Trail survey highlights need for balance in North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve

Letter by Larry Pynn
Cowichan Valley Citizen
June 5, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The results of a trail survey should give North Cowichan pause for thought on how trails are developed and maintained in the 5,000-hectare Municipal Forest Reserve. The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society and its volunteers do excellent work, but are primarily focused on mountain bike trails. …But the Six Mountains of North Cowichan are enjoyed by many different trail enthusiasts. To better understand how the trails are used, the society and Tourism Cowichan commissioned Vancouver Island University to conduct a survey late last year. An overview of the survey results presented Friday to the municipality’s economic development committee showed that hikers and walkers combined represent almost 60 percent of trail users in North Cowichan and Cobble Hill compared with mountain bikers at 30 percent. …Given the survey results, council should ensure that future work on the trails better recognizes the forests’ dominant users — hikers and walkers.

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