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Photos: Get your runners on. Phase 1 of the 'PoCo Climb' opens

On July 10, the City of Port Coquitlam unveiled the name of its new 6.5-km loop trail in the Mary Hill neighbourhood: the PoCo Climb.

North Vancouver has the Grouse Grind.

Coquitlam has the Crunch.

Now, the City of Port Coquitlam is out with the PoCo Climb, of which the first phase of the 6.5-km loop hike officially opened today, July 10.

Mayor Brad West, Coun. Nancy McCurrach and former city councillor Mike Forrest, a Freedom of the City recipient, were the first three up the hill after council unveiled the name and cut a ribbon at the base of the 150 timber-crib stairs on Shaughnessy Street.

West told the crowd gathered that the municipality fielded more than 1,600 suggestions from the public about the new trail name in the Mary Hill neighbourhood — some of which were funny; others he had to scratch his head about their proposed moniker.

West singled out city staff, including Joshua Frederick, PoCo’s director of engineering and public works; parks supervisor Mike Por; and parks manager Mitchell Guest, for designing and building the PoCo Climb.

And he noted the support from Ride BC as well as PoCo Building Supplies, which supplied the materials for the stairs.

Frederick told the Tri-City News that work on the second phase of the PoCo Climb will start in the next month and wrap up by the fall. It will include a rock scramble like the one at Breakneck Ridge in New York, one of the most popular hikes in the Hudson Valley, to challenge hikers.

As well, he said, the city is in negotiations with School District 43 to formalize a trail around the Hazel Trembath Elementary and Citadel Middle campuses for the PoCo Climb.

And a crosswalk on Shaughnessy will be installed with flashing beacons (parking will be near the trailheads along Shaughnessy; by Skyline, Castle and Settlers parks; and on Argue Street).

“Once the loop is done it’s going to create a lot of attention,” Frederick said. “We expect people will come out and enjoy the many aspects of the trail for recreation and birdwatching, among other things.”

Frederick said the first phase of the $400,000 PoCo Climb came in under budget and on time.

The route largely follows existing routes:

  • passing through ƛ̓éxətəm (tla-hut-um) Regional Park, formerly known as Colony Farm Regional Park, on the eastern side of the Coquitlam River
  • crossing Shaughnessy Street to a new set of timber-crib stairs — a 30 m elevation gain over 150 m
  • climbing up to Skyline Park on Eastern Drive, where there’s an off-leash dog park
  • circling Hazel Trembath Elementary and Citadel Middle
  • following Citadel Drive to Castle Crescent and Castle Park
  • walking over the Mary Hill Bypass pedestrian crossing to Argue Street
  • connecting with the Traboulay PoCo Trail back to ƛ̓éxətəm, crossing at the bypass and Shaughnessy Street

📣 SOUND OFF: What do you think of the PoCo Climb name? Send us your comments for online publication via [email protected].