Doris Needham was an artist in Revelstoke during the 1950’s. She made unusual fairy tale figurines from cement by shaping her creations by hand, without the use of molds or forms. Desiring to find the perfect setting for her handiwork, she searched for two years and finally chose this unique but isolated location between Revelstoke and Sicamous, BC. This endeavour turned into a retirement project, which Doris and her husband Ernest named their “Enchanted Forest”.
The Needhams were very isolated in those early years. However, their love of nature and trust in God kept them at their chosen work. During the next 10 years, they developed eight of the forest’s 40 acres, and purchased the property originally leased from the Crown.
The trails were cleared by hand, their only tools being shovels, picks and a crosscut saw. With a labour of love Ernest built the “Candy Cane” house in which they lived and constructed the rock walls along the property. Utilizing the waterfall across the highway, a gravity water system was installed that is still in use today.
On July 1st, 1960 The Enchanted Forest officially opened to the public.
That first summer, the only buildings were the giant mushroom and a 12 x 18 shack.
By 1962, 10% of the travellers through Roger’s Pass were stopping to visit. The castle, with its floor of sheet granite, and the "Candy Cane" house were completed that year. Ernest worked on the nature trail and was also spending endless time constructing the long rock walls, all by hand.
By 1970, one million people had enjoyed The Enchanted Forest. The Needham’s even guided some visitors through at night by a lantern and began to realize that what they had created for fun and pleasure had become more than they could handle. Retiring while still able to enjoy the fruits of their labours, the Needham’s sold their beloved forest.
Telephone service came to the area in 1980 and electric power in the Spring of 1981.
The Enchanted Forest has since been operated as a family business dedicated to providing peace and joy to people of all ages. The present owners, Rocky and Juliet Ehlers and children Aza, Silas and Naomi for 41 years later are inviting you to “Discover the Magic” of The Enchanted Forest!
Life today at The Enchanted Forest is considerably easier than when Ernest & Doris Needham began creating a world of their own in the wilderness. What began as a realization of a dream for Ernest & Doris now provides summer travellers of all ages with a refreshing stop in the enchanting world of fantasy set in untouched nature.
The Ehlers family trust you will enjoy your visit at this natural growing forest and also a world of fantasy brought to reality by a dedication to a dream.
Our "twin" attraction, same location, same fun: don't miss it!
Fun for all the family guaranteed with 4 High-Ropes Challenge Courses and ziplines, an Adventure Tower (Sky Drop, Sky Swing, 2 climbing walls and a log climb), a Kids Tree Adventure and a Jungle Gym for the little ones :)