The battle lines are being drawn for the Crystal Falls hiking trail.
One of the five owners of the properties — in which the popular path along the Coquitlam River passes — posted signs this week in an attempt to block public access.
In response, the city also installed notices to warn hikers before they set off on their journey to the waterfalls.
The trail, which starts on municipal property and ends on Crown land, passes through three privately held sections.
“At this time, the property owners have erected ‘No Trespassing’ signs and are asking users to respect this request,” a city press release, issued Tuesday, states.
The topic of the trail ownership cropped up last month when residents living close to the trailhead told city council about the daily congestion around their homes.
Last year, during the pandemic, when people were encouraged to get outdoors, the neighbourhood — at the top of Shaughnessy Street and Karley Crescent — saw about 250 hikers an hour, each day on peak days.
The delegation warned council about safety on their streets and on the overcrowded trail, which they pointed out could pose liability problems for the property owners.
In a statement to the Tri-City News last month, Don Luymes, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, said city staff are working to find a long-term solution for public access.
In the meantime, the municipality is encouraging hikers to seek out city-sanctioned routes by visiting coquitlam.ca/636/Trail-System.