TRAI L S
BC Newsletter of the Trails Society of British Columbia
Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Ride the Rockies 2008:
Ride the Rockies 2008:
A Cycling Adventure… 1
A Cycling Adventure…
2008 Myra to Penticton TCT
A huge success! 3
Sea-to-Sky Trail: Part of the
Trans Canada Trail 4
Vancouver Island Report 5
B.C. Trails Strategy 6
Challenge/Défi 2009 6
Columbia & Western Trail
Society Report 7
2008-2009 Board 8
Your 2009 Membership
Trail Users 8
Everyone lined up for a photo-op at Elk Pass on the border between Alberta and BC.
Laurie Gourlay: New VI Rebecca Skucas photo.
by Al Skucas
August 2008 marked the first ever Trans Rockies Trans Canada Trail event.
Published quarterly by:
Trails BC The ride was held to prove the viability of the proposed TCT route from
#803 - 1018 Cambie Street, Elkford to Banff. It was also an exercise to expose trail advocates,
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 6J6 stakeholders and government officials to the spectacular scenery and
Editorial Committee desirability of this route. What better way to test the route than do it.
Altogether 39 riders and four support personnel took part in this four day,
Murphy Shewchuk almost 180 kilometre trek into the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Trails
representatives from the four western provinces rode alongside tourism,
industry, Trans Canada Trail representatives and government officials. The
oldest participant was a 73 year old from Fernie, which re-enforced the
premise that this route was doable by the average "fit" Canadian. The trip
segments all averaged 40-65 km a day. The trip was completely supported so
riders could concentrate on the ride itself and not have to worry about
hauling their camping gear in panniers or having to prepare a meal at the end
of the day.
Trails BC News is also available on-line at www.trailsbc.ca.
Ride the Rockies 2008: a Cycling Adventure… Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Day 1 - Elkford to Weary Creek Rec Site
We started from Elkford late in the morning utilizing
the main Elk Lakes Forest Road. Eight km north of
town we crossed over to the east side of the Elk River
on a recreational bridge at Round Prairie. The route on
the east side follows forest and power line roads which
slowly ascend the valley in an undulating manner.
Seven km before Weary Creek rec site, we forded
Altridge Creek. Fortunately at this time of the year the
water level was low enough to make the crossing easy.
Day 2 - Weary Creek to Pocterra
Campground - Peter Lougheed Park
While on the BC side of the Continental Divide we
appreciated the support of the Elkford ATV club which
provided guidance on this section. We soon found
ourselves back on the main Elk Lakes Forest Road - Past Fernie Mayor Randal McNair rides through Altridge Creek,
40 kilometres north of Elkford. Photo by Rebecca Skucas.
now considerably narrower than when we started on it
the day before. We had lunch at Elk Pass on the BC
Alberta border with the customary photo-ops. The Day 4 - Spray Lakes Campground to Banff
downhill runs on some dual and single track trails in Our last day took us back onto a short stretch of
Peter Lougheed Park were especially invigorating. Smith Dorrien Road around Goat Pond. After which
After we made it down to the main part of the park, the group split up in two with some following the
we also enjoyed the eight kilometre paved Wheeler utility road alongside the Spray River Drainage Canal
trail which brought us close to our campground. and others following a dual track to the west side of
the valley. We entered Banff National Park on the Goat
Day 3 - Pocterra Campground to West Creek Trail which is already formalized as the Trans
Spray Lakes Campground Canada Trail. After being in the wilderness for four
Our ride in the morning of Day 3 used the Smith days we arrived at the Spray River Trailhead with the
Dorrien highway. This very wide industrial gravel road classic Banff Springs Hotel looming in the background.
had remarkably light traffic. We were fortunate that it The trip was most memorable for everyone. The
wasn't the weekend as we had been warned that on variety of riding terrain and group camaraderie
busy days one could inhale a lot of dust. Several riders combined to make this a successful endeavor. There
were fortunate to spot a grizzly bear on this section. were a few spills and bruises but nothing too serious.
After doing 30 km on the Smith Dorrien road we had Many thanks go out to our dedicated volunteers who
a private lunch prearranged at the Mt Engadine Lodge. made this ride a complete success. Special thanks to
Chris and his crew provided a welcome meal for us in Don and Millie Barnett, and Ron and Marg Wiebe.
a rustic lodge in a pristine setting. In the afternoon our Since the ride some positive initiatives concerning the
ride took us along the west side of the Spray Lakes. Trans Canada Trail route through the Rockies have
The combination of the deep blue skies and the azure been announced. The BC government has committed
colour of lakes in this mountain backdrop is something funds to a TCT Scoping study for a trail between Elko
that every off road cyclist has to experience. and Elk Pass.
