Work by volunteers and Township staff is underway to extend the South Langley Regional Trail.
The goal is to extend the popular trail from Campbell Valley Park to Aldergrove Regional Park.
The Back Country Horsemen of BC, Aldergrove chapter, has been busy laying gravel on the first portion of the trail during the past month.
Langley resident Peter Thiessen, vice-chair of the Aldergrove chapter of the Back Country Horsemen and an RCMP sergeant, said volunteers in large numbers have spent hours working on the trail already. It’s an enthusiastic bunch, he said.
Thiessen is part of the province-wide Back Country Horsemen, a non-profit organization with more than 750 members. In a delegation to Township council last year, he said horse riders aren’t the only ones enjoying the South Langley Regional Trail.
Hikers, cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and others share the route with trail riders and many are interested in the stewardship of the area and in preserving and enhancing the use of public lands for everyone, Thiessen said.
At the time, Thiessen requested funds be made available in 2012 to complete the unfinished trail, which currently ends at 256 Street and 8 Avenue.
The project was approved by a previous council and has been on the Township of Langley’s ‘to-do’ list for many years.
Built in 1995, the improvements to the trail — meant to follow off-road sections of land that use right-of-ways and easements — will cost around $500,000.
Council approved $225,000 towards work on the trail this year, confirmed Township parks manager Al Neufeld. Staff will request further funding next year to deal with installing a user-activated light at 264 Street, he said.
“We also have some creek crossings we have to deal with and this year we have some work on off-road sections and challenges with topography,” said Neufeld.
But if all goes well, the trail should be complete in a couple yof ears.
“We are really pleased to be working with the Back Country Horsemen and that they are willing to volunteer all this work.”
The Horsemen applied for a grant and received it to purchase some of the gravel. The Township is providing the rest.
The trail runs from 4 Avenue at 216 Street to 0 Avenue at 256 Street.
Many riders park their horse trailers at Campbell Valley Park.