Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District Board (CRD) has awarded two contracts for construction of the new Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail. A $1.4 million contract for trail construction has been awarded to Western Watershed Designs Inc. A second contract for a suspension bridge and trail approaches at the Goldstream River has been awarded to Copcan Civil Ltd. for $253,500. CRD staff will develop the bulk of the 13-kilometre trail, with the awarded contractors constructing 4.25 kilometres. The construction begins in July.
“The CRD is developing this new park trail within the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve, which will also form part of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) route,” said CRD Board Chair Barbara Desjardins. “We are very excited to break ground on the project. The goal is to complete the trail by July 2017, the 25th anniversary of the Trail and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.”
The trail will be developed between the Humpback Reservoir in Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve and the CRD-Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) boundary. To the north, it will link to the Cowichan Valley Trail, being extended by CVRD, and to the south, it will link to City of Langford roads and trails, connecting it to the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, all of which are part of the TCT route.
The unpaved trail will be challenging with steep grades in a number of areas. It will generally range between 2-3 m wide and be suitable for hiking and mountain bikes. It will provide a wilderness experience as it travels through remote areas, including bear, wolf and cougar habitat. Along the new trail, visitors will have views of a waterfall on Waugh Creek, the Goldstream River from the suspension bridge, surrounding mountain ranges and forests. Minimal facilities will exist along the trail.
The entire trail is estimated to cost $2.3 million. The monies will come from the CRD capital budget, along with a $650,000 grant from the Trans Canada Trail organization and $600,000 from Trans Canada Trail Relocation Fund, established by the Provincial Ministry of the Environment and the CRD.
The CRD is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the trail construction will add to more than 300 km of trails connecting and crossing the 13,000 hectares that are part of CRD Regional Parks. For more information, visit www.crd.bc.ca/parks.
Map of Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail
Celebrating 50 years! The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, enhance community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications