Town staff have worked to clear debris from the December windstorm. (Town of Ladysmith photo)

Ladysmith’s battered trail system mostly repaired

Geotechnical assessment still needed for collapsed Holand Creek Trail bank

Mike Youds Special to the Chronicle

This week’s snow may have put a damper on hiking, but Ladysmith’s popular trail network is mostly open again after Mother Nature had knocked it out of commission for more than a month.

That said, town staff say it will take more time before they can complete extensive cleanup and repairs necessary to bring it completely back on line.

The Holland Creek, Stocking Lake and Heart Lake trails were hit hard by the intense windstorm that swept across southern Vancouver Island on Dec. 20, toppling trees, blocking roads and knocking out power to more than 750,000 homes across southeastern BC.

Many parks in the region had to be closed until crews were able to clear debris. Holland Creek was no exception with hundreds of trees down and a portion of trail’s high-use section washed out. Roughly 300 trees fell across the popular trail network.

“In the month following the storm, town staff have responded above and beyond their regular day-to-day duties to ensure our trail system could be reopened as quickly as possible while also ensuring public safety,” said Guillermo Ferrero, city manager.

Certified tree fallers had to be contracted by the town to assess potential dangers and hazards, both on the ground as well as hang ups higher in the tree canopy, Ferrero said.

Closed for more than a month, the Heart Lake Trail was reopened Jan. 24 after town staff removed 115 trees brought down by wind. The steep section of the trail and the route that goes east are now clear. Workers were unable to finish clearing the trail on the west side of the loop due to high water levels. For the time being, the public is urged to avoid that route.

Staff then shifted their efforts to the Stocking Lake trail, where about 130 trees were down on that trail, making it unsafe. That trail was reopened last Wednesday.

A section of the Holland Creek trail between the RCMP building and the pedestrian bridge remains closed until further notice, partly due to damage but also to accommodate construction of the water filtration plant.

“A geotechnical report on the washed-out slope of the Holland trail behind the public works yard is being completed and will hopefully provide us with all the information we need to repair and restore that section,” Ferrero said.

The public is asked to obey all signs along the trails.

With much work still to be done, there was no cost estimate available for the cleanup efforts.


The trail to Heart Lake was reopened earlier this month. (Mike Youds photo)

Just Posted

Ladysmith author explores community as The Moon Watched It All

Shelley A. Leedahl releasing her latest work, an illustrated tale for all ages

What do you want to see done with Ladysmith’s old train station?

Island Corridor Foundation meets with community to discuss the future of the Railway Station

Easter Fun Day

Kids fill their baskets with treats Saturday at Fuller Lake Park

Mad scramble for Easter treats

Crofton Easter Egg Hunt brings out hordes of kids and massive bunny chases

Mandatory spaying and neutering looms for outdoor Chemainus cats

North Cowichan considers bylaw to control stray and feral cat issues

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read