Let’s finish the Trans Canada Trail
In 2017 a connector trail was completed from the Galloping Goose to the south end of the CVRD trail system near Shawnigan Lake to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation. You can now walk, cycle, e-bike or horseback from Swartz Bay all the way to near the Cowichan Lake Highway (18) on this portion of the Trans Canada Trail. Then it stops! To go further north, cyclists and walkers (even with baby carriages!) are forced to use the “shoulders” of Somenos, Hwy. 18 (across Hwy. 1), Herd, Bell McKinnon, Westholme and Chemainus Roads. At this point the Trans Canada Trail resumes as the new “Rails to Trails”, and continues to Ladysmith, Nanaimo and beyond.
A new route, continuing to follow the Catalyst pipeline, would be cheap to construct and go right behind the Exhibition Grounds — did we say parking? It would then follow the E&N right-of-way through the beautiful Bonsall Creek watershed to Chemainus. Potential development of the existing mountain bike trails branching out onto Richards, Prevost and Sicker Mountains would spread the load from Tzouhalem’s Kaspa parking lot and open the possibility of a “Six Mountain” marathon. This relatively flat trail would be perfect for families and e-bikes, servicing some of the transportation and recreation needs of the soon to be developed “Bell-McKinnon corridor”.
Why not get some federal infrastructure, CVRD and North Cowichan money to complete the Trans Canada Trail through our municipality, to celebrate our own 150th anniversary in 2023?