New fences and signage have made the designated paths on Mount Tzouhalem more clear for hikers. (submitted)

Signage, improvements untangle trails on Mount Tzouhalem in Cowichan Valley

Aimed to improve visitor experience and protect habitat

Hikers who make the trek to the cross on Mount Tzouhalem this spring will notice some changes on this popular hiking trail.

Split-rail fences and more distinct pathways have been established, particularly nearest to the cliffs and the iconic cross at the top. Directional signage will also soon be installed throughout the trail network.

These upgrades are intended to make it easier to find your way around the mountain while also protecting the sensitive forest environment, especially on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Chase Woods Nature Reserve land.

RELATED STORY: NEW SIGNS AND MORE AIM TO MAKE SENSE OF NORTH COWICHAN’S TRAILS

“This mountain is important on so many levels; recreationally, culturally and ecologically,” said Hillary Page, B.C.’s director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“We are committed to supporting a balanced approach in managing the lands so that all of these values are respected and can flourish.”

The need for trail upgrades on Mount Tzouhalem was identified by the four organizations that own and manage the lands that the trails traverse.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada worked with the Municipality of North Cowichan, BC Parks and Providence Farm on this improvement project.

“The cross that so many of us know and love is located on the Chase Woods Nature Reserve,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“North Cowichan is proud to be a partner with all four nearby landowners in developing a single and coherent signage plan and protecting trail users and the environment.”

Mount Tzouhalem is used by tens of thousands of hikers and mountain bikers every year, with an estimated 80,000 visitors using the trails annually in 2017 and 2018.

RELATED STORY: MOUNT TZOUHALEM GOES LIVE AROUND THE WORLD WITH GOOGLE TREKKER

A growing number of trails, some planned and some created spontaneously by visitors, had created a maze of pathways that can be challenging to navigate.

Some trails led directly through sensitive habitats and were eroding and damaging native plants.

This was a growing concern for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, whose mandate is to steward and enhance the native wildlife and plant communities on its conservation lands.

The NCC hopes that visitors will respect the trail system by staying on designated trails and keeping dogs on leash, leaving sensitive forest areas unharmed.

Just Posted

Coroner’s report confirms suicide in Kilmer case

2018 disappearance sparked massive search

Province to pay for Lake Cowichan youngster’s medical treatment

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

Drivesmart column: Headlights and aftermarket fraudulent compliance markings

The “LED bulbs” now flooding the market are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product.

North Cowichan councillor wants more regional control of B.C.’s forests

North Cowichan councillor wants recommendation sent to UBCM

Graduating Cowichan Secondary School student gets $5,000 towards new car

Jared Lammi attended more than 80 per cent of classes this year

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read