For years we have been waiting for the opening of the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, an extension to the existing Cape Scott Trail. It seems we cannot book in for summer 2006, however.
May 11 2006
The province should ante up for the North Coast Trail. A real, long-term sustainable project, the North Coast Trail is a safe bet that has the potential to be the turn card for tourism on the North Island.
With nearly $1 million already invested by the federal government, the call is to the provincial government to make a moderate contribution of $250,000 to the pot.
And timing is everything. With usage limitations on the West Coast Trail and limited access to Nootka Island, the North Coast Trail could be the next backcountry conquest for many serious backpackers, who are ready for a new adventure on Vancouver Island.
While the province plays it close to the (treasure) chest, other North Island tourism prospects are dimming with the reality of a reduced ferry service that makes large tourism operators nervous. With summer nearly upon us, it is imperative to get the trail completed before more backcountry hikers and others are turned away.
And itâ€™s not just the tourists and hikers leaving the trail table. What about the backpackersâ€™ hostel in Port Hardy, built to accommodate the anticipated increase in hikers? How long can such businesses last unless Cape Scott and the new trail are ready for summer?
The North Coast Trail Society is to be commended for courageously working on the project for many years.
They have dealt well, the federal government has played well and now it is time for the provincial government to sweeten the pot of the project before it is forced to fold for the summer.
If you have up-to-date information on an opening date, leave a comment below.