Two young people hike on a well-maintained wooded trail.
Photo Credit: Canva

There’s a New Trail at Your Favourite Hiking Spot!

And there's more where that came from

This beautiful new route will help keep folks off the roads

The much-loved Sproat Lake Trail network just got a refresh.

A new trail system was just added, and it’s open for you to explore!

Beyond being a new route for you to take in some fresh air, it’s giving everyone a safer way to get around without having to cross the busy highway.

“It’s a safe way to get around our community,” said Penny Cote, ACRD director for Sproat Lake, during a ribbon cutting for the trail.

The trail provides a path between Sproat Lake Provincial Park and Sproat Lake Landing.

“It gives healthy options for people to move around, and that’s so important with so many seniors in our community. And the youth that come here in the summer, they don’t have to be out on that road.”

Not only will it add a new way for residents to safely travel through the community, but it helps link Sproat Lake with the Community Forest trail network.

“There is a network now that takes us from Sproat Lake Provincial Park via trails all the way to Taylor Arm Provincial Park,” said Chris Law, the manager of the Alberni Valley Community Forest. “During the pandemic, it was such an asset for the community. The use of these trail systems grew exponentially throughout the pandemic.”

And by the sounds of it, this new addition will be far from the last.

The project was funded by a $140,000 investment that covered 100 percent of eligible project costs.

Eighty percent came from the federal government, while 20 percent came from the province.

It sounds like a pretty hefty price tag. But Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni says they pay themselves off in the long run.

“When we build trail networks, it gets people more active, it lowers our healthcare costs, and it’s better for our environment,” he said. “And it’s great for the economy because we want people to come to visit the Alberni Valley, and the more things they can do, the better.”

Michael McGregor, the lands and resources coordinator for the ACRD, echoed the same sentiment. He said said the ACRD has no plans of slowing down when it comes to these kinds of projects.

“We’re providing public spaces for people to get out and experience nature, instead of from the seat of their car,” he said. “As long as we keep getting the support we’ll continue to build more trails.”

It’s definitely a win for WestIsle hikers and anyone looking for a new way to switch up their daily walk.

The new extension was completed along the east end of Lakeshore and along Faber Road. The trailhead is accessible at Sproat Lake Landing, at the intersection of Lakeshore Road and Kimola Road.

Give it a test run (or walk) this weekend!