With the Westside Legacy Trail now paved to 5.9 kilometres, lots of folks are already using it, just as envisioned. Once again, a big thanks to all the landowners whose donation of land made the trail possible.
Three significant aspects of the agreement with landowners are liability, maintenance and permitted uses. When the trail is completed, it will be turned over to the RDEK to assume liability and provide maintenance. Thanks to the RDEK, for taking care of the first two important requirements. The third requirement, permitted uses, is the responsibility of us trail users.
Quite simply, if it is human powered and leaves no trace – it is permitted. That’s easy. But what about specific non-permitted uses?
1. Motorized traffic isn’t allowed, please – no noisy internal combustion
engines spoiling the tranquility of the trail. The exceptions are electric
wheelchairs and electric bicycles (e-bikes) – up to 500 watts.
2. Garbage – there are no garbage cans ANYWHERE on the trail, including in the parking lots. Pack it in, pack it out, leave no trace.
3. No horses or dogs. This one always generates a healthy discussion, why no furry friends? The answer is straightforward – animals and humans encountering one another often doesn’t end well. Add speed, and it’s usually worse. And when you factor in poop, well, are we all in agreement yet?
In summary, the land donated for the Westside Legacy Trail came to us with very few stipulations. But they are important! The RDEK has stepped up to assume the responsibility for liability and maintenance. As users of the Trail, we all need to respect the gift of land, by ensuring that only permitted uses take place. It’s up to us!
Executive Director, Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance