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Upgrades made to Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

May 10, 2023 at 7:38 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

People hiking the popular Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on southern Vancouver Island can enjoy enhanced camping facilities with the addition of 50 new elevated tent platforms at five backcountry campgrounds.

The wooden tent platforms are part of several infrastructure upgrades along the 47-kilometre wilderness trail and provide a more comfortable camping experience during bad weather, while protecting sensitive habitat.

“Camping and outdoor recreation is more popular than ever, which is why we are investing in the infrastructure that will enhance people’s connection with B.C.’s beautiful natural spaces,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The new tent platforms, along with other significant upgrades along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail in recent years, improve visitors’ experiences while they enjoy this amazing backcountry hike that showcases the beauty and power of B.C.’s coast.”

In addition to 10 new tent platforms added to each of the campgrounds at Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, Chin Beach, Little Kuitshe Creek and Payzant Creek, two more food caches have also been installed at each campground. Other infrastructure improvements include approximately 600 metres of stepped boardwalk, 20 new staircases and 19 new foot bridges between the Little Kuitshe Creek Campground and Parkinson Creek trailhead. At Kuitshe Creek, a new engineered bridge was installed and a damaged engineered bridge was replaced at Hoard Creek.

The cost of the project is approximately $905,000, marking the biggest single investment in improvements to the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail in recent years. Approximately $2.1 million has been invested in new bridges, boardwalks, stairs and food caches at multiple locations along the trail over the past four years.

“B.C. is known as a world-class destination for outdoor recreation, with millions of people heading to provincial parks each year to experience the benefits of nature,” said Aman Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “Our government is focused on investing in our parks to ensure that our protected areas continue to be world class and provide a quality experience for everyone to enjoy.”

Spanning part of Vancouver Island’s southwest coast, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is mainly designed for strenuous day or multi-day hiking, with campsites located in rugged, isolated areas. The trail traverses a rugged environment that is often subject to wet and extreme weather conditions. Before heading out, hikers are advised to check the park website for advisories and be prepared for uneven ground and slippery conditions on muddy trails, wooden surfaces, boulders and rocky shorelines.

A portion of the trail between Little Kuitshe Creek campground and the Parkinson Creek trailhead remains closed to finish infrastructure upgrades. The trail will fully re-open on May 17, 2023.

The recent infrastructure upgrades along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail are part of a $21.5-million investment to expand and enhance opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the province. Upgrades include new campsites and trails, and improvements to existing facilities. Many upgrades will also improve accessibility for people who use wheelchairs, strollers or have other accessibility challenges. 

Quick Facts:

  • BC Parks has approximately 2,000 walk-in or backcountry campsites and approximately 6,000 kilometres of hiking trails.
  • Since 2017, more than 1,700 campsites have been added to BC Parks and recreation sites, and new campsites are located in regions with the highest demand: the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay Rockies and Mount Robson.
  • New front-country campsite developments include universal design standards so people living with disabilities can enjoy outdoor activities with fewer barriers.

Learn More:

For information about Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, visit: https://bcparks.ca/juan-de-fuca-park/

For information about BC Parks, visit: https://bcparks.ca/

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