People walking their dog on the newly opened Coombs-to-Parksville Rail Trail. The seven-kilometre trail follows the E&N Railway from Parksville’s Springwood Park to Station Road in Coombs.

Trail from Parksville to the goats in Coombs is open

Trail follows the E&N railway from Parksville's Springwood park to Station Road to Coombs

The Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail is now open.

According to a Facebook post on the Regional District of Nanaimo’s page on Dec. 23, the rail trail was open for use, but an official opening will be scheduled for the springtime.

While the trail is now open for the public, Wendy Marshall said the rail trail will still be getting a few additions in the next coming months.

Marshall, the manager of parks services, said there are still some paving details, lighting and rail crossings to go in. She said all of that won’t be wrapped up until the end of April.

“It’s not quite completed because of the snow and cooler temperatures,” Marshall said.

In April 2016, Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) chair Bill Veenhof told The NEWS that the winning bid for the trail came in at $2.69 million from David Stalker Excavating which was considerably less than the estimated $3 to $4 million.

Marshall also said along with the $2.69 million, they also received additional monies, including money from the regional parks an trails budget, for a total budget of $3.8 million. She said that once the rail trail is completed, they will still be within that budget.

The rail trail follows along the south side of the E&N tracks between Coombs and Parksville. The trail is visible from the Alberni Highway (Highway 4A) near Coombs.

At the Coombs end, the trail starts across from Station Road and a crosswalk has been painted on Highway 4A along with a newly installed kiosk at the trailhead.

At the Parksville end, the rail trail begins at Springwood Park on Despard Avenue with a kiosk near the dog park parking lot. A new trail was created through the north end of Springwood Park in order to separate the rail trail users from the park walkers out for a leisurely stroll.

Along the trail route, people can enter from Virginia, Church, Fairdowne and Nicnbec roads. Except for the first 200 metres of trail in Springwood Park, which has an eight-per-cent grade, the Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail is fully accessible.

In 2009, the RDN undertook an E&N Rail-with-trail Feasibility study to assess potential trail development along the rail corridor within Electoral Areas A, E, F, G and H and the municipalities of Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Lantzville.

Around the same time, the RDN partnered with Capital Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Comox Valley Regional District, the Island Corridor Foundation and Southern Railway to develop rail-with-trail design guidelines.

The goal, The NEWS reported, is a 290-kilometre bike and pedestrian trail along the entire length of the railway from Victoria to Port Alberni and Courtenay. The Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail is the first in the RDN.

— NEWS Staff

Just Posted

Bear spotted in Qualicum Beach

Full-grown bear spotted in complex at Berwick and Rupert roads

Canadians on epic journey arrive in Nanoose

Snaw-Naw-As First Nation welcomes participants of Canada C3 voyage

Kwalikum Secondary student back from year in Netherlands

Don’t pass up opportunity to travel with Qualicum Beach Rotary’s help, says Taylor Hunter

Resident slam loud dynamite blasting at Cedar Ridge Estate development

Sleigh feels insulted by Mayor Lefebrve who failed to understand their suffering

RDN creates new service to fund INfilm

Regional district to enter three year agreement with film commision for annual funding of $50,000

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Qualicum Beach residents discuss long-term vision for community wellness

Three more meetings on topic scheduled for Oct. 24 and 25

VIDEO: Motorcycle catches fire in Nanaimo traffic

Motorcyclist takes fast action to get burning bike off the road along the old Island Highway

Open house features both sides of the issues on Bowser sewage project

New association opposing marine outfall use event to also express their concerns

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

Parksville draft park plan goes before public

People invited to open house Oct. 28 at Parksville Community and Conference Centre

Most Read