Mayor Jack Froese and members of Back Country Horsemen of B.C.'s Aldergrove chapter celebrated the official opening of the latest link of the South Langley Regional Trail, Saturday morning. The multi-user group trail links Campbell Valley and Aldergrove regional parks.

Mayor Jack Froese and members of Back Country Horsemen of B.C.'s Aldergrove chapter celebrated the official opening of the latest link of the South Langley Regional Trail, Saturday morning. The multi-user group trail links Campbell Valley and Aldergrove regional parks.

Horsemen help complete South Langley Regional Trail

The new portion was officially opened in the 25800 block of 8 Avenue, just east of 256 Street, on March 14.

Horse riders, walkers, and cyclists are now able to travel from Campbell Valley Regional Park all the way through to Aldergrove Lake Park, thanks to the completion of the South Langley Regional Trail.

A “missing link” in the shared use trail has been completed by the Township of Langley with volunteer help from the Back Country Horsemen of BC’s (BCHBC) Aldergrove Chapter. Members of the club pledged their time, manpower, and machinery to help complete the trail.

The new portion was officially opened in the 25800 block of 8 Avenue, just east of 256 Street, on March 14.

“It is wonderful to have the South Langley Regional Trail completed,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “This is a beautiful area of our municipality and many people will get great enjoyment out of this trail. We are very grateful to the Back Country Horsemen for all they did to make this possible.”

“They were excellent partners and a great group to work with,” Township Parks design and development manager Al Neufeld said of the horsemen, who spent more than three years moving dirt, cutting brush, and clearing a pathway.

Many members of the Back Country Horsemen live in the area, and the BCHBC’s mission is to give equestrians a safe and social opportunity to learn about trail riding and the wilderness experience. The club also works with governments, businesses, and other recreational users to preserve and enhance public land for all trail users.

Prior to the new section’s completion, the South Langley Regional Trail started at Campbell Valley Regional Park at 216 Street and 4 Avenue. It continued east along 8 Avenue for about 11 kilometres before ending at 256 Street.

In 2011, the BCHBC’s Aldergrove Chapter approached Township Council and asked for the money to complete the project and connect the trail through to Aldergrove Regional Park at 272 Street. The Horsemen pledged to help reduce the cost of the project by providing volunteer labour and using their own machinery.

The Horsemen held work parties to clear the land and with a Horse Council of BC grant and the support of local businesses, secured loads of gravel and other material for the pathway. The Township built bridges strong enough to hold horses over two creeks, and created a switchback to allow access up a steep hill near 264 Street.

“Now that the hill and creeks have been conquered, trail users will be able to stay on the 8 Avenue alignment to get to Aldergrove Regional Park,” Neufeld said.

Riders and walkers currently connect east to the Park from 264 Street via the road shoulder, but future plans will see an independent trail created on the south side of 8 Avenue to provide a safer separation between the roadway and trail users.

Mayor Jack Froese with a donkey owned by South Langley Regional Trail neighbour and trail user Donna McDonald. -Kurt Langmann photo