Situated on BC’s Southern Mainland Coast, the Lower Sunshine Coast features Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, and Western Hemlock forest, rugged terrain and small coastal communities. Accessible primarily by ferry, it is located within the traditional lands of the Sechelt and Squamish First Nations, from the head of the Jervis Inlet to Howe Sound.
The current trail inventory consists of over 325 trails making up approximately 570 kilometres. They range in their level of development, level of difficulty, user type designation and proximity to one another allowing trail users a multitude of experiential options. About 75% percent of this inventory has some level of digital map data although there is a considerable range of accuracy. The number and length of trails is increasing as various groups continue to develop new trails. Largely on Crown Land, the majority of trails are currently unsanctioned.
Working with the public and local stakeholders, the purpose of this trail strategy is to guide the planning, development and management of a sustainable trail network on the Lower Sunshine Coast’s Crown Land – embracing the diversity of users and nurturing social, cultural, health, economic and environmental benefits in the local communities. The strategy represents a fundamental move toward formally recognizing and valuing the lower Sunshine Coast trails network as a significant and important asset. It includes the identification of key trail networks to be legitimized through the formal Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) authorization process.
All trails within this strategy fall within one or more of the traditional territories of the Sechelt and Squamish First Nations. Consultation and involvement of First Nations in the coordination of trail management activities will strengthen the sustainability of the entire network and ensure all stakeholders have input in the process.
This Strategy builds off work undertaken by the SCTS including an extensive trail inventory as well as the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Trail Network Plan (2007) and a Parks and Recreation Master Plan (2013). While the SCRD Trail Network Plan focused primarily on cycling paths, walking trails and beach access and the development of “community recreation routes”, this Strategy looks at a broader geographic area, with a focus on Crown Land, and wider user group base. This Strategy is not meant to replace the SCRD Trail Network Plan which continues to provide the SCRD with guidance in the development of bikeways, paved multi-use paths, transportation oriented trails, beach access and the SunCoaster Trail.
The following are outlined in this strategy:
- Framework for future expansion and development;
- Design Guidelines and Classification System;
- Signage Standards;
- Community Outreach and Education Strategies;
- Implementation Plan, and
- Next Steps.
Read the full document here.