By CHARLES KAHN
Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club
In June, Claire and Will Cupples contacted the Salt Spring Trail and Nature Club (SSTNC) and offered the club the opportunity to establish a public trail on their 38-acre property on the north end of the island. A very generous offer!
A few weeks later we signed a contract with the Cupples to use this trail. The contract grants the landowners a $2 million liability insurance policy through the Gulf Islands Trails Society.
The trail around the property is about two kilometers round trip. It has been signed and authorized. Access is a farm driveway on the south side of North End Road and just east of address 2670. There is ample parking on the grassy shoulder near the signpost. People must park perpendicular to the road to allow others to park.
This property adjoins the Salt Spring Island Conservancy’s North View Nature Preserve, so it will be possible in the future to connect the two trail systems. The Cupples Trail is also close to the Jack Foster Trail and could be combined with it for a day out in the north of the island.
The Cupples are retired scientists and scholars who have worked at numerous institutions across Canada, most recently at Simon Fraser University. Will’s roots in Salt Spring go back decades since his father purchased North End Farm where Will partly grew up. The Cupples returned to Salt Spring and made their home there in the early 2000s.
It’s great when landowners like the Cupples are willing to share their land in this way. We hope other landowners will do the same in the future. This is our second contract with private landowners to establish public trails on their land. For more information, contact Charles Kahn ([email protected]) or Kees Ruurs ([email protected]).
The SSTNC helps develop and maintain most trails on the island. The club has signed agreements with BC Parks to work on trails in provincial parks. He has also entered into an agreement with the Islands Trust Conservancy to maintain the trail in the Lower Mount Erskine Nature Reserve. Recently volunteers worked with PARC to replace all the numbers on the poles in Channel Ridge with maps indicating that you are here, so that it is no longer necessary to carry a map to know where you are in the trail network.
Memberships for the 2022-23 SSTNC season can now be obtained. Go to saltspringtnc.ca/index.php/membership for more information. In addition to hikes, walks and walks, the club regularly holds presentations on interesting and related topics and is also allied with groups of naturalists who organize bird watching and other outings. As you can see, the club performs an important service on the island and deserves your support even if you don’t attend all of its events.