If everything goes as planned, the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve should be open sometime next year.
Doesn’t ring a bell? Locals might know it better by its other name, Harbourview Park.
“We’re probably at 50 per cent (complete),” said Janette Loveys, operations manager at CRD Regional Parks.
Working together with the International Mountain Biking Association, The South Island Mountain Bike Society and the Sooke Bike Club, the CRD has been busy mapping out and laying out mountain biking, hiking and equestrian trails for the park this year. Last year, they built infrastructure like a parking lot, washrooms and a bike wash.
“We’re continuing to do the work getting the park ready for park visitors officially,” she said. After all the construction is completed, a report still has to be put together that specifies a proposed opening date as well as a finalized name for the park — Sea to Sea is only a working name, said Loveys.
During the planning phase, the CRD sought input from the above mentioned associations as well as the public, running training workshops where mountain biker volunteers discussed how to build sustainable trails.
“The South Island Mountain Bike Society has been involved in the planning process of the Sea to Sea lands as much as possible from the beginning. We rallied mountain bikers to attend meetings,” said president Scott Mitchell.
“The existing trails in the area are amazing for riding.”
Although there is still a lot of work to be done, there are already a lot of people using the facilities.
“We’ve met many of the park visitors there, I’ve been out on weekends myself,” said Loveys.
One of the regulars has been Lorien Arnold, Sooke Bike Club member and owner of Sooke Mountain Cycle. Loveys said the CRD collaborated with him on things like the installation of a bike lock up that his shop also provided the equipment for.
“It’s a room that’s in the washroom facility and (mountain bikers) would be able to store equipment in that room,” she said. It was modelled after a similar amenity available at the Hartland trails in Victoria.
“When we open, we would love to partner with (the Sooke Bike Club) around events.”
The club feels the same way. Arnold, in an email, said they already have lots planned.
“The Sooke Bike Club will be organizing all sorts of stuff like trail maintenance days, group rides and races/events.”
“We’re supportive of this, we want to be able to continue working with the groups and make more mountain biking happen,” said Loveys.