Daniel Cammiade, executive director of the Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trail Society, stands a couple of hundred metres from the entrance to a new trail at Bear Mountain off of Nicklaus Drive. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)

New trail opens at Bear Mountain, expanding regional network

Trail officially opened July 12

Rick Stiebel/News Staff

West Shore residents are singing as Roy Rogers used to, “Happy Trails to You.”

A new section of trail at Bear Mountain Resort is a welcome addition to nature lovers and athletes alike, said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “I’m sure to will be put to good use by residents, tourist and the Olympic athletes who train here,” Young said at the official opening on July 12. “More people will get the opportunity to take advantage of the trail as more events are held at Bear Mountain. The people involved in this trail, especially the volunteers, deserve a lot of credit for their work.”

Daniel Cammiade, executive director of the Southern Vancouver Island Trails Society, said completion of the 1.7 k trail was a three-year process. “The biggest challenge was we were up against a 168-degree rock grade,” Cammiade noted. “We had to weave our way through and chip through bedrock and move some extremely large boulders to create a ledge on a super-steep cliff. It’s a nice tight trail that’s designed to keep you in touch with the terrain as opposed to just cutting a swath through.”

READ MORE: Bear Mountain

Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor, chair of Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation committee, said it’s great to see more connections to the region’s trail network completed. The trail has been built in such a way that it protects the natural environment and more sensitive ecosystems, he noted. “There are plenty of benefits to the community, including promoting healthy, active lifestyles,” Taylor added.

The entrance to the trail, which was funded by Ecoasis Developments LLP., can be accessed at two points on Nicklaus Drive, including the Jack Nicklaus playground, as well as at Nature’s Gate and Navigator’s Way. A spokesperson for Langford’s parks department said the city will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep. The trail is part of a network that connects to Thetis Lake Park. Southern Vancouver Island Trails Society is building many of the trails in the region, with the cost provided by various landowners. Hike over to naturetrailssociety.com for more information.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com

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