North Cowichan Trails Remain Open Despite Closure of BC Parks

(North Cowichan, BC) – In response to BC Parks closing down all provincial parks to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and member municipalities have announced that parks and trails in the Cowichan Valley will remain open. As a member of the CVRD, North Cowichan’s municipally sanctioned trails will remain open to the public to provide outdoor spaces for residents to recreate responsibly.

Many park facilities within North Cowichan have been closed over the past two weeks and will remain closed at this time. This includes skate parks and playgrounds. “During this time of intense measures to decrease the transmission of COVID-19, the ability to access local parks and trails can support our health and well-being,” said Dr. Shannon Waters, Medical Health Officer for the Cowichan Valley Region. “We also must understand that while accessing these areas, we have a responsibility to practice physical distancing. We are all on the front lines of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Our trails have increased signage demonstrating proper physical distancing, and best practices for safe use of trails. In addition, we ask that residents:

  • Do not carpool or meet up with anyone outside your household
  • Do not congregate in parking lots, trailheads, or your neighbourhood
  • Keep at least two-metres distance between yourself and other trail users
  • Walk, hike, and ride only with those in your household

Due to the immense popularity of our trails, the parking lots at Mount Tzouhalem’s Kaspa and Nevilane trailheads, along with Maple Mountain’s Osborne Bay Road trailhead, have been particularly over-crowded, especially on weekends. As a result, we want to remind everyone that North Cowichan staff will be patrolling the Kaspa parking lot on Mount Tzouhalem regularly and will be closing the road at Kaspa and Salish to avoid over-flow parking on the street.

“We also want to ask residents to visit trails and parks closest to their homes and not travel within the Valley to help address over-crowding. It is important that everyone stays as close to home as possible so we can continue to flatten the curve,” said Mayor Al Siebring. 

For more information on BC Parks closures, please visit http://bcparks.ca/covid-19.

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Media Contact:         
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117
E Mayor@northcowichan.ca