On September 14th 1998, Council approved the Prince George City Wide Trail System Master Plan. The Plan was developed as a comprehensive planning document for the design and implementation of a City Wide Trail System. The Plan was prompted by the results of the PERC Leisure Needs Study (April 1997), which identified trails at the top of the list of leisure space use with over 700,000 visits per year. Responses to this study also indicated that over 67% of households in Prince George use trails and walkways, which is consistent with national trends towards trail use and popularity.
The planning process was complimented by the establishment of the client group consisting of representatives from City Departments, along with a focus group made up of representatives of various trail user groups. Regional representatives from the Ministry of Forests, Crown Lands, B.C. Parks, and the Fraser Fort George Regional District were also consulted. Finally, a public meeting was held to present the preliminary plan to the community where general support was received for the plan from all groups.
A copy of the City Wide Trail System Master Plan is included below.
In December of 2004, a Trails Open House was held to gather input from the public in relation to their priorities for trail development. Information on the Prince George City Wide Trail System Master Plan was presented and discussed.
A trails survey was provided at the Open House, and was later made available through the city's website. The survey identified common trail use patterns, trail preferences, management issues and priorities for development or upgrades. A total of 147 surveys were completed and a summary of the survey findings are as follows:
- The preferred trail standard is the “Local Trail” standard (2.0 metre wide granular).
- The majority of respondents (98%) would support an initially lower trail standard, if plans were in place to upgrade them later.
- Preferred trail activities include walking and jogging (75%), dog walking, hiking and nature appreciation.
- The most important functions of a trail system include recreational opportunities (96%), increased green space (84%), and natural resource preservation (83%).
- A large majority (72%) of respondents would support an increase in taxes, if necessary, to support additional trail development.
- Priorities for trail development include the completion of trail loops (84%), more Greenways (84%), extension of existing trails (82%), new trail developments (77%) and more Rustic Trails (77%).
On August 8th 2005, Council received a report and presentation on trails to help guide the City of Prince George towards trail development in our community.
Copies of the trail survey summary, report and presentation to Council are included below.