Englewood Rail Trail (proposed)

New logoWestern Forest Products (WFP) permanently ceased rail operations on the Englewood Logging Railway between Woss and Beaver Cove in November, 2017.  However, several bridges/trestles and sections of the rail grade are still used and will continue to be used by logging trucks and other vehicular traffic.

VITA has initiated discussions with WFP to use much the rail grade (about 50 km) for the Vancouver Island Trail, following the ‘rail trail’ concept used elsewhere in B.C.  In comparison with the route along the Bonanza Range, such a lower elevation ‘rail trail’ would have a wider range of trail users and a longer season of use.

In 2018, WFP sought public input to elicit various means of recognizing and preserving the history of the railway.  Results are presented in  a final summary report entitled “The Englewood Train Legacy” – see http://www.englewoodtrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/WFP-Englewood-Engagement-Summary-FINAL.pdf   This consultation revealed substantial support for a trail along the old rail grade.   There appears to be potential for support from WFP providing their operational needs are accommodated.  However, WFP recognizes that the grade passes through the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation and is not prepared to support trail development unless or until ‘Namgis support is forthcoming.

WFP removed the railway tracks and other infrastructure and undertook other remedial work in 2020-2021.  Now this work is finished, it is feasible to walk/hike much of the grade, however keep in mind that sections of the grade are used by logging trucks, as are a number of trestle bridges over several major creeks.  However, the official opening of this proposed rail trail is contingent on support from both the ‘Namgis First Nation and WFP.

If you do hike some of the old grade, hikers should leave it and follow Branch NO-2100 which starts near to the junction of the rail grade and Nimpkish Main.  Between NO-2100 and the KP-2000 road system that takes you to Highway 19 is a 300-metre section of second-growth forest that leads onto 450 metres of a well-revegetated grade that intersects KP-2210.  KP-2210 and KP-2000 that lead to the highway are mostly open through rocky limestone terrain apart from patches of red alder in wetter areas.

Directly across the highway, an old (brushy in places) road leads towards the Nimpkish River bridge where the river flows out of the Lake.

Here is a gpx file from the Railway to Kilpala Main (near Nimpkish R Bridge)  (Revised July, 2021)