Dave Patterson and other interested parties examine a map of Maplehurst Park during an open house at Cherry Creek Hall on May 18, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Dave Patterson and other interested parties examine a map of Maplehurst Park during an open house at Cherry Creek Hall on May 18, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District floats options for Maplehurst Trail access

Park management plan is first of a series the ACRD intends to tackle in coming years

Dozens of people filed into the Cherry Creek Community Hall last week to look at access options for Maplehurst Park. Put on by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, the open house revealed results from an online survey about the park as well as options for a new management plan.

“This is a complex issue, access,” said ACRD land and resources coordinator Michael McGregor. Maplehurst is an older park, created in 1913 as part of a subdivision of land. The trailhead, while unofficial, is well established on Willow Road.

“There’s not one great option that will solve these issues,” McGregor said. The management plan—the first in a series—seeks both short-and long-term goals for the park.

Seven access options have been identified: improve parking at existing Willow Road entrance; Strathcona Street (south and north); Cowley Road; Best Road; Kitsuksis Road; Holly Road.

Some Willow Road residents have been vocal in their opposition to development in their neighbourhood. One woman who declined to share her name said she has been living on the road for 60 years, after building it in the first place.

Judy Carlson would like the ACRD to expand the park boundaries, saying the trail system goes far beyond the actual park.

She said the ACRD has not done enough to let people know the park is much smaller than the trail system.

Dave and Russell McBride of Green Max Resources were on hand with information about the woodlot that borders the park, and Dave McBride said they have suggested some trail routes to work with the ACRD.

Dave Patterson, whose driveway is close to the Willow Road trailhead, said Maplehurst is a “beautiful park” and he would like it to be accessible to people, but agreed something needs to be done. “The road was never designed for this…people go too fast, they let their dogs run off leash,” he said.

“I really don’t think there’s going to be an easy solution to this.”

He said building a new access point off of Holly Road would only be an extra 400 metres, and it could be built wide enough for vehicles to be able to turn around safely. He complimented the ACRD on its planning process.

McGregor hopes to present a draft management plan to the ACRD’s committee of the whole in June, then send it to local First Nations for their input. Ideally the plan would go out for public comment sometime in July or August, with a plan in place in early fall.

Residents wanting more information on Maplehurst Trail’s park management plan process can find more online at www.letsconnectacrd.ca/maplehurst-pmp. Results from the online survey as well as the eight access options will be posted online this week.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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A sign has been erected at the end of private driveways on Willow Road in an effort to keep the cul-de-sac clear for municipal vehicles to turn around. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

A sign has been erected at the end of private driveways on Willow Road in an effort to keep the cul-de-sac clear for municipal vehicles to turn around. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)