An artist’s rendering of the future multi-use ‘Ups-cheek ta-shee’ trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Parks Canada Photo)

Budget for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve trail between Tofino and Ucluelet being reassessed

Price tag initially set at $17.7 million.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve will soon be seeking out contractors to start working on the next phase of the ‘Ups-cheek ta-shee’ trail it is building to connect its north and south borders.

“When built, this new multi-use trail will give generations of residents, Canadians, and visitors the opportunity to explore the Pacific Rim region by bike or by foot and in a greener and more experiential way,” the Park Reserve’s superintendent Karen Haugen told the Westerly News via email.

The trail was announced by the federal government in 2016 and its budget was initially set at $17.7 million, but it’s unclear if that’s still the expected price tag as Haugen said the project’s budget is being reassessed.

“As stewards of the land, Parks Canada is responsible for ensuring building does not outpace our environmental, social and legal obligations. As such, we are taking some additional time to finalize the design of the trail before we begin the next phase of construction. We will share more information about the schedule and budget once these details are finalized,” Haugen said. “By taking some additional time now, we can meet our obligations and ensure Canadians will be able to enjoy the new trail for generations to come.”

Haugen said the trail’s design and other details are being finalized and a Request for Proposals will soon be posted for the project’s next step.

“The next stage of construction would include preparation of the trail bed and activities such as bringing in gravel, installing drainage culverts, and building bridges,” she said.

Construction on the roughly 22-kilometre trail started in 2016 when trees began being cleared from the park’s north end and a route from Incinerator Rock at Long Beach to the Park Reserve’s southern boundary was cleared in early 2018.

“While we don’t have the exact number of trees removed, as work on [Ups-cheek ta-shee] progresses, Parks Canada is taking a responsive approach by adapting trail alignment, design, and building activities to each unique area of the park reserve where the trail will pass to limit environmental impact,” Haugen said. “For example: modifying and refining the trail route and design to bypass large, old-growth trees and ephemeral ponds; incorporating data from a Traditional Use Study and advice from local First Nations; and, re-routing to avoid newly discovered archaeological sites.”

Haugen said “extensive environmental, archaeological and geotechnical studies” were completed before the clearing work began and a route was mapped out, but that route has been altered several times as crews have discovered a variety of important historic sites.

“The west coast of Vancouver Island has a long history of human habitation, dating back many thousands of years. Archaeologists have identified a number of Indigenous and settler sites in the national park reserve,” she said. “For the safety of visitors, and to protect and preserve the integrity of these sites, the trail has been re-routed in some instances. We continue to work with the local Indigenous communities to assess each site as they are identified.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tofino-Ucluelet students host first-ever Surfrider Youth Conference

“When you have 100 plus people all together in one room, you can feel the energy.”

Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis girls heading to Provincials

Ahousaht school’s boys team earns Most Sportsmanlike recognition at tournament.

Tofino and Ucluelet revise single-use plastics bans after Victoria loses appeal

West Coast updating plastic bans to protect themselves from the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

Ucluelet resident sounds alarm over ‘environmental disaster’

Central Westcoast Forest Society estimates bridge project at Hyphocus Island could cost $1M.

Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis senior teams take on the Island Championships

Senior girls play at Duncan Christian and senior boys at Nanaimo Christian this weekend.

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read