With our recent pandemic we have noticed increased inquiries from members interested in trail building and hoping to give back to a sport and community they love. Since TORCA has not been able to hold any public trail days recently, we identified a need to make the information about trail building more available.
TRAIL BUILDING IN THE TRI-CITIES
Trail building involves vision, planning, seeking approval from land managers, building, as well as ongoing maintenance.
First of all, we need to get approval. TORCA can help you navigate the process of building within our communities. There are multiple land managers and agreements that exist in our trail systems as well as many players involved in the process of gaining approval for trail work. One land manager is Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) which operates under the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Other land managers include BC Hydro, BC Provincial Parks (Burke mountain), City of Port Moody, City of Coquitlam, City of Port Coquitlam, Village of Anmore, GVRD regional parks, and private land managers. Often times we are also consulting other user groups, First Nations title holders and fish hatcheries.
TORCA can assist with connecting to the appropriate land managers as well as the processes involved in applying for approval.
In 2019, TORCA obtained Section 56 approval status for some trails managed by RSTBC on Eagle Mountain and is working towards a section 56 polygon which encompasses the majority all of trails managed by RSTBC. This has been an exciting development since we now have more ability to do trail work within the accepted standards and gain approval within a quicker time frame.
The trail approval process promotes compromise between trail users (mountain bikers/dog walkers/moto/trail runners/hikers), helps to avoid disputes and offers protection of wildlife and the environment long term. If we adhere to these processes, we establish positive relationships that will continue to support our trails indefinitely.
We at TORCA aim to support builders in creating safe and sustainable trails everyone can continue to enjoy for years to come. It would be a shame to have a builder’s hard work decommissioned by land managers or destroyed by unsupportive user groups, therefore we suggest connecting with TORCA at [email protected] for some direction. Some current trails are no longer receiving ongoing maintenance and would benefit greatly from some new blood to look after them. It is also much easier to get permission from a land manager for an existing trail than it is for cutting a new trail.
We are incredibly grateful for the dedicated builders who have created a stellar network of trails as well as all the work they do year-round including improving drainage or creating new routes in order to prevent depletion of natural resources. The Tri-Cities is located in a Coastal Temperate Rainforest and since we receive copious amounts of rainfall, our trails are prone to erosion and rotting woodwork and thus require ongoing maintenance. We promote building to the Whistler Trail Standards in order to ensure safety and reduce liability as well as uphold the reputation the Tri-Cities has built as proficient maintainers of the trails and advocates for the stakeholders and riders alike.
The trails built in the Tri-Cities are gaining popularity and we are excited for all of the potential this area has to offer. But, as a volunteer run organization, we need all the help we can get!
Basic trail maintenance is always appreciated!
Our friends at PORCA (Pemberton Off Road Cycling Association) have made some videos that highlight some easy ways to help out.
Our friends at FVMBA (Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association) also have a fantastic article about trail building
OTHER TRAIL BUILDING RESOURCES
Whistler Trail building standards
IMBA Trail building and design