Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, Old Mother Hubbard and Little Red Riding Hood. There are elves, and witches — even a zombie in a dungeon — dwarves, woodland creatures, a stork soaring through the trees with a little bundle of joy in his beak and even a giant climbing down a tree. “When you peek into the uniquely crafted houses set in giant roots, boulders and stumps starting with the three little pigs, you are reminded of the child in your heart, ready to explore and see what’s around the next corner,” says Ingrid Boaz, a Revelstoke-based tourism-marketing consultant. “You can also explore the two-kilometer nature path with a naturalist exhibition displaying a variety of plants, herbs and roots and walk the new one kilometer boardwalk. You are sure to find serenity and see where the salmon occupy the Eagle River, view the bald eagles hovering above looking for a little bite to eat or take in the breath taking scenery amongst the skunk cabbage and water lillies on your self guided row boat.” This is a great place for families and a peek at the guest book tells you instantly that many of the visitors have been here before. “It’s just as I remember.” “Wonderful imagination!” “Lots of fun for kids and big kids.” “Came for the excitement, stayed for the enchantment! “Great for two-year-olds and 62-year-olds!” “Was here in 1965 — its better than ever!” Over and over, visitors attest to the happy moments they spent — most often with young children — at the Enchanted Forest. Even Boaz is not immune to the charm of the Enchanted Forest. “We enjoy spending a good half day with the family at the forest and picnic along the nature hike or picnic high up in the trees that over look the whole forest from BC’s grandest tree house you’ll ever see,” she said. “Its all an adventure!” Owned since 1989 by Rocky and Juliet Ehlers those testimonials are deeply satisfying. “I thoroughly love selling happiness. It’s a great product to sell and I love our customers. People leave happier than when they came in the door.”