Semi-Urban Trail Development on Vancouver Island
The Otter Point district near Sooke on Vancouver Island is one of the many areas in British Columbia where any notion of backcountry, is fast being swallowed up by development. For decades, locals have maintained trails through and around private acreages, crown land, forestry lands, and beaches. Increasingly, access to these informal trails is being cut off by residential subdivisions.
Read how local groups worked to get trails built in the area. October 2020
COVID -19 and the order from the provincial health authority that it is critical to keep up social distancing means that the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society’s April Hikes are cancelled. We hope that the virus situation will have settled by May and that we can work out a protocol for resuming our first and second Saturday hikes.
Hopefully you have been able to get out and about a bit with out crowding - here is a link to some of our area's trails. The following image helps to remind us how COVIS-19 applies to outdoor activities:
Probably the only thing happy with this situation is the broom on the Whiffin Spit, heaving a sigh of relief that we have been unable to complete this years sweep to keep it in check. It can not believe it’s luck; everyone gone, leaving it in peace to grow. March 2020
Sooke Urban Trails
The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society has been working with the District of Sooke to develop and sign an Urban Trail System. These trails make use of existing Sooke parks, trails and sidewalks as much as possible. Read more about it and see pictures of the trail being put together. March 2020
Ticks and Lyme's disease
Our Hikers have been experiencing a lot of tick activity lately and have wondered what is the best way to deal with one if it gets far enough to latch on. Ev and her doctor handled it the best way possible. Our thanks to Ev who has shared her experience. Remember the tick must remain alive to be tested. Here is Ev's tick experience from Oct. 30th, 2018:
I had previously discussed ticks with my physician and knew he was fully informed about Lyme’s disease. I found the tick on my back more than a day after hiking Bluff Mtn. but Gary was able to pull it off and it was not engorged. I saved the tick in a moist paper towel and kept it in a plastic container until the following morning when I phoned the doctor.
I was lucky to be able to get in immediately. I had written out the details of where the tick was found (on me), location of hike, date and time tick spent on me, etc. My doctor provided a requisition and sent me to a lab where they took possession of the tick and information. It was couriered to the B.C. Centre of Disease Control Lab Services, Parasitology Section, 655 West 12th Ave., Vancouver, V5Z 4R4. It was then checked to see if it was the type of tick that could carry Lyme’s.
The next day I was informed that it was a possible carrier which meant they would then check it for Lyme’s. It took 4 more days until they concluded that it did not carry the disease. In the meantime I was given a blood test to establish my baseline for the disease.
It is important to keep the tick alive and moist to be tested.
Although I always gave myself a visual test I now have a routine of stripping all clothing and isolating it for 24 hours. Ticks will not survive a house longer than that. They will survive a person bathing or swimming or washing their clothing but cannot survive a dryer.
My advice is to always spray on a tick repellent before a hike. Avon makes an excellent one that does not contain Deet. -Ev Petrie January 2019
New Trail System Proposed for Sooke
The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society is proposing to introduce a new trails system that would connect parks and green spaces in Sooke. The trail system will connect parks and green spaces and encourage alternate forms of transportation. Read the entire article in the Sooke News Mirror. March 2018
Horne Rd to Goodmere Rd Community Trail
A new trail from Horne Rd. to Goodmere Rd was built by the volunteer effort of the JdF CTS and Wittich Environmental under the Auspices of the Sooke District which has provided all of the materials.
Wittich Environmental has laid on machines, pro bono, and expert labour. The trail will facilitate the residents of Horne Rd. which includes Harbourside Co-Housing to get downtown. See pictures of how it all came together. May 2017
Ivy pull at Ed Mc Gregor Park
Now that we have broom on the run on the Whiffin Spit, we are ready to take on the Ivy at Ed Mc Gregor Park! Juan de Fuca Community Trails and the District of Sooke are Removing ivy on Sunday September 25, 2016 9am - 3pm. We will be joined by the Greater Victoria Green Team. September 2016
Broom pull on Whiffen Spit
Broom is stubborn and recalcitrant stuff. It keeps coming back. The Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society and the District of Sooke have been combating it on the Whiffin Spit since 2007. I am happy to report that Indian Plum, red Flowering Current and Black Coast Gooseberry can be seen.
This year we are joined by the Greater Victoria Green Team for our 2015 pulls. The broom is early this year and so are our work parties. These will take place on Wednesday April 8 from 9am - noon with students from Edward Milne Community School helping and on Saturday April 11 from 9am - 2 pm with all comers. March 2015
2015 Annual General Meeting
The Society conducted its Annual General Meeting(AGM)on March 5, 2015 at the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area building in Otter Point. Mike Walton, Senior Parks Manager for Regional Parks spoke on the Regional Parks Strategic Plan for 2012-2021. March 2015
JDF CTS members designed, then volunteered to build stairs at SEAPARC, December 2014
Stairs at SEAPARC built
In an effort to promote active transportation an initiative was taken on by SEAPARC and our Society. Our Society in conjunction with SEAPARC and other volunteers built stairs on a steep, muddy hill to make the trail between SEAPARC and Throup Road more accessible.
