The Squamish Trails Society has a plan for a trail it says will rival a famous one in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
In a presentation to the Squamish council’s Committee of the Whole Oct. 15, society president Bob Brant outlined the group’s vision to develop a community valley trail loop.
Squamish is blessed with a number of valley-bottom trails that aren’t that well known, he said. The proposal takes advantage of existing pathways and highlights facilities and heritage along the way — the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish Adventure Centre and the community’s future forestry museum.
It’s not a new idea — the society previously proposed similar plans — but it’s an attraction that would draw foot traffic to town, Brant said. Last year, Squamish’s visitor information centre fielded 2,420 questions regarding local walking trails. In a Greater Vancouver Regional District study, 60 per cent of people surveyed stated they use a vehicle to get to parks, Brant added.
“They are willing to travel two hours to get to a destination,” he said, noting in the future, the community should pull its historic logging railway beds into the trail system.
Fundamentally, it’s a great idea, Coun. Ron Sander said. But he had concerns regarding the route and its interaction with industrial lands, in particular Squamish Terminals. Similarly, Coun. Doug Race noted there may be complications surrounding private property.
The loop trail seems like it would be a great asset for Squamish, Mayor Rob Kirkham said. In an effort to move it forward, council unanimously backed his motion to get the society and officials to the table. Council directed municipal staff to return with a more detailed report and possible portion of the trail that could be completed in a short time.