A kindly forum member over at Bikepacking.net pointed me towards a project on Vancouver Island to develop an end to end trail network. The project is called The VI Spine Trail. So far it’s mostly an idea with only work on the small middle yellow segment underway. The completion date is noted as 2016 on the website. That seems unlikely, but even if it gets done in 2020 it will still be rad.
Working on my own bikepacking route that doesn’t have the ambitions of actually building any new trails across the island’s rugged landscape and doesn’t worry too much about stuff like riding down closed roads or other legal technicalities I can appreciate the huge task ahead of the VI Spine Trail project.
They are having an AGM on 1 May in Victoria, BC. I plan to attend with some amigos and see what I can do to help. I’ve also emailed the president of the group to offer my help.
Although I am stoked about the mostly logging road bikepacking route I am working on – I can’t deny that a route with long stretches of real singletrack through the backcountry would be super awesome! ;)
Here is an explanation of the map above that I grabbed from the VI Spine site:
“Our goal of having a complete set of trails that extend from the northern to the southern tip of Vancouver Island is one step closer with the (almost completed) Tuck Lake Trail project. For fun, we have created a Google Earth map which plots both existing and “dream” trails. NOTICE: this is just a sketch and the final Trail route will likely look very different!
Orange - existing trails
- To date, existing trails consist of the North Coast Trail; some trails near Port Hardy; Nisnak Lake Trail; Circlet Lake Trail; the Strathcona Park trek; Cumberland Mountain Biking Trails; the Beauforts; the Alberni Valley Log Train Trail; the Alberni Runner’s Trail; the Alberni Canal Trail; the Cowichan Valley Trail; and the Galloping Goose Trail.
Yellow - trails “in progress”
- The Tuck Lake Trail project was started in early August. Click here to read more about it, or here for some photographs from the September 29/30 trail building.
Purple - proposed trails
- Currently there are four proposed trails for Vancouver Island, with two located Mid-Island near Strathcona Dam and in the Cumberland-Beauforts area. The other two are located on the southern half of the Island, notably one between the Malahat and the Galloping Goose, as well as one running from Johnson Street Bridge along Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Mile Zero on Dallas Road. Both of these proposed trails would become part of the Trans Canada Trail.
Blue - “dream” trails
- As it stands, we have several “dream” trails – those which we hope will connect to existing trails in the future.”