The new Rail Trail from Parksville to Coombs will once again be open to horses. The ban on horses from the trail was lifted effective June 2. — Michael Briones photo

Horses allowed back on Rail Trail

Horses are allowed back onto the new Rail Trail from Parksville to Coombs.

The temporary two-month ban that the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors imposed in April was supposed to be in effect until the end of the month. But it was lifted recently effective June 2.

The seven-kilometre trail that opened to the public on December 2016 had received good reviews. But there were also complaints from citizens about the horses using the trail and the negative impact it is having on the new gravel surface.

The board banned horses from using the trail for two months to allow the gravel surface to harden up and some work to be completed.

“The temporary exclusion of horses from the trail provided a window for compacting work being done on the trail,” said Matt O’Halloran, the RDN’s legislative co-ordinator. “With that work now complete, and support expressed by RDN directors for equestrian use, horses are again permitted on the trail.”

RDN work crews are putting up etiquette signage, as well as installation of pedestrian controlled beacons at the trail crossing of Church Road and Highway 4A at Station Road in Coombs, along with some vehicular parking controls around these crossings.

An official opening was scheduled to take place May 27 but that is now being set up for sometime in the fall in order to complete the work needed on the trail, the RDN announced.