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General News · 14th June 2013
Sarah Downey
Are you passionate about walking and hiking on Cortes Island’s beautiful trails?

Would you love to participate in planning, building, and maintaining new and existing trail systems on the island?

If yes, then we’d love to see you at the PARKS & TRAILS MEET-UP!

June 30th from 3-5pm at the Co-op Café

This gathering is going to be a follow-up to the Cortes Parks and Trails Symposium, which was hosted by the Strathcona Regional District in late April. The Symposium took place as a response to local interest in creating more formal beach access and cross-island trails on Cortes. The 25 or so people who attended heard from BC Parks, Regional District parks, Friends of Cortes Island and the Quadra Trails Committee, who were gathered to explore the options for creating and maintaining new and existing trails.

The Regional District’s current parks budget includes funds for new beach access trails, so it was asked “which ones should we open up?” The top priority park/trail was at Byers Road near the Ferry. Between volunteer labour for the initial work party, and a bit of funding from Friends of Cortes to help cover materials costs, we should be able to get this project off the ground this year. Once the park is created, then the SRD will be able to help by providing yearly funding for maintenance.

The regional parks work plan this year also includes some initial planning time for a more integrated and formal island-wide trail system. To identify priorities, symposium participants created maps of what is known about linkages and access, and highlighted the need to create a trails working group.

This volunteer trails effort would take on some of the development and maintenance of new trails on Cortes. In many places, BC Parks works with volunteer groups who maintain trails that simply would not exist without them. Their representatives have said that they are very keen to work this way with a group on Cortes. The Quadra Island Trails Committee is also very willing to share their 25 years worth of experience with us.

Given that the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) has the volunteer, insurance and coordinating structure already in place, it was the will of those assembled that they help facilitate the gathering of an expanded and more formalized Cortes trails working group.

So, come out and join us to talk, vision, and get excited about parks and trails!

Noba Anderson, Cortes Regional Director,
Sarah Downey & Leah Seltzer, Friends of Cortes Island Society

“The place where you lose the trail is not necessarily the place where it ends.”
-- Tom Brown, Jr.