Champney’s Trail gets expansion and over haul

Fox Island trail joins provincial system

Kevin Curley kevin.curley@thepacket.ca
Published on October 5, 2016

The Bonavista Peninsula has been called a hikers’ paradise.

With breathtaking scenery, caves and wildlife and, depending on the season, icebergs, the area is a popular destination for those who like to explore the outdoors.

Martin Hiscock of the Champney’s West development is excited about recent improvements that will make the Fox Island Trail as worthy a trail as any other.

The trail has been expanded from 2.7 km to 5.3 km to go right around the peninsula of Champney’s West.

With the upgrades, the trail is now part of the provincial trail system along with famous local trails like the Skerwink in Port Rexton and Trinity’s Gun Hill.

“So we’re all at the same standard now. We’ve got our kiosk and we’ve got our trail marked completely on it. We’re at the same as those trails in the provincial system,” Hiscock told The Packet.

A team led by John Vivian put a lot of work into building the kiosk, developing the parking lot at the mouth of the trail and marking the trail.

There is still some work to done in the way of getting material to mark the map showing the entirety of the trail, Hiscock says.

“We crossed part of some private land and we got permission from this person to cross it. They (community members) were working at it all summer to cut the trail,” says Hiscock.

Hiscock admits with a laugh that the trail had been long overshadowed by the famed Skerwink Trail in Port Rexton, which had been named one of the best 35 walks in Europe and North America.

However, Hiscock says this trail will make for a nice option for those looking to try something different.

“They’ve got the publicity but now we’ve got the trail. The scenery is good in the sense that we have lots of different variations.

“We’re up on the high cliffs looking at the coastline and we get down to the beaches and can actually walk on the beaches, which is added to what Skerwink has,” says Hiscock.

This will allow hikers to stop and collect items from the beach. The trail also cuts through the community of Champney’s West, which means tourists can see the town.

Hiscock says the next phase is to get the trail to lead to the top of Fox Island.

This goal is doable, but difficult. The plan is to install a ladder, or stairs, on the side of the island.

The group is awaiting engineering plans before starting on that phase of the trail development.