The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District spearheaded a project to construct the Alberni Inlet Trail, a 30 kilometre hiking trail down the Alberni Inlet from the City of Port Alberni to Headquarters Bay. The trail will ultimately link up with the Runners Trail and be part of an integrated Vancouver Island-wide trail network. Due to the unanticipated deactivation of a forestry logging bridge, a new bridge was required to connect two of the trail’s sections, over a steep and dangerous ravine.
The China Creek Bridge is a pedestrian bridge with a major span of 13.5 metres over the main stem of the creek and a lower secondary 6 metre bridge crossing an adjoining back channel. The project included site preparation, danger tree removal, installation of footings, and installation of the two aluminium bridge structures, linking the two trail ends as well as an attractive kiosk with trail information and maps.
In its construction phase, a visitor counter logged an increase in hikers on the Alberni Inlet Trail, with visitors’ eagerly taking advantage of the new route to explore. A connector trail to an adjacent campsite and boat launch unifies the site’s recreational experience allowing campers the ability to fish and explore the upper reaches of China Creek. One of the most scenic trails on Vancouver Island, the Alberni Inlet Trail provides a year-round back country experience along the historic Canadian Pacific Railway route.