It may not be common knowledge, but the Gillard riding trail network in Kelowna’s Upper Mission is a very popular spot for the province’s mountain bikers.
For the better part of the decade, caretakers of the areas extensive trail network have been in a battle with the province over whether the trails are even allowed to be there.
“Forest land and natural resource operations had put no trespassing signs on the trails and their features.” said President of the Local Mountain Biking Club Jay Darby.
“Essentially those trails weren’t legally supposed to be there and that’s why we’ve entered into this agreement to formalize the trail network.”
The agreement with the province officially sanctioned the trails, which means the hard work local mountain bikers have been putting into the trail network and their features for the better part of 20 years will now become permanent.
“The reason we’ve entered into this agreement with the province is to secure the network so we’re able to do these works and undertake the creation of a safe and well-built riding area,” said Darby.
Being sanctioned will bring with it the installation of proper signage, the construction of intermediate and beginner trails, a BC Cup level race course and all around safer trails.
“Kelowna can look at this as an exciting time because we’re now able to operate the network and provide better facilities like having parking infrastructure, so that we can promote it to a larger demographic and have better trails for the locals,” said Darby.
The trails are built by locals who put a great amount of time and energy, including their own finances, into developing and maintaining the trails and their features.
The agreement will protect the hard work that has been done by trail builders over the years and secure the Okanagans growing mountain bike scene for future generations.
Article Source: Kelowna Now