Already, it’s that time of the year to renew or take out a Trails BC yearly membership as individuals, groups, or associates.
Trails BC continues its engagement at advancing the completion of the Trans Canada Trail in British Columbia throughout its regions. Presently, we are actively upgrading signage, reviewing and changing our routing with the respective authorities along the route, doing maintenance work on some sections of trail on Crown Land, and providing information about the Trail. Along with this, we advocate for non-motorized trail users in the province, and form alliances with other non-motorized trail groups. Most importantly, we are hoping to have a TCT product that can be proudly showcased for the 25th Anniversary of the Trans Canada Trail and Canada 150 in 2017.
While the routing of the Trans Canada Trail is basically determined in B.C., there is still much to do to make it official along its whole length, some of which requires re-routing or still needs to be constructed often requiring identified detours. Some of the designated sections need to be made much more inviting for our intended users, cyclists in particular. We hope for instance, that the section out of Langford to Shawnigan Lake via Sooke Hills Regional Park, by-passing the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island, will soon become a reality. We now have a few ‘shovel ready’ projects that are waiting for funding, the main one being a critical bridge crossing over the Coquihalla River. Other such projects are still in the making. Re-routes are being considered between Castelgar and Nelson, between Chilliwack and Hope for cyclists, and for a Nanaimo River crossing. Our newest member group NorthStar Rails 2 Trails Society is committed to supporting an upgrade and re-routes on the TCT east of Cranbrook to Wardner thus substantially increasing the greenway corridor via the Isador Canyon rail trail from the Northstar rail trail. They are all complex projects that take time, involve many partners, and are only a sampling of the projects that are underway. Our role is to facilitate developments that, not only advances the Trans Canada Trail, but create desirable local and regional recreational amenities.
The most recent TCT project being completed is the final connection from the Golden Ears Bridge and Derby Reach joining the Fort-to-Fort Trail in the Township of Langley. Another section between Naramata and Little Tunnel was graded and re-surfaced to a high standard thus creating an excellent trail between Penticton and Little Tunnel on the KVR. Use of the trail greatly increases when it can be brought up to a high standard or to one that is paved such as the Northstar rail trail between Kimberley and Cranbrook and the Discovery Trail in Abbotsford. We are now looking forward to a paved rail trail between Grand Forks and Christina Lake thanks to the work of another member organization, the Grand Forks Community Trail Society. The Cowichan Valley Trail between Duncan and Lake Cowichan is another destination trail that meets these standards. The Sea-to-Sky Trail from Squamish to the other side of Green Lake out of Whistler, other than a few road sections, is now substantially completed to a desired standard and signed. All of these among other completed TCT sections are now great destinations –do check them out!
In the Southwest, additional attention is being given to providing trail loops and alternatives thus creating additional awesome destinations on the Trans Canada Trail, all done in conjunction with Experience the Fraser, the Great Blue Heron Way, the Spirit Trail, Experience the Gulf Islands, and the Metro Vancouver greenway system that also connect with city and municipal parks. We are doing everything we can to turn these into featured day trips. We have a few described loops on Vancouver Island as well. Check this out on the newly launched Trails BC website (trailsbc.ca) and be amazed at what is already available to us. Note that many of the loops can be broken down into shorter trips that often access local trails or loops and are connected to the main Trans Canada Trail. Work is being done to include the main loops in the Trans Canada Trail system with further improvements and signage.
We are also interested in advocating and facilitating other trail projects not on the Trans Canada Trail such as the proposed rail trail between Vernon and Kelowna and the mostly rail trail between Penticton and Osoyoos creating a cycling wine route destination from Naramata to Osoyoos that are among many other such highly featured non-motorized trails in B.C. As well, we are providing information and gps tracks on destination hiking trails (journeys) that we have recently explored. These include Della Falls, the Juan de Fuca Trail, the Howe Sound Trail, and the North Coast Trail of Vancouver Island.
Have you been on our revamped website? An effort is being made to help with way-finding on our trails. Those of you with Smartphones and GPS units are now able to easily download maps and tracks from the website. Apps can be downloaded to your Smartphone making them into virtual GPS units that can accept these tracks. We hope to keep improving the website to make this task as easy as possible. Rather than events, we will be leading cycling trips that will also allow you to practice or learn how to do this. Watch for these on our website, Facebook, and emails.
We need you as members! Do join us as:
- Supporters for our efforts
- Trail activity leaders
Become a member or renew your membership and/or donate online by going to our website at the links below:
Support Trails BC with your membership and donations!
A charitable tax receipt will be issued for both membership and donations.
We really do appreciate and need your support!
In the meantime, do take advantage of our ever expanding trail system, the best medicine readily available to you for your well being!