Although this would be an ideal route for the TCT There are still many challenges to overcome for the
from a riding and scenery perspective, the Alberta Trans Canada Trail in the Rockies but this event clearly
Parks Branch is concerned about the potential for demonstrated that there is a route through the Rockies
human-bear conflict. If the route was closed 50% of that can be thoroughly enjoyed by the TCT traveler.
the time during the short summer season because of
grizzly activity then would it be worth it? Serious Following up on the success of Ride the Rockies
discussion by all stakeholders on a potential new trail 2008, plans are being made for the Ride the
on the east side of the Spray Lakes has been initiated, Rockies 2009 which would take us on an adventure
so at the end of the day the TCT will likely have a from Gray Creek on Kootenay Lake to Fernie, BC.
formal route through the Spray Valley.
TCT Challenge 2008 - a huge success! Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
2008 Myra to Penticton TCT Challenge:
A huge success!
by Léon Lebrun At this time we are looking at the possibility of
The July 6, 2008 TCT Challenge was organized in offering two TCT Challenge events in the Lower
conjunction with the re-opening of the Myra Canyon Mainland or Fraser Valley. One is called 'Destination
trestles. The event that was fully booked in advance Maillardville' and the other, the Golden Ears Bridge
with 561 people registered, of which 495 were cyclists. TCT Challenge on October 4, we hope to organize in
While several of the 460 cyclists that completed the 80 conjunction with the opening of the new Golden Ears
km course looked a little gaunt at the end, most Bridge which will cause a re-routing of the Trans
appeared to have enjoyed the ride and the support Canada Trail.
along the route. Many reported disappointment
in the sandy and rough portions caused by
ATV's and dirt bikes, but they did not allow this
to quell their enthusiasm.
This event depended on a number of
organizations that provided more than 70
volunteers. These included: Trails BC, the
Naramata Woodwackers, the Myra Canyon
Restoration Society, Friends of the South
Slopes, Canadian Ski Patrol System,
Summerland TCT Society, Amateur Radio
Clubs from Kelowna and Penticton, and the
NORCO Powerbikes team. The agencies
included Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the
Arts, City of Penticton, Regional District of
Okanagan-Similkameen, and B.C. Parks.
Mussio Backroad Mapbooks provided the
maps. Ben Veldhoen and Craig Henderson from
the Naramata Woodwackers served as our main
liaison for Penticton and they produced the A cyclist rides across one of the recently-decked Myra Canyon trestles as
part of TCT Challenge 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Hiebert.
informative guidebook that was distributed to
the participants. We also greatly appreciated
the cooperation and flexibility forthcoming from 'Destination Maillardville' is a Centennial event that
Country Coachways and Budget Truck and Car will be organized with our assistance and will be held
Rentals. An event such as this is so very dependent on July 12 and described herein. The Golden Ears Bridge
volunteers to take on responsibilities. event is intended to be a 54 km course and should take
place on October 4. We are told that the bridge should
What about the 2009 TCT Challenge(s)? be ready by the end of July. Once, again this should be
Due to the increased uncontrolled ATV and dirt bike an exciting and featured course for our participants.
activities on the KVR it is not prudent to organize an •••
event that involves cycling on this venue. The rail
surface is becoming much too laborious for cyclists to
make this a pleasant event. While the KVR is
designated for non-motorized trail users, regulations
are not in place to enforce this at this time. Hopefully,
by 2010 this will have been remedied allowing the ACCEPT THE TRAILS BC CHALLENGE
surface to be repaired on a substantial section of the Additional Information is available
KVR so that an event could once again be considered on-line at:
on this portion of the Trans Canada Trail. WWW.TRAILSBC.CA
Sea-to-Sky Trail... Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Part of the Trans Canada Trail
By Léon Lebrun place but all of us agreed that it was doable and will
A steering committee represented by the be a feature trail. We are looking forward to yet
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, TCT, Trails BC, another important popular world class trail in B.C.
District of Squamish, Village of Whistler, Pemberton, •••
B.C. Parks, Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Arts and
First Nations is meeting regularly to formally establish
the Sea-to-Sky Trail. As a first phase the section from
Squamish to Whistler will be completed for the Winter
Olympics. It is chaired by Jim Bishop, a Trans Canada
Trail Director. We have been given indications that
portions of the trail may be used by the Torch Relay.
