By CHARLES KAHN
Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club
In June, Claire and Will Cupples contacted the Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club (SSTNC) and offered the club the opportunity to establish a public trail on their 38-acre property at the north end of the island. A very generous offer!
A few weeks later we signed a contract with the Cupples to use this trail. The contract gives the landowners a $2-million liability insurance policy through the Gulf Islands Trails Society.
The trail around the property is about a two-kilometre return round trip. It has been signed and cleared. The access is a farm driveway on the south side of North End Road and just east of the 2670 address. There is ample parking on the grassy shoulder near the trail sign. People should park perpendicular to the road to provide room for others to park.
This property adjoins the Salt Spring Island Conservancy’s North View Nature Reserve, so in the future it may be possible to connect the two trail systems. The Cupples Trail is also close to the Jack Foster Trail and could be combined with it for a day’s outing in the north end of the island.
The Cupples are retired scientists and academics who have worked in many institutions across Canada, most recently at Simon Fraser University. Will’s roots on Salt Spring go back many decades from the time his father bought North End Farm where Will, in part, grew up. The Cupples returned to Salt Spring and established their home here in the early 2000s.
It’s terrific when landowners like the Cupples are prepared to share their land in this way. We hope that other landowners will act similarly in the future. This is our second contract with private landowners to establish public trails on their land. For further information, contact Charles Kahn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kees Ruurs (Keesruurs@hotmail.com).
The SSTNC helps develop and maintain most of the trails on the island. The club has signed agreements with BC Parks to work on the trails in the provincial parks. It also has an agreement with the Islands Trust Conservancy to maintain the trail in the Lower Mount Erskine Nature Reserve. Recently, volunteers worked with PARC to replace all the numbers on the posts in Channel Ridge with you-are-here maps so that it is now not necessary to carry a map to know where you are in the trail system.
Memberships for the 2022-23 SSTNC season can now be obtained. Go to saltspringtnc.ca/index.php/membership for further information. In addition to hikes, walks, and rambles, the club has regular presentations on interesting, related topics and is also allied with naturalist groups that organize birding and other outings. As you can see, the club provides an important service on the island and deserves your support even if you don’t attend all of its events.