Oak Bay marks start, or end, of 770km-long trail

Anderson Hill Park named southern end of new V.I. Trail

Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch, Vancouver Island Trail Association President Ken Milbrath and Outdoor Club of Victoria President Liz Bicknell celebrate the naming of the start of the Vancouver Island Trail at Anderson Regional Park. The V.I. Trail is approximately 800km long and will run from Victoria to Cape Scott. (Chris Hyde-Lay Photo)

One could debate about whether Anderson Hill Park is the southern most tip of Vancouver Island.

However, there is no debate that it will serve as the southern beginning, and end, of the new Vancouver Island Trail.

Organizers from the Vancouver Island Trail Association held a ceremony at Anderson Hill Park on June 27 to recognize a new sign marking the V.I Trail. It runs about 770 kilometres up the middle of the Island from Oak Bay to Cape Scott, linking previously built trails and with about 140 km of trail still to be built.

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“We are proud to have Oak Bay and Anderson Hill Park as the beginning or end of the trail,” said Oak Bay Parks manager Chris Hyde-Lay.

“When the association brought it to our parks commission we thought it was a great idea and we supported it.”

(Inset photo: V.I. Trail/Google Maps)

Urban portions of the V.I. Trail in Greater Victoria connect Anderson Hill to the main southern leg of the trail which starts on the West Shore. The added traffic to Anderson is not expected to create any concerns about parking, or create a need for other amenities, which made the decision that much easier, Hyde-Lay said.

“The park is well used anyways, we expect people might hike to the top of the hill for the vista.”

Elsewhere, existing portions of V.I. Trail are up and running.

Among those planning to hike it soon are funding director of the V.I. Trail association, Liz Bicknell, who is also the president of the Outdoor Club of Victoria. Bicknell is going to hike a portion of the trail with two friends next month, from the Humpback Connector to Lake Cowichan.

“We’re all about a collaborative approach and working with municipalities and First Nations to make this happen,” Bicknell said.

One of the benefits is the additional tourist dollars that the V.I. Trail Association anticipate will create opportunities for small businesses in cities such as Port Hardy, Port Alberni and others.

“We’re also working with forest companies to access private-held lands,” Bicknell said.


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