The Capital Regional District has made some improvements and changes to mountain biking trails in the region after approving guidelines for the activity last spring.
“The CRD recognizes that there is a gap between the demand for mountain biking and the outdoor recreation offered in the region,” staff said told the regional parks committee at a Nov. 24 meeting. “Although the full demand may never be met, CRD will continue to play a role in providing mountain biking areas and opportunities when identified through the land acquisition program and park management planning process.”
Staff has done site visits of the Mount Work Regional Park mountain biking area with the South Island Mountain Bike Society and did a walk-through of the park’s network in April to look at a number of trail re-alignments, rehabilitation projects and trail improvements. The Mount Work Regional Park updates were aimed at making a more sustainable trail network, staff said.
Updates to some extremely difficult and intermediate single-track trails in the park have been completed, improvements and realignments were made to others and some trails (including Lazy Line and Walk Up) were deactivated after being deemed redundant due to the realignments. A number of previously unsanctioned trails in the mountain biking area have also been formalized.
The CRD has added some mountain biking signage in the park as well. New mountain bike trail rating and wayfinding signs are being installed in the Mount Work area, while ones that close off ecologically sensitive areas are already up.
CRD staff have also been communicating with the Sooke Bike Club regarding updating mountain biking trails in Sea to Sea Regional Park. An additional licence agreement for trail maintenance of mountain bike-rated trails at that park is in the signing process.
The parks committee approved a motion put forward by director Ben Isitt that sought to have staff report back to the board in a closed meeting on options for creating a third permitted mountain biking area in the region.
“Any expansion of mountain biking has to be done in way that protects the ecology and that’s why doing it in an orderly and regulated way, I think, is the only way to proceed,” he said.
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