New boardwalk makes Tow Hill an easier climb

  • Mar. 30, 2011 1:00 p.m.

By Alex Northcott-Islanders and tourists will be walking the scenic Tow Hill and Blow Hole trails with a little more ease, after much-needed improvements to the boardwalk were completed on time and on budget, says Lucy Stefanyk of BC Parks.The upgraded boardwalk can now also accommodate, on at least one stretch of the trail system, wheelchair access.Tlell contractor Leandre Vigneault, who did the work, said everything went well.”Overall the trail was old and in pretty rough shape. I have to say now it is excellent… and we are very happy with the end result,” Mr. Vigneault said. “I can’t wait to see someone in a wheelchair do the trail to see what they think.”The improvements to the popular trail involved replacing the 25-year-old boardwalk with new planks of wood, and reducing the grade of the hike to the top of the hill.”We reduced the grade going to the top of the hill from about 30 percent to less than 15 percent by adding about 200 extra steps to the path, and we made it easier to walk by adding a third plank making it wider,” Mr. Vigneault said. “Now parents will be able to walk beside their children. We also added hand rails to sections where it is steep or the boardwalk is high off the ground.”The project was a huge success on a few different levels, Ms Stefanyk said.”It is something that (BC Parks) had been wanting and planning to do for a long time,” Ms Stefanyk said. “Huge accolades to the contractors and workers. They showed up during some insane weather conditions and coordinated an incredible amount of things to get the materials on and off the site with little to no environmental impact. BC Parks is extremely impressed with the project.”Mr. Vigneault said that he was pleased with BC Parks willingness to support local businesses and islanders.”We were happy to use local wood products and mills for the project as well as local labour, we had a great crew of seven people,” said Mr. Vigneault. “Not only that but about 50 percent of the wood used was salvaged; it was blow-down wood. We didn’t use pressure treated wood from off-island… so that was good.”Andrew Merilees, parks coordinator for the Old Massett Village Council, said the improvements to the trail will benefit not only visitors, but the community around it as the funds that were formerly used to maintain the site can now be allocated to other areas in need of maintenance and upkeep.”We are responsible for the maintenance, and now there will be a lot less for us to do which will allow us to replace things in other places,” he said.BC Parks is now seeking funding to complete the path to the Blow Hole and build a platform for optimal viewing of it from an appropriate location, Ms Stefanyk said.”We are still working on plans to extend the disabled access trail to a platform, and seeking funding for it, but still, this project was a very positive sign toward supporting facilities on Haida Gwaii,” she said. “We definitely have a vision to complete the project.”

Just Posted

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Haida artist Derek Edenshaw helps Rupert spruce up city

A giant kraken, painted by local artists under Edenshaw’s tutelage, is now on display

Haida Gwaii teacher denied paid bereavement travel leave

Arbitrator sides with B.C. Teachers Federation in dispute over funeral trip

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

Rainbow Yarnbombing takes over

Haida Gwaii Knitting Group surprise the islands

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read