A happy trail connection could be coming to you.
The Nature Trails Society (NTS) is reaching out to municipalities and various stakeholders about a proposal to build the Heart of the Hills Coastal Connector Trail, which would span an 18 to 20-kilometre stretch from Finlayson Arm to Cordova Bay.
The shared-use trail would connect parks and trails within six jurisdictions, including the District of Highlands, View Royal, Saanich, the Capital Regional District, BC Parks, and BC Crown with several existing NTS trails.
According to a May 16 letter to the District of Highlands from Andrew Pape-Salmon, director of the Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society, two of the trails within the Highlands’ boundaries would connect Thetis Lake with Goldstream and Gowlland Tod provincial parks.
“Following initial engagement, we plan to conduct detailed surveys and land ownership identification to establish one or more viable routes for a continuous trail,” Pape-Salmon said. Trail uses would include hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horseback riding.
“We are reaching out to Indigenous communities with traditional territories that intersect with the general routing of the proposed trail,” Pape-Salmon said.
The southern route would run along trails stewarded by NTS, including the Electric Avenue and Canada Cup trails.
Highlands Mayor Ken Williams said that council has endorsed having staff meet with Nature Trail Society representatives, and engaging with stakeholders and landowners to consider viable options.
View Royal Mayor David Screech said any decision would be based on what the CRD has to say as they have jurisdiction over Thetis Lake.
“Anything that increases hiking and recreational opportunities is always worth looking at,” Screech said.
For more on the Nature Trail Society, hike over to https://naturetrailssociety.com.
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