Tahsis and Zeballos are among the smallest communities in the Island Coastal region.
While the Villages of Tahsis and Zeballos have experienced declines in traditional industries such as forestry and mining, miles of deactivated logging road presented an opportunity to diversify the local economy. In partnership with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Ehattesaht/Chinehkint First Nation, and with support from ICET, the working group undertook the technical and business planning rquired to transform the road network into a new recreation corridor for ATV and off-road motorists.
The Community Unity Trail will establish a recreation trail between the communities of Tahsis and Zeballos, suitable for all-terrain vehicles, off-road motorcycles, as well as hikers and mountain bikers. Phase One of the project will repurpose an 11km section of the trail from Tahsis to the headwaters of the little Zeballos River, featuring Interpretive signage that will tell the story of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht and Ehattesaht/Chinehkint First Nations and their territory.
The first phase of the trail will stimulate the Nootka Region tourism economy with new outdoor recreation opportunities, creating demand for hospitality and other services in gateway communities. Upon completion of the full 25-km trail, the Community Unity Trail will establish a critical link between the remote communities of Tahsis and Zeballos, with potential to integrate with an extensive network of ATV trails on the North Island. Access to the motorized recreation market is anticipated to extend tourism into the shoulder season, providing incentives for small businesses to add services, products and extend their hours. Construction is pending a formal recreation trail designation, currently under evaluation, and is anticipated to be complete in 2021.