A suspension bridge across the Chekamus River.
Photo courtesy of Gordon McKeever.
Much preparation is being made to register the
Sea-to-Sky Trail as part of the Trans Canada Trail. The
second phase will be to take it as far as D’Arcy. From
there it is hoped that it will get back to the main route
of the Trans Canada Trail either via Spences Bridge This is a section of the Sea-to-Sky Trail that was completed in
and Merritt or via Harrison Lake. For the time being 2007. Photo courtesy of Gordon McKeever.
the connection between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish
is a blue-way in Howe Sound. It is anticipated that a
TCT Pavilion in Whistler will attract important
Challenging Trail Building Ahead
A group of us cycled the trail from Whistler to SUPPORT TRAILS BC
Squamish in its raw state last fall as the snow was MEMBERSHIPS AND DONATIONS CAN
showing signs of starting the ski season. There is NOW BE PROCESSED ON-LINE AT:
definitely some challenging trail building that will take WWW.TRAILSBC.CA
Vancouver Island Report Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Vancouver Island Report
by Jeannette Klein
E&N Rail Trail
In a previous issue, I mentioned the
acquisition of the E&N rail corridor by the
Island Corridor Foundation (ICF), a
consortium of First Nations and local
Vancouver Island communities. The
ownership of this rail right of way by a
local foundation presents several
opportunities for the rail-with-trail concept
that has been used throughout North
America since the 1960's. The Cowichan
Valley Regional District has identified
several areas where they can route the TCT
within the right of way. The Capital
Regional District (CRD) is now developing
a trail that runs through several Victoria
municipalities and connects with the TCT
in 3 places. It is not a part of the TCT but A cyclist with the E&N passenger train on the Johnson St. Bridge in downtown
will enhance the trail system in the capital Victoria. The new E&N Rail Trail will start at this bridge. Photo courtesy of the
region and increase access to the TCT Capital Bike and Walk Society.
without using road ways.
the width permits there will be a natural separation. In
Victoria to Langford other areas fencing will be used.
“Stretching from historic Johnson Street Bridge in
Victoria to the majestic forest around Humpback Road
in Langford, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Rail
2010 Completion Goal
The funding for the rail trail was announced with
Trail promises to be a vibrant, green pathway
some fanfare in August 2007 by federal Minister of
connecting downtown Victoria with the West Shore.
Natural Resources and local MP Gary Lunn. This
Built within the existing E&N rail corridor, the
project has been ‘in the works’ for some time but with
‘Rail-With-Trail’ will meander through developing
the addition of the green initiatives and Olympics focus
communities and urban settings, and over
it has become a high priority for the region and the
salmon-filled streams, while allowing rail service to
province. The goal for this project is to have the trail
continue on the rail line itself. Along the way, the E&N
completed by 2010.
will connect with the popular Galloping Goose
Regional Trail.” As the CRD website describes, this 17
km trail should be a pleasant combination of urban A special note from Jeannette Klein:
and rural settings. I have resigned as Vancouver Island Director, but will
continue to be a member of Trails BC and help Laurie
$11.3 Million Grant any way I can. I have really enjoyed my association with
The $11.3 million grant received from the federal gas the members of Trails BC and admire the work that my
tax fund, earmarked for green infrastructure, is colleagues have done to work toward the completion of
intended to encourage people to use the trail to the Trans Canada Trail in BC. Unlike Trails BC, most
commute by cycling or walking. For that reason the (all?) of the other provincial trail groups have at least
plans for the trail include a four metre wide paved one paid employee with more provincial support.
pathway for the whole 17 kilometres. The future I’ll miss ‘you guys’!
includes developing a commuter rail service which
would require rail and trail separation for safety
reasons. The corridor is 15 to 30 metres wide so where
Destination Maillardville Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Dimanche le 12 juillet, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
A fun oriented non-competitive personally challenging event.
On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Maillardville.
