In 2015, Manuels River engaged the services of local firm, Tract Consulting , leaders in land use planning and landscape architecture, to undertake the development of a Trail Master Plan. The Plan defines and guides upgrading, expansion and maintenance of the trail system for a 10-year period (2016-2025). Phase One of the Trail Master Plan began in Fall 2016 and will finish in Spring 2018. Phase two will begin in 2018 and will include the upgrading and expansion of Ocean Trail East and Ocean Trail West.
The trail system at Manuels River is currently 4.5 kilometers long and extends both upstream and downstream along the river. The Trail Master Plan will upgrade the current trails to improve safety and accessibility for everyone. In addition to the upgrades the Trail Master Plan will also extend the trails by 2.5 kilometers and will introduce trail looping. The Manuels River trail system provides users with an intimate experience of the river and valley in a way that both enriches users and protects the varied character of the natural landscape. Trials traverse exposed geologic and paleontological features as well as varied ecological environments such as boreal forest and riparian zone. The proposed trail expansions will provide access to the coastal zone, which will support more education programs.
Aside from its educational value, the trails system also provides an important recreational facility for the community who have a long tradition of recreation by the river as a means of relaxation, exercise and renewal.