New signs for the 18-kilometre multi-use section of the North Fork Trans Canada Trail were placed this past weekend. The signs warn users of the hazards of the trail and entreat them to show respect for each other, the trail, and the environment.
This section of the trail has been open to industrial vehicles such as logging trucks, since it was first created in 1991 and has long been used by recreational vehicles as well. Currently the Grand Forks Community Trails Society (GFCTS) has the stewardship agreement with the province to manage this popular recreational corridor.
Trail users include hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, dirt bikers, ATVers and snowmobilers. Managing this diverse group and maintaining the trail is quite a challenge for a single volunteer group.
Fortunately, local government, adjacent landowners, the Grand Forks ATV club and others have also contributed resources to maintaining and improving the trail. The new signs reflect this collaboration between trails groups, the province and the RDKB by including their logos.
The GFCTS is currently planning future improvements for this scenic section.
Their first priority is to create an improved surface that will benefit all users groups. The existing trail surface is the original rocky ballast that was placed by CPR. The rocky surface has degraded into a rough mixture of uneven rock and soft sections. Over the next few years the society will be applying new finishes to the trail and replacing existing gates. The goal is to find a surface that can last and be easily maintained by local stewards.
The trails society also manages the Trans Canada Trail between Grand Forks and Cascade. This is a much different section and the society is advocating it become a non-motorized section. Eventually the society hopes to see this section of the trail paved with the same high quality asphalt surface used on the WaterFront Trail to the Nursery Trestle.
This paved trail could bring official Highway 3 access created at Gilpin Creek with a new BC Park day-use area.
The trails society will be participating in the upcoming workshops hosted by the Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association at Christina Lake and Midway on Oct. 6. The society will also participate in the Boundary Tourism Associations workshop on Oct. 7.