The Cumberland Trail Network is situated on lands owned and managed by Mosaic Forest Management, Manulife Investment Management, (formally Hancock Forest Management) and the Village of Cumberland. (See figure 1. below).
It is composed of approximately 200 kms of interconnected single-track trails spread over 6,500 acres of forest lands. It has largely been built by passionate volunteer mountain bikers in a complex mix of undulating terrain, forest types, soil types, waterways, and roads.
Mosaic is a timberlands management company. Mosaic is passionate about sustainable forestry and about giving back to the communities where we live, work and play. The Mosaic land base spans across Vancouver Island. Beyond generating strong economic returns, Mosaic manages private forest lands to protect the cultural values of indigenous partners, provide sustainable forest stewardship and environmental services, and offer a variety of recreational opportunities, scholarships, and donations to communities.
Manulife Forest management strives to practice a land stewardship ethic that integrates the growing, managing, and harvesting of trees and crops with environmental conservation. Manulife Forest Management practices to protect soil, air, water quality, biological diversity, wildlife habitat, aquatic habitat, recreation, and aesthetics. Sustainable practices allow operations to actively manage and protect investments in a way that maintains and enhances economic, community and natural resource values.
Within the Cumberland Trail Network, the Village of Cumberland owns and manages the Cumberland Community Forest Park and the Village Forest Lands. Trails closest to the Village are mostly found within the 175 hectare Cumberland Community Forest Park that acts as the gateway to the trail network. The 230 hectare Village Forest Lands are found higher in the hills and are designated and managed to protect the lakes, creeks and infrastructure that is the source of the Village’s municipal drinking water; non-motorized trails also criss-cross these properties. The Village works closely with the United Riders of Cumberland in managing trails on Village properties, including contracting UROC for trail maintenance works.
The rural areas of the Comox Valley Regional district (CVRD) are home to 61 recreation parks & locations. There are many kilometers of maintained trails in the CVRD where cyclists, hikers and walkers can connect with the natural beauty of the Comox Valley. Although, the CVRD does not own lands in and around the Cumberland trail network the CVRD has consistently supported UROC with the management and maintenance of the trails for several years via the recreation grant and the Area C’s grant and aid fund.
In 2015, after years of building a foundation of positive working relationships, UROC entered into a historic agreement with these landowners and the Village of Cumberland that allows for legal, non-motorized recreation on these lands. Approximately 90% of the trails today are in this land access/use (license) agreement. This agreement grants the right and responsibility to construct and maintain trails within the agreement area and transfers the responsibility for trail management to UROC.
It also transfers the liability for trail use and requires UROC to hold and maintain a comprehensive general liability insurance policy. Prior to this agreement, trail work, recreational use and promotion of the trail network were not permitted, and event specific permits were required. The benefits of the land access agreement are immense and have permitted the development of a world class recreation amenity for the region.