The New Climbing Trail is OPEN!

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Bill McLane opening the new climbing trail

We did it! The Climbing trail is complete and open for use.

The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) completed the five-kilometre climbing (ascent only) trail, which allows users to access the upper part of the trail network without having to travel on resource roads. 

A birds eye view of part of the new climbing trail

The official opening happened on June 26th where the trail starts at the exit of Broadway and winds its way up and across Perseverance Creek, to an elevation of 491 metres with a distance of just under 5km’s and with roughly 90 switchbacks. 

The official name of the new trail will be Sobo No Michi, a Japanese name which translates to Grandmothers trail. 

The new climbing trail opening ceremony

The network’s popularity with both local trail users and visitors continues to grow, with an counted figure of 132,000 trail visits in 2019. 

UROC executive director, Dougal Browne, said this addition marks the beginning of a new era for the trail system. 

“It’s super exciting because this climbing trail allows us to get into parts of the network that were not so accessible before,” Browne said. “And also, it takes the riders and walkers and multi-user groups off the roads to get up to elevation. It means in the future, we’re going to be able to build even more exciting trails and exciting aspects to the trail network from having that new corridor up the mountain”

Browne said the trail was years in the making.

“There was a couple of years in preparation and finding the funding, which we recieved from the Rural Dividend Fund. This is the first trail of its kind on Vancouver Island and construction was completed by trail builder Bill Mclane of Work horse trail design, Bill was in there building the route for almost a complete year”

Browne said the trail is user friendly. 

“This trail is not a difficult trail to negotiate. It’s called a blue square trail which is very doable. You can ride up it pretty much with great ease. You can certainly walk up it. It’s very much a family friendly environment. The whole point of the trail was to give multi-user groups and all aspects of mountain bike riders the opportunity to get further into the trail network.”

There are lots of switchbacks, he added, and its a “wide, comfortable trail to use.”

There are plenty of viewpoints, too, including the Comox Valley, and Texada, Lasqueti, Denman, and Hornby Islands.  

“the Cumberland trail network is an incredible recreation asset for locals, with users of all ages enjoying access to the trails and surrounding forests.”

Erik Holbek, UROC Director of Trails

“At the same time, we recognize that Cumberland has a strong reputation as a destination for outdoor recreation tourism,” Holbek said.

“We hope to further develop the quality of the trail network for both locals and visitors with this project.”

Cumberland new climbing trail - Sobo No Michi

The project was made possible by a grant from the BC Rural Dividend program, awarded to UROC in 2018. 

The UROC is a local not for profit society who in 2015 negotiated a land access agreement to manage the trail network. 

Construction of the trail was built by Workhorse Trail Design.

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