Since our formation in 2004, GaLTT has had a vision of a complete “Descanso to Drumbeg” trail from one end of Gabriola to the other, so our Trails crew was delighted to work on the construction of a new trail that links neighbourhoods and establishes a much needed connection between the north end of the island and the Village area. The new Burnside Drive Community Trail enables walkers to go from Descanso Bay Regional Park and Cox Community Park to the Village without having to journey on the heavily trafficked sections of Taylor Bay Road and the Ferry hill.

The trail resulted from an approval process for what became the Sitka Spruce development north of the Village, with an agreement between the land developer, the Islands Trust, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that required the provision of public access trails crossing the development land. As part of this agreement, there was also 40 acres of parkland added to the adjacent Cox Community Park and over 300 acres added to the 707 Community Park, considerably expanding the network of parklands and walking trails on Gabriola Island.

A man holds a ribbon for a woman to cut in an opening ceremony for a trail.
GaLTT president Hugh Skinner holds the tape for RDN Director Vanessa Craig to cut at the official trail opening

GaLTT would like to thank the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) Area B Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) for recommending the allocation of funding towards this project, as well as the RDN staff who worked very collaboratively with GaLTT on the project planning and construction. Lastly, a huge thank you to Vanessa Craig, our RDN Director, for supporting this project from the beginning.

The new trail will be included in the next edition of our printed Trails map and other materials, which we’re in the process of updating and expect to be available in 2024. In the meantime, you can download a PDF showing the Burnside Drive Community Trail location. Visit our Trails and Maps page for more information on Gabriola’s trails and routes.

A group of people stand near a fire gate at the end of a road listening to a speaker.
A good crowd turned out for the trail opening ceremony and subsequent guided walk.

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