For Cyclists - Walkers - Runners - Voyageur Canoeists
'Destination Maillardville' is an event planned for the Laval Square to the starting points on the Trans
Maillardville Centennial (1909-2009). The activity Canada Trail. Participants will work their way back to
will highlight the discovery of Maillardville's heritage Laval Square in their chosen activity. On the way back
while walking, cycling, and paddling Voyageur canoes you are invited to participate in the heritage activities
from points outside the community. The cyclists and at Place des Arts between 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. where
walkers will be starting from points along the Trans you can enjoy food, music, the museum, train station,
Canada Trail. Those in Voyageur canoes will start Maillardville tours etc.
from Fort Langley a 23 km paddle and 6 km walk. You will be able to get more information and register
Cyclists and walkers will have options of up to 34 km for this event from the Trailsbc.ca or the
from Port Moody, Port Coquitlam or Colony Farm. Maillardville100.com websites starting the first week
Everyone is invited to register and participate in this in March.
'challenge' event organized in conjunction with the •••
"Fair in the Square" event at Place des Arts. Shuttles
(buses and trucks) will be provided from Maillardville's
B.C. Trails Strategy
by Don Reid et al. advocates for non-motorized trail use. It was a good
A Provincial committee, established by the Ministry occasion to hear each other, representatives of
of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, consisting of different recreation groups, about the draft. For the
representatives of various outdoor trail recreation has most part, everyone was very supportive. We are
developed a draft of a strategy for trails in B.C. Trails hoping for positive outcomes in the implementation of
BC did not have a representative on the committee, but this strategy and we are asking support as we continue
did have opportunities for input and attended several to advocate for walkers, cyclists and equestrians. The
of the open meetings which were held at a number of principal issue for Trails BC is that of conflict between
locations across the province in the latter part of 2008 Off-Road Vehicles (ORV's) and other trail users. We
and January of this year. Trails BC also made two are especially concerned about ORV's on the Trans
written responses to the committee's invitation for Canada Trail.
comment on the draft. A number of written personal The Provincial Trails Strategy Committee is to be
comments were also submitted by directors and congratulated for delineating a fair assessment of the
members of the Trails BC. trails situation in British Columbia and for its
comprehensive overview. The 'Strategy' outlines a
Meetings well attended framework for implementation and therefore is short
Generally, the public meetings were well attended. on specifics. We agree that the province should aim for
For example, in Langley and North Vancouver more a 'world class trail system' and with the proposed
than 200 people attended and Cranbrook just under actions to make it so. In our view the vision for a
200. At the meetings, Trails BC directors, members, 'world class trail system' must emphasize quality
and individuals from our member groups were strong experiences. (Continued on next page.)
Trails Strategy/C&W Trail Society Report Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
(B.C. Trails Strategy - Continued from page 6.) We are hopeful that there is a 'will' and the 'where for
For the benefit of this submission we requested that all' to convert the strategies into plans and action as
there be a clear policy statement with regards to trail soon as possible.
designation regarding motorized and non-motorized The 'Strategy' can be viewed on the website:
trail users. Incompatibility between these two groups http://www.tca.gov.bc.ca/sites_trails/Initiatives/Prov_
of trail users most often lead to poor quality Trails_Strategy/recreation_trails_strategy.htm
experiences. Such a policy would enable us to work Although comments were supposed to have been
more collaboratively with all other trail users because submitted by January 31, 2009, your views might still
it will allow us to proceed with a clear mandate from have impact by addressing your comments to: John
the province. Clarity allows us to better support each Hawkings. His e-mail: John.Hawkings@gov.bc.ca
other. The confusion that presently exists is fertile
ground for much conflict between trail users.
Columbia & Western Trail Society Report
by Harry Killough Harry Killough for field consulting and final handwork.
April 1st to October 31st, 2008 was a very busy Through this teamwork the following pressing jobs
season for the CWTS! In addition to our usual spring were undertaken:
work party/picnic, we had another giant purple 1) Clearing of four large badly obstructed culverts at
knapweed weed pulling session in July, and rescued a Walker Creek (km 60.0) and rebuilding CPR's
stranded SUV with dead battery at the railway crossing diversion channel to reduce further blockage by
near Shields. After two day-long trips up the railway streamflow boulders.
with teacher/columnist Gordon Turner, we were 2) and 3) Replacement of two problematic flume
pleased to be featured in a pictorial article in "Route systems (at km 76.2 and km 77.1) by installing large
3", a local tourist magazine. deeply-set culverts through the fill.
Along with help from many others, both within and An additional project reduced the risk of major
outside the club, we were grateful again that Bill blockage of the long and massive stone culvert at
Hubert and John Scott did a great job of grooming the Porcupine Creek (km 46.6). Much of the exposed
trail. Thanks to Steven Rigby and devoted helpers for a reinforcing rod was cut out and removed from the
lot of slashing and for installing a badly needed culvert badly eroded concrete floor - thanks again to Katim
near Coykendahl Tunnel — laboriously digging it out Enterprises.
