This page was last reviewed on January 9, 2023.
Welcome to the Cumberland Trail Network!
The Cumberland Trail Network is an extensive non-motorized, multi-use trail network shared by mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners of diverse ages and abilities.
This network includes the Cumberland Community Forest Park and Cumberland Watershed Lands where trails are managed by the Village of Cumberland, and private managed forest lands where trails are managed by United Riders of Cumberland through a land access (licence) agreement with forestry companies. The majority of the network is on private forest lands.
The entire network is in the territory of the Pentlatch and K’ómoks people, known collectively as the K’ómoks First Nation.
While most of the trails in the network have been built by the mountain bike community, they are intended for all trail users to enjoy. Mountain bikes, hikers, runners, dogs, children, and elders should be expected throughout the network. Users should be alert and prepared to share the trail at all times, paying special attention on slopes and around jumps and other technical features.
The trails closest to the Village are part of the Cumberland Community Forest Park and the Community Interface Zone. The Park was gifted to the Village by the community for ecological protection and low impact recreation and these multi-use trails receive the highest volume and diversity of trail users. The majority of the trails in the Park are designated multi-use, where all users should be prepared to yield; meanwhile specific trails are described as Gravity Trails (yield to mountain bike traffic) and Nature Trails (best enjoyed on foot).
Users are asked to pay attention to signage at trail head kiosks and throughout the network in order to be prepared for trail difficulty, busy trail intersections and road crossings, and special trail descriptions, and other important information about the network.
For everyone to be able to enjoy the Cumberland trails safely, all users are asked to familiarize themselves with the Cumberland Trail Network Etiquette and Code of Conduct.
The Cumberland Trail Network is also the base for several mountain biking, trail running and multi sport adventure races, and other special events. Be sure to monitor social media and keep your eyes out for trailhead signage regarding special events.
The History of the Network
The Cumberland Trail Network is made up of active and inactive resource roads and historic trails that have developed informally over decades o
n land adjacent to the Village of Cumberland.
The evolution of these trails reflects the evolution of the community.
Early settler roads and trails were used for mineral prospecting, mining, and logging and for access to hunting, foraging, and fishing areas. Generations of dirt bikers and ATV users accessed higher elevations through old resource roads. Cumberland’s municipal waterworks and watershed lands are also accessed through this area.
In the early 1990s a small pioneering community of mountain bikers started building a new style of trails in the private timber lands adjacent to the Village. These unsanctioned trails created new opportunities for the community to access the forest adjacent to the Village, on wheels and on foot, and helped to inspire the creation of both the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS).
The Cumberland Community Forest Park
The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) formed in 2000 by residents concerned about imminent logging plans next to the community and its impact on both the trail system and natural features. In 2004 and 2005 the CCFS provided the funds to the Village to purchase 72 hectares which formed the original Cumberland Community Forest. In 2016 the CCFS provided funds to purchase an additional 36 hectares known as “Space Nugget”, and in 2020 a further 91 hectares known as “Project Perseverance” was acquired under the same CCFS-Village partnership model.
These lands are all protected by conservation covenants that ensure they are managed for ecological protection, watershed protection and low impact recreation. The CCFS continues to acquire lands for the community, engage in parks planning activities, and manage stewardship projects in the forests and wetlands surrounding Cumberland.
Find out more about the Cumberland Community Forest Society.
Village Watershed Lands
Cumberland’s drinking water comes from five lakes located in the Cumberland Creek and Perseverance Creek sub-watersheds. These lands were purchased by the Village of Cumberland from timber companies for the purpose of drinking water protection. There are multi-use trails inside the Village Watershed lands but visitors are asked to help protect the quality of our drinking water by not not swimming (humans or pets) in the lakes.
Access Agreement (Working Forest) Lands
In 2015, the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), the Village of Cumberland and private landowners entered into an Access (License) Agreement which formalized non-motorized access to, and the ability to build an expanding network of trails on private timber lands outside of the park. This agreement was the result of a decade of hard work by UROC and the landowners and embodies the positive working relationship that has developed to facilitate recreation in a working forest. This agreement requires UROC to hold and maintain a comprehensive general liability insurance policy and grants the right and responsibility to construct and maintain trails within the agreement area.
Find out more about the United Riders of Cumberland.
Cumberland Community Forest Park Interim Trail Management Strategy
In response to significant recent growth in trail use, the Village adopted the Cumberland Community Forest Park Interim Trail Management Strategy in early summer 2021. The purpose of the Strategy is to respond to current trail management issues in the municipal park, and to build understanding about trails in the Park and adjacent trail network.
The Strategy has been endorsed by the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) to ensure consistency with the objectives of the CCFS in their role as community covenant holder, and by the Comox Valley Land Trust in their role as Covenant Holder. Additionally, the Strategy has been referred to the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) for input and coordination of trail management policy for trails in the network managed by UROC.
The Village is now moving to implement the Strategy over the next 1-2 years. Key projects and actions include:
- Trail designations: while all trails within the park are non-exclusive, multi use trails, select trails will be signed as Nature Trails and Gravity Trails. These new descriptions are intended to address safety concerns and enhance the park experience for all. New signage reflecting these descriptions will be installed beginning later summer 2021.
- Trails to be signed as Nature Trails (best enjoyed on foot) are: Mama Bear, Swamp Trail, Tied Knot, Big Log and Perseverance Loop.
- Trails to be signed as Gravity Trails (yield to mountain bike traffic) are: Orange Peels, Knuckers, DCDH, Found Link, and Lost and Found.
- All other trails in the park shall remain multi use trails shared by cyclists and foot traffic. Who yields to who is not exclusive to one user group. Please see trail etiquette for more information.
- Trail projects: priority projects will focus on aligning trail design with the new trail descriptions, and will start with projects on Tied Knot and Big Log beginning summer 2021.
- Implement a trail etiquette campaign, in partnership with UROC and the CCFS.
- Additional signage and communications: install park boundary signage, trail network kiosk signage updates, and external communication content review.
View the Trail Management Strategy.
The Village wishes to acknowledge and thank representatives from each of the CCFS, UROC, and CVLT for their time and commitment to the Strategy development process
Leaving Space for Nature
From coho salmon and cutthroat trout, to cougars and Columbian black-tailed deer, the forests of the Cumberland Trail Network provide habitat for an immense number of animals. The area is home to species at risk including the Little Brown bat and the Northern Red Legged frog. Each summer the Western toad migration sends thousands of tiny toadlets from lakes and wetlands across roads and trails into the upland forests. Please leave space for nature when you’re exploring the trails. Keep pets under control and learn how to manage wildlife encounters with WildsafeBC.
Recreating in a Watershed
The Cumberland Trail Network is located in the drinking water supply area for both the Village of Cumberland and most of the the wider Comox Valley regional District through Perseverance Creek which feeds the Comox Lake Watershed. High quality drinking water is produced by healthy functioning ecosystems. Protecting drinking water at the source helps to ensure sustainable and safe drinking water resources for the future. Please stay clear of creeks and lakes in the Cumberland Trail Network, stay on established roads and trails, and leave no trace.Search again