After slowly opening trails following a devastating wildfire in October 2022, Metro Vancouver parks officials are ready to re-open the last trail hardest hit by the blaze.
As of noon today (March 16), High Knoll trail — where the human-caused fire reportedly started — will be open to hikers.
Officials say the forest is resilient and will recover naturally, but $14,000 has been raised to support restoration efforts.
Once the park is fully reopened, Metro Vancouver will work closely with the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Foundation and the Minnekhada Park Association to restore select areas where fire suppression efforts were focused.
Meanwhile, visitors to the park will notice more uniformed park staff, rangers and interpretive staff, who will be at the park seven days a week to educate the public and monitor the park.
The number of staff on site will vary; however, visitors will be reminded that smoking is strictly prohibited and to stay on designated trails as there is an increased risk of hazards in off-trail areas due to wildfire damage.
The park's closure happened after reports of a fire in the High Knoll area of the park on Oct. 1; it grew to 14 hectares in size before crews could get it under control. Extremely dry conditions and steep terrain added to the challenges.
Among the firefighters that responded to the wildfire were crews from BC Wildfire Service, Metro Vancouver and the Coquitlam Fire Department.
Since the end of October, the park has slowly re-opened, with trails being made available to the public including including Addington and Low Knoll Lookouts.
But the High Knoll, High Knoll Lookout and North Trail remained closed while crews removed hazard trees and conducted environmental and safety assessments, Metro Vancouver stated in a press release.
High Knoll, High Knoll Lookout and North Trail will open today.
A map of the park is available on Metro Vancouver's website.
Know before you go
Work by the City of Coquitlam to complete sewer system improvements, environmental enhancements and transportation upgrades may affect traffic to the park.
Although Victoria Drive and Cedar Drive are primarily affected, visitors heading to the park should expect to encounter detours, delays and significant increases in construction, the Minnekhada Park website states.
Work is expected to be ongoing until late 2023.
Updates can be found at Cedar Creek Upgrade Project. For more information, email the Cedar Drive Project team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-927-3515.
Additionally, filming has been ongoing at Minnekhada Park Lodge, which could affect access. Still, filming is weather-dependent so closures will be intermittent until spring 2023.
During filming closures, visitors will not be able to access the lodge or the areas around it (see map).