July 6, 2020: The gate 200m From the lower parking lot has been opened
Photo by Joe Lucas
Mount Swansea Recreation Site Reclamation Program June 2020
Many of you Mount Swansea hikers may have noticed the proliferation of short cutting of new multi-use Swansea Trail switch backs and braiding of the trail from the base parking lot to the upper parking lot.
Some of the braiding is due to efforts by Columbia Valley Cycling Society (CVCS) to correct shortcomings in the initial uptrack design. This is particularly noticeable in the area north of the Ashby Ascent hiking trail. Several new switchbacks have been introduced to reduce the angle of climb to bring the resulting trail into correct specifications for cyclists. However, this has created a number of intersections along the trail. The confusion as to which trail to take will be addressed with signage designating “user choice” (e.g. easier vs harder). We hope that this new signage will address the feedback raised by hikers with respect to this braiding.
Downhill from the Ashby Ascent trail, some of the braiding is due to the continued use of the old trail rather than following the new multi-use trail. Summit Trail Makers Society (STMS) understands that while many hikers like the grade of the new Swansea trail, there are others who want to continue to use the old trail. Sometimes it’s because it’s not clear to the hiker which is the obvious trail to take at an intersection. Again, in appropriate locations “user choice” signage will be installed.
However, in some locations, the existing old trail and the obvious short cutting of switchbacks represents an erosion problem and denigration of the environment. STMS in cooperation with Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) are implementing an ongoing maintenance reclamation and signage program to address these issues and prevent further degradation of the hiking and cycling experience. Reclamation typically restores the land to what it was before the trail or short cut occurred.
We would hope that hikers will respect the efforts of volunteers and government resources to address these concerns. Should anyone have any comments to make about this program, please advise STMS at email@example.com.