Teapot Hill Trail access to be improved with parking lot upgrade at Watt Creek. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Teapot Hill Trail access to be improved with parking lot upgrade at Watt Creek. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Upgrade in Cultus Lake Provincial Park aimed at relieving parking pressure

Less known Watt Creek parking lot to see expansion to improve access to Teapot Hill Trail

An upgrade to a parking lot in Cultus Lake Provincial Park is on the way to improve access to Teapot Hill.

Teapot Hill trail is a popular recreational trail in the park, accessed from either the Teapot Hill parking lot, or from the lesser known Watt Creek parking lot, just down the road.

Local MLAs say they expect the upgrade to make it more enjoyable for folks to access the trail, and find parking.

“Cultus Lake is one of the best spots this area has to offer,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent.

At a time when outdoor recreation is more popular than ever, BC Parks is looking to increase the available parking by improving and re-configuring the Watt Creek parking lot, which is an “underutilized parking lot” in the provincial park near Chilliwack.

By upgrading the parking at Watt Creek and redirecting vehicles to access the Teapot from the Watt Creek trailhead, the goal is to increase parking spaces and relieve some of the parking pressures on Columbia Valley Highway and at the existing Teapot Hill trailhead.

The planning by BC Parks on this project is part of $21.5 million in funding over the next three years for new campsites, trails and upgrades to facilities at several parks.

“Over the past few years, being able to get outside and enjoy parks and recreation sites has been essential for many British Columbians’ mental and physical health,” said Dan Coulter, MLA for Chilliwack. “That’s why it is now more important than ever to invest in projects like these that improve access and make B.C. parks as accessible and welcoming as possible.”

The $21.5 million investment is part of a larger $83 million budget increase to BC Parks, which will strengthen management of the park system. In addition to the project at Cultus Lake, new funding is also being invested in all regions of the province to acquire new land, add more campsites and improve high-use trails. BC Parks will be developing a plan for the improvements in collaboration with First Nations and stakeholder input.

RELATED: Teapots disappearing from Teapot Hill? Mystery uncovered

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jfeinberg@theprogress.com


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