At km 50.0, Harry Killough installed major log
In addition to the usual maintenance work, we saw cribbing where a major washout was threatening. At
the completion of five major projects, done through km 68.6 (site of the vital bypass trail around the big
public funding — two on the east half and three on the washout) Harry also did considerable trail
west half of the railway. With many thanks for two maintenance and added more safety railings. On a
grants from Columbia Basin Trust and good support lovely spring day in May, Lesley Killough
from RDCK Director Gordon Zaitsoff — we successfully photographed a delightful profusion of blue clematis
placed a large metal storage bin for tools and vines clinging to the banks of the washout trail and
equipment at km 12.0, and did a thorough slashing job intermittently gracing the railbed from Coryell to Fife.
under Farr Creek Trestle for fire protection. Thanks to
contractor Chance Delaney for a difficult job well Sincere thanks to Regional Director Sue Burnham of
done. Trails BC, and to RDCK Director Gordon Zaitsoff for
good support throughout the year and for their
During the final days of October, we were pleased to attendance at our 2008 AGM. Last, but not least, a big
have three major projects done on the western half of thank you to Margo Saunders for devoted work as
the railbed. We offer a big tip o'the hat to: Blair Secretary/Treasurer and expert production of “The
Baldwin (consulting for Tourism BC) for financial Bulldog”, our nice photo-documented annual
arrangements totaling more than $50,000; Leigh Ann newsletter. A big ‘tip o’the hat’ to all who continue to
Johnson (of Katim Enterprises) as project manager; make CWTS a big success.
contractor Rod Timm (with bobcat and excavator) and •••
Back to Business Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009
Your 2009 Membership Supports
Non-Motorized Trail Users
Trails BC has appreciated your support in the past and now needs it more than ever. The Provincial
Government has recently hosted a series of meetings to obtain public input in response to the draft of its
proposed trail strategy. At these meetings, Trails BC directors, members and individuals from our member
groups were strong advocates for non-motorized trail use. We ask for your support as we continue to advocate
for walkers, cyclists and equestrians!
Individual: $25 - Group Member: $100 - Business Associate: $100
(Insurance and advertising opportunities are included.)
If you would like a hard copy of the newsletter please leave your name and address on the office answering
machine (604-738-7175) and one will be sent to you. Membership application forms are also available on-line
or from the office.
Cheers everyone. May we all enjoy many happy hours on B.C. trails this season.
President: Regional Directors: Rockies/East Kootenay: Gordon Weetman
Al Skucas Vancouver Island: Al Skucas Larri Woodrow
Vice President: Laurie Gourlay Northeast:
Léon Lebrun T.B.A. Provincial Office:
Treasurer: Léon Lebrun Trails BC
Jack Harder Directors-at-Large: #803 - 1018 Cambie Street,
Secretary: Trevor Lind Jack Harder Vancouver, B.C. V6B 6J6
Sue Burnham Boundary: Kelly Koome
Tannis Killough Trevor Lind Tel: (604) 737 3188
West Kootenay: Don Reid Email: email@example.com
Sue Burnham Murphy Shewchuk Web Site: www.trailsbc.ca
Laurie Gourlay: New VI Director
Laurie Gourlay has worked in the ‘70’s, and on to submissions for
with conservation groups for sustainable community development
thirty years, farms 20 acres before the Brundtland Commission in
organically on Vancouver Island the ‘80’s.
with life-partner Jackie Moad, Active in a number of regional and
and runs Thistle Consulting national environmental organizations,
Services – actively seeking local an offer to work in Ottawa in the early
solutions to global challenges. ‘90’s kept Laurie focused on MP’s,
A cycling enthusiast all his legislation and Parliament for another
life, Laurie was born in dozen or so years.
Scotland, raised in Toronto, Graduate studies in 2000 led to ‘round
and got hooked on camping Laurie Gourlay, a Nanaimo resident, is Trails the world interviews with hundreds of
and canoeing as a Scout. BC's new Vancouver Island Director. environment and political activists
Family camping vacations “...and an ingrained appreciation for
across Canada in the sixties kick-started a travel fever the rich historical, cultural and natural heritage we all
that still hasn’t let go. enjoy here in BC and Canada.”
Hiking the Appalachians and Niagara Escarpment led •••
to undergraduate studies on public use of private lands