The BC Marine Trails has teamed up with the Jericho Sailing Centre to make the non-profit centre custodians of the eastern Salish Sea Marine Trail trailhead and to direct and assist marine trail users when needed.
The new trailhead location also allows the Salish Sea Marine Trail to start, or end if you prefer, in Vancouver. The 257-km trail (now 294-km) was originally to have the trailhead located in Horseshoe Bay to connect to the Sea to Sky Marine Trail trailhead.
The affiliation with the Jericho Sailing Centre allows marine trail users to make use of the sailing centre facilities, including showers.
"It's an exciting evolution for the Salish Sea Marine Trail," says BCMTNA president Paul Grey. "It's a way to bring the trail to life and give it an element of vitality not otherwise possible if the trail began or ended at, for instance, an isolated beach somewhere."
It also avoids the trail having to rely on Horseshoe Bay as the trailhead as originally planned. That is an increasingly congested area with a ferry terminal, marinas, water taxis and a new major waterfront development, all of which have placed pressure on the small waterfront park to host two major Trans Canada Trail marine routes.
"It's to the credit of the Jericho Sailing Centre to wish to be a part of this initative, and we credit the board and management with sharing our enthusiasm for this project," Grey says. "We look forward to them helping us build, maintain and improve this great new resource for British Columbia."
The use of the sailing centre as a Salish Sea Marine Trail launch location is meant primarily for those completing the entire marine trail from end to end, as it necessitates a crossing of Burrard Inlet, a busy shipping area. For those wishing to visit just portions of the trail, the BCMTNA is working with the 16 municipalities along the marine trail route to designate official Salish Sea Marine Trail launch locationsm thereby allowing access to the various spectacular regions along the length of the route. In addition, the BCMTNA will pinpoint designated alternative launch sites that can also be used to launch paddlecraft. The end result will be a network of launch locations to strategically visit portions of the trail as day trips, overnight trips or longer explorations.