You may not have heard of the Vancouver Island Spine trail that’s in the process of being but right now. Picture this. A trail stretching all the way from Port Hardy at the north end of Vancouver Island right down to the southern end at Victoria. A solid 700km of trail, it will run through the most beautiful areas the island has to offer. While it’s in the process of being built, many of the sections can be linked together by existing trails and logging roads. That’s what VISTA (Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association) intends to do on their massive relay this summer.
On June 5 relay runners, bikers and hikers will make their way all the way from Port Hardy along the trails, up the mountains and across the roads down to Victoria by June 27. Now they’re not expecting you to do the entire thing. One of the organizers (aka one crazy d00d), Andrew Pape-Salmon, has agreed to do the entire relay.
Jen Segger made the trip last year during her Vancouver Island Quest 2009, but she does it for a living! Needless to say, it will be an epic trip.The registration fee for the Relay is going to be $30 but that will essentially just buy you a membership into the association. Just think, you will have supported the construction of what will undoubtedly become one of the worlds greatest trails.
You can also get a membership or donate right now.
Here are the initial dates for all the legs. Along the way there will be Community Days in Port Hardy, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Cumberland, Cowichan Lake and Victoria to support the event. There will be lots of food and goodies at the events kindly provided by Overwaitea and Thrifty’s.
Saturday, June 5, 2010, Section 1, hike from Cape Scott Provincial Park parking lot to Nissen Bight.
June 6, Section 2, run the North Coast Trail to Shushartie Bay, travel to Port Hardy by boat.
June 7, Section 3, mountain bike from Shushartie River to Port Hardy along river and logging road.
Tuesday, June 8, Community Day at Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre in Port Hardy, short hike with participation of local schools, businesses, service clubs, First Nations, local governments, community members.
June 9-10, Section 4, road cycle to Campbell River, overnight in Woss on June 9.
Friday, June 11 morning, Community Day at BeaverLodge Lands in Campbell River, short hike (with schools, etc)
June 11 afternoon, Section 5, road cycle to Mount Washington.
June 12-14, Section 6, hike from Mount Washington to Cumberland in Strathcona Provincial Park, via Forbidden Plateau and mountain bike trails.
Tuesday, June 15, Community Day in Cumberland, short “historical hike” starting at Community Centre (with schools, etc)
June 16, Section 7, mountain bike in Cumberland area on the community trails.
June 17-19, Section 8, hike from Mount Clifton to Port Alberni along Beaufort range and down from Mount Joan to Log Train Trail.
June 20, Community Day at McLean Sawmill in Port Alberni, short hike along Log Train Trail (with schools, etc).
June 21-23, Section 9, mountain bike from Port Alberni to Lake Cowichan via logging roads and Runner’s Trail between Headquarters Bay and Francis Lake (including trail runners on this section on June 22).
June 24, Community Day in Lake Cowichan, short hike in Cowichan River Provincial Park (with schools, etc).
June 25-26, Section 10, run from Lake Cowichan to Victoria along Trans-Canada trail (including horseback riders from to Shawnigan Lake on June 25).
Sunday, June 27, Community Day in Victoria, hike from Legislature to Mile 0 through Beacon Hill Park (with schools, etc).For more details hit up the VI Spine Relay page.