BC                                   Newsletter of the Trails Society of British Columbia
Ride the Rockies 2008: a Cycling Adventure…                               Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Day ...
TCT Challenge 2008 - a huge success!                                     Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Sea-to-Sky Trail...                                                      Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Vancouver Island Report                                                    Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Destination Maillardville                                                Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Trails Strategy/C&W Trail Society Report                                 Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

Back to Business                                                      Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009

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January 2009 Issue of Trails BC's Trail News

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  1. 1. TRAI L S BC Newsletter of the Trails Society of British Columbia Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009 Contents Ride the Rockies 2008: Ride the Rockies 2008: A Cycling Adventure… 1 A Cycling Adventure… 2008 Myra to Penticton TCT Challenge: A huge success! 3 Sea-to-Sky Trail: Part of the Trans Canada Trail 4 Vancouver Island Report 5 B.C. Trails Strategy 6 Destination Maillardville Challenge/Défi 2009 6 Columbia & Western Trail Society Report 7 2008-2009 Board 8 Your 2009 Membership Supports Non-Motorized 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. Director 8 by Al Skucas ISSN 1705-4559 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. Sue Burnham Léon Lebrun 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 1
  2. 2. 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. 2
  3. 3. 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 3
  4. 4. Sea-to-Sky Trail... Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009 Sea-to-Sky Trail: 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 corporate sponsors. 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 4
  5. 5. 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 Jeannette would require rail and trail separation for safety ••• reasons. The corridor is 15 to 30 metres wide so where 5
  6. 6. Destination Maillardville Trails BC News: Vol. 14 No. 1 — March 2009 Destination Maillardville Challenge/Défi 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 or the from Port Moody, Port Coquitlam or Colony Farm. 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.) 6
  7. 7. 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 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: 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. by hand! 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 ••• 7
  8. 8. 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. 2008-2009 Board 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: Southwest: Treasurer: Léon Lebrun Trails BC Jack Harder Directors-at-Large: #803 - 1018 Cambie Street, Okanagan: 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: Sue Burnham Murphy Shewchuk Web Site: 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 8