It was covered in a Sooke News Mirror cover story available here. January 2015
2014 Annual General Meeting Notes
The Society conducted its Annual General Meeting(AGM) at the Otter Point Fire Hall on March 04, 2014. Our Guest speaker was Barb Broster, of JdF Search and Rescue. Barb gave a very interesting presentation of ground search and rescue in our area. Our President, Sid Jorna, gave a presentation of activities completed in the past year. The Directors gave a brief presentation of their activities through the year. Our VP of long standing Erik James and Director Ginny Seabrook asked to step down this year. We thanked them for their unwavering support and effort through the last 9 years they held office. Howard Taylor was voted in as the new VP and Mark Ziegler as a new director.
There were two resolutions passed at the AGM:
There were also three major initiatives described:
- The Annual Membership fees of $10.00 per person was approved for 2014/15.
- Support for the Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society in their objective to acquire the Admiral's Forest was approved clearing the way for directors to approve funding or effort support.
- Continuation of the Recreational Hiking program. Application will be made to the JDFEA Parks and Recreation Commission for sponsorship and support of this most successful hiking program.
- Whiffin Spit Broom Bash. The Society working with the District of Sooke has approved an annual broom removal on the Whiffin Spit. This years event will take place Thursday May 15 9am to 12 noon and Saturday May 17 from 9am to 2 pm.
- JDFEA Trails Plan. The JDFEA Parks and Recreation Commission Manager, Mr. Ron Hamilton wishes to meet with Society representatives to map out potential future trail routes. Time and date to be determined.
Sooke Bike Skills Park Open House Held on June 26, 2013
A good-sized turnout of about 60 people were at the Community Hall on June 26 for the open house on the proposed Sooke Bike Skills Park. As Mayor Milne noted, the session was the latest step in a public process that will resume in September, he said, with a formal public hearing.
Municipal Planner Gerard LeBlanc moderated the evening, opening with a brief overview of developments so far and how a bike park fits into the overall vision for John Phillips Memorial Park established in 2006.
Gerard introduced Judd de Vall, founder of Whistler-based site designer Alpine Bike Parks. de Vall spoke about the upsides of having a family friendly cycling park in the residential heart of town and why increasing numbers of communities across North America are opting for them as 21st century playgrounds.
He then offered specifics about the Sooke blueprint and facilitated a lively two-hour discussion that covered a full range of pros and cons, support and opposition. The project is in its early stages, he emphasized, and it can be downsized to a simple bike playground suitable for pre-schoolers and youngsters at the foot of the hill or built out to its full capacity as an attraction for teens and active adults. Alpine’s previous projects have ranged in cost from $9k to $4.2 million, he said. Sooke’s proposed budget is $300,000 – about the same cost as an ordinary swings-and-roundabouts playground.
At least 25 people spoke for or against the proposal and some were quite passionate about it. The park hits close to home for some folks, literally, and they naturally have concerns. Others in the audience could see the value of having a kid-and-parent friendly bike park linked directly to Sooke’s existing network of bike trails.
Whatever their view, however, it seems that everyone recognized the value of a bike skills park. The real contentious issue is its location at John Phillips Memorial Park. Some people had further concerns such as cost to the taxpayer and liability to the District.
The people who spoke in favour view the bike facility as one important element in encouraging more people – residents and out-of-towners alike – to take advantage of a green space that many believe is dramatically underutilized. Increased use of the park was a priority of the 2006 committee, which was chaired by Neil Flynn and based on considerable input from the public (through open houses, information sessions, group presentations and a residential survey).
Transition Sooke sees the addition of a bike skills park to the community, in it's various potential forms and possible locations, as a great asset that is in line with the principles of building resilience and community connections. It will promote healthy activities for young and old, while giving people the opportunity to safely practice bicycle handling skills. This is one aspect of our hopes for a future that will see a town that encourages walking, cycling and healthy physical activity and sustainable transportation .
As far as the location is concerned, we are pleased that there is dialogue and hopeful that everyone can come to a resolution that benefits the community as a whole.
Please give some thoughts of your own to the subject. The best starting point is the District of Sooke’s website, where staffer Laura Byrne has put together a full package of background documents. Laura welcomes further public comment, which can be sent to email@example.com
Then hopefully see you in September at the public hearing.
