The Village of Cumberland and the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) mountain biking association, in cooperation with the Department of Recreation & Tourism at Vancouver Island University (VIU), is conducting a survey to describe the characteristics and economic impact of trails users (both locals and visitors), and their opinions on trail management in Cumberland.
“We know how important trails are to the Village – both from a quality of life and economic impact perspective”, said Mayor Leslie Baird.
“As the Village embarks down our own path in economic development, we want to make sure that trail users are given an opportunity to provide their input to help shape future trail development and tourism related initiatives.”
Getting tangible data on trail system visitation is something that will provide value to not only the Village, but also to the United Riders of Cumberland as they work in their role as trail managers.
“This is an exciting initiative for Cumberland,” said UROC director Evan Loveless. “Cumberland’s trail system is a key Village amenity. The results of the survey will be used by UROC to support the further development and management of the trail network in the Cumberland area”.
For approximately two months, survey ballot stations will be hosted at local Cumberland businesses and other key locations where people fill out their name and email address on a paper ballot. An email invitation to the survey is then sent to each ballot entry so that trail users can complete the survey at their own convenience. Trail users can also access the survey at www.cumberlandtrailssurvey.com.
All survey participants will be entered in a draw to win a uniquely Cumberland experience prize package worth over $450 including accommodation, guided mountain bike tour, bike rental, bike service, meals and drinks.
“We are encouraging all trail users to participate in the survey so we can create a good baseline of information,” said Loveless. “We especially want to hear from people throughout the Comox Valley Regional District who are visiting Cumberland and using the trail system.”
This project is being assisted by Dr. Pete Parker, a Professor in VIU’s Department of Recreation and Tourism with a research focus on sustainable tourism development. Dr. Parker will compile the results into a published summary report for the Cumberland Community.
“The community of Cumberland demonstrates tremendous social cohesion with high levels of involvement and recreational interest. The innovative formalized private land access agreements for trail-based recreation will only improve Cumberland’s attractiveness.
“Results of this project will also be directly comparable to other trail destinations, both within B.C. and beyond,” Parker added.