Are You Concerned about Blocked Trails/Roads Historically Used by the Public???

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This is happening right now at Boat Harbour!

Are you a hiker, mountain biker, equestrian, runner, etc., who has experienced the alarming trend of finding yourself blocked out of trail and road systems historically travelled to access the waterfront and other public areas in British Columbia?   In Cedar (South Nanaimo), BC many user groups are experiencing blocked access to roads and trails in the Boat Harbour area.   Quite recently, the new landowner blocked access to the 1909 rail bed continuing from Hemer Park to the 1909 Boat Harbour port site and branch roads and trails. Check out some of our maps at  Sections of Hemer Park are no longer accessible by land, and have also been effectively appropriated to private use.   These blocked roads and trails contain crucial segments of the Morden Colliery trail network - an advertised tourist attraction and a focal point of the historic coal industry within close proximity to ferry and air services. 

Even if these roads and trails are not gazetted exceptions to land title, there is much evidence as to their continuous and extensive public use for over 100 years that emphasizes their character as public common law highways.  Residents who have lived in the area for over 75 years testify to their use by equestrians, wagons, cyclists, walkers and motor vehicles to reach Hemer and other properties, the Boat Harbour waterfront and other neighbourhoods.   The roads and trails were used by commuters to reach work sites at Boat Harbour prior to 1908 and through the 1940’s.  There is also evidence that these roads and trails were actively dedicated to the public by previous landowners and that this dedication was accepted by others such as the initiators of the 1990 development proposals.  (Lands on either side of these roads and trails remain private.)

Petition – your support is essential

The obstruction, in BC, of public travelled roads and trails and other places must stop.   Outdoor lifestyles and activities are demanded and must be vigorously defended.   Populations in our communities are increasing and so are initiatives to attract tourists and more residents who expect to experience our natural environment through riding, hiking and other recreational activities.  Accessible public space must increase, not decrease, to meet these demands.  We NEED these roads and trails.

Significant stakeholders such as the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), City of Nanaimo and the Province of BC must prioritize public access on those roads and trails and other public areas starting with removal of the access obstructions to the Boat Harbour roads and trails.   It is imperative to establish a precedent for other cases like the Cable Bay trails continuing to Dodds Narrows and Joan Point Park, and other waterfront access.

RDN strategy requires developers to dedicate green space to the public in developments with certain parameters.  We can’t rely on this for access to the Boat Harbour and similar roads and trails, as we don’t know if or when development will occur or if it will meet the requisites of green space dedication.

Your support is needed to convince public stakeholders such as the RDN, City of Nanaimo, Province of BC and others to take action to enforce public access rights.    No action or delayed action is not an option.         

 For more information contact Cedar Trail Stewards at or go to