The Cariboo Country Carriage Club is applying for funding to map, and put signs on, a network of multi-use trails west of Highway 97 between Beaverdam Road and Story Road. The group also hopes to establish a trail head on Crown Land for the network, which consists of existing trails and old logging roads, says the Carriage Club’s Sally Watson.
She notes that while the requests for letters of support from the Village of Clinton and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District stated that there are 45 kilometres of trails, the network actually has more than 75 kilometres of multi-use trails.
“What we’re looking for is to have circle routes so people can plan an hour’s walk, or a two-hour hike, or a three-hour horseback ride, or a four-hour ATV trip. We want to put in a trail head with parking and signage, have paper maps, and have information for people via an app that they can download and then go on their merry way.”
The signs will have information about the history of the area, its First Nations, and its settlers. They will also let users know which trails are good (or not good) for different seasons.
“There are seasons where some trails won’t be there,” says Watson. Signs will also advise people to stay out of the mud, and point out how harmful mud-bogging is to the environment.
“Mud-bogging is where you take your four wheel drive truck through the mud until you get stuck,” explains Watson. “Then you call friends to come in their vehicle and get you unstuck. It’s really harmful to the environment.
“Spadefoot toads are an endangered species here, so we want people to stay out of boggy areas and wetlands. There will also be signing about invasive species, and we’ll be working with the invasive species people about that.”
In addition to being used by ATVs, cyclists, hikers, and those on horseback, the trails are part of the Gold Rush snowmobile trail that extends from Clinton to Barkerville, and get well-used by snowmobilers in the winter. However, Watson says that it’s easy to get turned around on the trails, particularly on a grey day, which is another reason for putting signs in place.
“People cut back and end up on private land, and we want to avoid that. We want to keep people on the trails and off private land.”
She says that since the Carriage Club uses some of the trails, they seemed like the group to spearhead the project.
“We hired a project coordinator to work to put everything together, and we’re looking for grant funding from Horse Council BC, the ATV Association of BC, Recreation Sites and Trails BC. We’ll be shaking all the available trees to get a little bit of funding here and a little bit of funding there.”