The Capital Regional District is developing a Regional Trails Plan for Galiano, Mayne, North and South Pender, Salt Spring and Saturna Islands.

The Gulf Islands Regional Trails Plan will help foster tourism, recreation, active transportation, and economic development on the islands by setting a direction for the development of a regional trail on each of the six islands. The Regional Trails Plan complements the Experience the Gulf Islands initiative, and once developed, the trails will provide infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between ferry terminals and some key recreation, tourism and commercial areas on the islands.

Public Engagement

The CRD hosted open houses on each of the islands in March 2017 to gather input on preferred route options and priorities for the plan. Thank you to everyone who dropped in at the open houses to learn more and provide comments, and to those who submitted responses online.

CRD staff are now reviewing the feedback in order to develop a Draft Plan, which will be submitted to the CRD Regional Parks Committee for initial consideration this summer. A second round of public engagement highlighting the Draft Plan and seeking comments is anticipated in the late summer or early fall.

Background

The Board approved 2012-2021 CRD Regional Parks Strategic Plan includes an action that CRD staff “In partnership with other public agencies, local government and private landowners, initiate planning for the regional trails system on Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands.”

Planning for a system of trails on the Southern Gulf Islands was initiated in 2013 and public input was gathered regarding potential trails in 2014. This information will be used to inform the development of the plan in 2017.

Experience the Gulf Islands Initiative

The intent of the Experience the Gulf Islands (ETGI) initiative is to enhance the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the islands. This is an initiative of the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Island Economic Development Commissions. One component of the ETGI initiative is a connected pedestrian and cycling trail system on the islands. The ETGI Concept Plan supports a coordinated approach to the various local and regional trail planning projects. Find out more at http://sustainableislands.ca.

Regional Trail Demonstration Project

A project has been initiated on Mayne Island to plan and develop a regional trail from the Village Bay ferry terminal to Miners Bay. The trail will be designed to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. This demonstration project will inform the design and development of future routes identified in the Gulf Islands Regional Trails Plan. Construction of the demonstration trail will occur at a later date, when funding is secured.

© Image courtesy of Danica Rice