By MARGRIET RUURS
For the SS Trail & Nature Club
In England it is quite common to hike a trail that is on private land. In North America, most publicly accessible trails are on public lands such as parks or nature reserves.
The Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club (SSTNC) recently recognized landowners who have generously allowed walking trails to be developed on their private property.
Claire and Will Cupples are long-time Salt Spring residents living at the north end of the island. They offered the club the opportunity to establish a two-kilometre, round-trip trail on their property. Through the Gulf Islands Trails Society, the Trail and Nature Club is able to provide liability insurance for such a trail on private property. The Cupples’ initiative is a commendable act of community mindedness that benefits hikers. The property borders North View Nature Reserve. It is hoped that others will consider a similar act by allowing more trails on private property.
The SSTNC also presented a Trail Blazer Award to Nicholas Courtier for his valuable contribution to trails on the island. He has created and designed maps for all Salt Spring’s provincial parks, as well as the new “you-are-here” maps in Channel Ridge.
“Nicholas has indexed all the new trails that we’ve developed with the club over the last 10 to 15 years on GPS,” said the SSTNC’s Charles Kahn. “His digitized map collection has proved a terrific resource for us, as well as for emergency services, the Salt Spring Search and Rescue Society and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy.”
The SSTNC helps develop and maintain most of the trails on the island. The club has signed agreements with BC Parks to work on 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.
The generosity of both the Cupples and Courtier benefits all islanders who enjoy using the hiking trails.
For more information on joining the club or information on making land available for trails, send an email message to email@example.com.