Malahat, Vancouver Island, BC: Trans Canada Trail is proud to announce the opening of a vital new trail link on Vancouver Island that connects the Capital Regional District (CRD) Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) Cowichan Valley Trail. This connection closes a significant gap of The Great Trail’s South Island Connection Plan.

“The Great Trail is one of the world’s longest networks of multi-use recreational trails,” explains Valerie Pringle, Chair, Trans Canada Trail Foundation. “Once fully connected, it will stretch nearly 24,000 km from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, through every province and territory, linking Canadians in nearly 1,000 communities. On Vancouver Island, The Great Trail spans from Nanaimo through the Cowichan Valley and onwards through to Victoria.”

One of the major funders of this 21 kilometer project is TimberWest, who donated $100,000 towards the development of the Trail. TimberWest is also a partner in permitting approximately 10 kilometers of Trans Canada Trail access over their private land through access agreements arranged with the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley Regional District. TimberWest is dedicated to the Great Trail project because the Trail provides safe public access to Canada’s magnificent outdoors. Like TCT, TimberWest believes that trails are an important gateway to safely enjoying nature, while participating in a healthier, more active lifestyle.

“The official opening of the Sooke Hills Wilderness trail, linking BC’s capital City to the heart of Vancouver Island in the Cowichan Valley, is our contribution to help connect Canadians from coast-to-coast on Canada’s 150th anniversary,” says Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of TimberWest. “People from across Vancouver Island, and from all over the world, can now safely enjoy a world-class trail in a spectacular natural setting. It is an honour for us to continue to support the Trans Canada Trail, Great Trail project on Vancouver Island.”

In total, grant funders contributed more than $1.2 million for the completion of this important connection of The Great Trail on Vancouver Island. Funders include, the Province of BC’s BikeBC program, TimberWest, the Trans Canada Trail Foundation, and a Provincial fund dedicated to establishing this trail route.

Malahat First Nation singers with TCT Chair Valerie Pringle, MTimberWest CEO Jeff Zweig, and TCT CEO Deborah Apps at the opening ceremony of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Trail.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Victoria Leenders-Cheng, Communications advisor Trans Canada Trail | Tel: 800 465.3636 ext. 4344 | Cell: 514.485.4344
Monica Bailey Director of Communications, TimberWest | Tel: 250.716.3744 |email:

About the Trans Canada Trail: Connecting The Great Trail in 2017

It began as a bold dream in 1992: the idea of creating a trail that would be a gift from Canadians to Canadians. Since then, TCT – a not-for-profit organization – has been working with donors, partners, governments, public and private landowners, and volunteers to create The Great Trail – an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of outdoor experiences. Every Canadian province and territory is home to its own stretch of The Great Trail and TCT’s goal is to have the Trail connected from coast to coast to coast in 2017 for Canada 150 celebrations.

About TimberWest

TimberWest has trail license agreements with the Regional District of Nanaimo for the TCT crossing at Haslam Creek, and a trail license agreement with the Cowichan Valley Regional District for the TCT trail along the Bush Main – in total this encompasses approximately 10 KM of trail connection on Central Vancouver Island. TimberWest has over 100 kilometers of public trail access through its private land by way of access agreements with various organizations. TimberWest has been operating for over 100 years on the BC Coast. All its public and private forest lands are third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. TimberWest is privately owned by two leading Canadian pension funds.

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