Andrew, Jeff, Margaret, Sofie, Eric, Lee, Michael, Stephen & Yvonne
-- Sooke TransitionTown Society
JDFEA Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission Trail meeting
With treaty negotiations resulting in land transfers, Official Community Plans in transition, and large developments being planned, land use in the area is changing.
Ron Hamilton of the JDF Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission has invited us and others to an informal evening session to discuss existing and future trail routes and priorities in the electoral area. The session will be held in the CRD Local Planning Office in Sooke commencing at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 25.
The focus of the meeting will be
I will be there but as a Park Commissioner. This a chance to advocate for your favourite trail. If you can contribute to this knowledge or a related item, please plan to come and participate. Please let me know that you will be there before April 19, since I have to confirm attendance on that date.
- What trails are being used now by the various user groups/organizations
- What trails are most popular, and what is their current condition
- What opportunities are there for trail linkages beween trails and with existing/planned JDFEA Parks and Recreation trails/parks
- What opportunities are there for existing trails to become part of the westward Galloping Goose Trail
- What legal authorities are there to control the use of existing trails (Letters of permission, SRW, easements. etc.
This is an opportune time to get our desires and information for trails onto the table before the next cycle of developments so that the commission will know what to ask for in rezoning situations by way of park dedication, or purchase.
Sid Jorna, President.
2013 Annual General Meeting Notes
The Society completed its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.
We had a guest speaker, Stephanie Meinke, President of the BC Marine Trails Network Association who gave us an update on the progress her organization is making on creating the network of marine trails. The BC Marine Trails Network will be a series of interconnecting marine trails along the entire BC coastline:
The AGM also elected a new Treasurer. We thank Judi Conwright for her years of superb service as Treasurer and welcome Paul Schoemaker as the new Treasurer.
- designed with frequent access points, stopovers and campsites for users of small, beachable watercraft
- securing the continued rights of public marine recreationists to travel the BC coast and to land and camp along the way
Moving forward: The BC Equestrian Trail User Study
Hot off the press are the results of a study conducted by the Joint Trails & Access Committee for Horse Council BC with support from Vancouver Island University over the fall of 2012.
This report (2.1 Mb) provides a snapshot of the recreational trail rider in BC. The objectives of the study were:
As you read through the report, you may find information that supports your beliefs and other info that may surprise you.
- To describe the BC Equestrian Trail User
- To learn how BC Equestrians use existing trail systems
- To measure the level of satisfaction of BC Equestrians with components of the Trail System
- To determine preferred enhancements to the existing trail system
Camp Thunderbird, Windy Bluff
Society News Letter Christmas 2012
A letter from Sid Jorna, President of the JDF CTS reviewing the activities and happenings of 2012.
Matterhorn Trail Notices
UPDATE 09 April 2012. The Matterhorn Trail is now open from either trail head at Juan de Fuca Rd or Tieuly Place. Timber West has indeed remediated the trail in areas where they logged. Other parts of the trail have been left alone. We thank Timber West for allowing our access and for their care in managing the trail.
On April 9th We had a successful hike to the summit with 24 members and guests attending.
UPDATE March 2012. Timber West has informed us that they have finished logging operations and are in a remediation phase. This includes reestablishing our trail, with some suitable edits. The trail should be open again at the end of March 2012. See our upcoming hikes for a scheduled hike to the Matterhorn April 7th.
2011 Important trail notice - Matterhorn Trail Route Closed from Juan de Fuca Rd, to the Matterhorn due to logging. Until further notice the route from Eagle Light Store at Tieulie Place remains open. For more information on this situation and trail description, please read see the Matterhorn Trail Description.
A Community Forest?
A presentation by Arnie Campbell at the 2012 Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society Annual General Meeting.
2012 Annual General Meeting Notes
The Society completed its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday February 28, 2012.
The AGM elected a new Secretary and Director for Biking. We thank Heather Phillips for the years of superb service as Secretary and Lorien Arnold for service as Director Biking. Both were founding members of the Society. We welcome Brenda Mark as the new Secretary and Stephen Hindrichs as the new Director Biking.
Society News Letter Christmas 2011
A letter from Sid Jorna, President of the JDF CTS reviewing the activities and happenings of 2011 and a look ahead.
July 2011 Stewardship
The Society has signed a stewardship agreement with the JdFEA Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission to develop and maintain the
Weiland Trail. The Weiland Trail starts at the information Kiosk of William Simmons Memorial Park and is open to the South East
corner of the Sooke Business Park. It leads into the single track trails on Broom Hill Crown Land. The next segment approved for
construction is along the Weiland Road allowance to Butler Rd gate. In the fullness of time it is hoped to secure appropriate rights
of way to extend the trail to Kemp Lake Rd linking the King Creek trails with William Simmons Park.