RDN trails remain closed weeks after destructive December wind storms

By Spencer Sterritt
January 10, 2019 - 5:39pm

The Benson Creek Falls Regional Park (pictured) is completely inaccessible nearly a month after the first of several devastating wind storms rolled through the area.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

Regional District of Nanaimo crews will now work tirelessly to clear the remaining trails and have them open for tourists and nature enthusiasts.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

There's no estimated date the many trails will reopen.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Numerous parks and trails around the mid island area remain closed indefinitely.

Four trails throughout the Whiskey Creek and Arrowsmith regions, including the CPR Regional Trail from Cameron Lake, are still closed after debilitating late-December storms. The Benson Creek Falls Regional Park is also closed.

Wendy Marshall, manager of parks services with the Regional District of Nanaimo, said there's no estimated date when the trails will re-open.

“We've just finished assessing the parks. We now have to line up arborists and our crews to start clearing the parks and making them safe again. That's going to take some time.”

Near hurricane-level winds brought down trees all throughout the Regional District on Dec. 14, 20 and 21

Marshall said the December storms were some of the worst she's ever seen.

“Ten years ago we had quite a bit of damage in the Bowser area, but I haven't seen one that's hit multiple areas.”

Specialized arborists will now help cut down the numerous falling hazards barely hanging on in the treetops above trails.

Marshall said it's crucial people stay out of the closed areas and don't over-estimate their own safety.

“People might think they can climb over something on the ground but it's what's above and what's loose in the trees that we're worried about. If wind comes up when someone's in the park, it can loosen some of those trees and branches which are hung up. That's the dangerous situation.”

Full safety and emergency information can be found online at the RDN.


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