Visitors can now walk or cycle an additional 1.3 kilometres at Colony Farm Regional Park, thanks to a newly opened trail that follows the Coquitlam River. Sheep Paddocks Trail reconnects Pitt River Road with the Home Farm Dyke Trail and replaces the original, seasonal trail, which closed in 2007 due to flooding.
Trail construction started in 2017 and building through low-lying areas next to the Coquitlam River was challenging. During this project, Metro Vancouver worked with Kwikwetlem First Nation on aspects of planning, testing and archaeological monitoring.
Habitat enhancement was also part of the $4.8 million project and included:
- 2 hectares of new habitat, which will benefit many wetland species, including the endangered western painted turtle;
- a pond and 30,000 plants, as well as brush and rock piles for snakes and ground-dwelling birds; and
- engineered log jams along the river that will improve bank protection while providing cover for aquatic species and perching sites for birds.
Interpretative signs will likely be installed in 2021 and will explore topics like flooding and river fluctuations, wetland habitat enhancement, and human connections to the Coquitlam River throughout history.