FILE PHOTO The proposed Vancouver Island Spine Trail route, from Cape Scott to Victoria.

Spine Trail considers link with McLean Mill trail

Trail reps hopes for campsite for mill trailhead

A Vancouver Island recreational initiative may find common ground with the proposed ideas for the McLean Mill site.

The Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association (VISTA) hopes to build an inland public trail system from one end of Vancouver Island to the other. The volunteer group, now in its ninth year, has already completed 450 km of the planned 700 km wilderness route from Victoria to Cape Scott.

VISTA announced at their annual general meeting on March 8 that they plan to complete 75 per cent of the trail this year. Part of this includes a project along the crest of the Beaufort Range, which will involve cutting new trail and adding to it by clearing overgrown old logging roads, according to a press release on their website.

“We just need to obtain consent of forest companies that own the tops of the trails there,” said Steve Sterling, a volunteer with VISTA.

The Spine Trail works by building off of already-existing trail networks on the Island. Here in the Valley, the planned route would follow the Log Train Trail, and a trail bypass around the east side of Port Alberni connects to the Alberni Inlet Trail, under the jurisdiction of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan, who attended the AGM, said at a March 27 meeting of council that a sub-trail could come down into the McLean Mill historic site.

“They see a lot of synergies between McLean Mill and what they’re wanting to do, and it’s a very interesting initiative,” he said.

McLean Mill is currently undergoing a number of changes, one of which is the planned addition of campsites.

“If it happens, it would be beneficial,” said Sterling. “It would give us access to the Beaufort section of the trail, and it would be an option for people who want to camp there.”

Sterling agreed that a campsite would be of “mutual benefit” for both parties.

“One hundred percent we’re in support of connecting,” said McLean Mill Society executive director Deanna Beaudoin. “For us, a trail network has always been part of the plan.”

Beaudoin said that the McLean Mill Society hopes to attract more of the camping community with rustic tenting spots and campsites. “It’s an excellent stopping point where hikers can rest for a moment,” she said.

Of the Spine Trail network, Beaudoin said, “It’s a really good tourist opportunity for the whole of Vancouver Island. If that all goes through, I’ll be very happy.”

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Sold-out crowd enjoys BCHL game at the Brindy

Alberni Valley Bulldogs beat Trail Smoke Eaters 5-2

Port Alberni SPCA seeks help after senior cat attacked by dog twice

Nine-year-old tabby named Meow Meow will need her front leg amputated

Northbound lanes re-open along Malahat after small rockslide near Goldstream

Drivers asked to use caution, clean-up crews have finished on-site

Port Alberni cat stars in national fundraising calendar

Jax the cat was one of 13 pets selected from nearly 45,000 entries

BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs move game to Parksville due to ice rink closure

Prince George and Bulldogs to battle it out Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Oceanside Place

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

B.C. pushes for greater ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Most Read