Trail decomissioning in Mount Work

The CRD has informed SIMBS that it has discovered active work on an unsanctioned trail within the Hartland mountain biking area. In keeping with CRD policy on unauthorized trail building, CRD staff will decomission this unauthorized trail and its technical features, a process we expect to happen within days. The CRD will post signs warning of the decommissioning on any affected trails. 

We understand that this line holds a special place among our community as the site of a Jordie Lunn video shoot, and SIMBS immediately reached out to the Lunn family after receiving this notice. Unfortunately, any active work on unsanctioned trails raises the attention of the land manager and brings the mountain biking community into conflict with the CRD.  As part of ongoing work to authorize many of the unsanctioned trails in Mt Work, the CRD has not been actively decommissioning established trails — however, it is taking a harder line on active trail work, which leads to decommissioning of projects like this.  

Members of our community who want to give back via trail work are always encouraged to do so through organized trail days and events, where we have the opportunity to maintain, upgrade, and add to our trail network in a way that will persist for future riders.  Over the past two years, we’ve made significant steps towards the CRD recognizing the value and benefits of mountain biking in regional parks, and we don’t want to see that work impacted by disputes over unsanctioned trails. 

A CRD representative provided the following notice to SIMBS, and additional comment on the CRD’s stance on unofficial trails in Regional Parks: 

CRD Notice: 

[We are] reaching out to give you and your members a heads up that CRD staff recently came across active trail building and structures on an unsanctioned trail  between Daryl’s Dive and Crossover.

As the CRD has stated, any built structures and new construction will be deactivated.   The only approved trail work to be completed at Mount Work is CRD approved work done by SIMBS within the designated mountain bike area under license agreement or approved trail work by CRD staff. 

Staff will be working to remove the structures and deactivate this trail. Staff will be installing signs at the start and end of this unsanctioned trail to warn of the closure. 

CRD Comments:

Unauthorized mountain bike trail building is an issue in regional parks. Such trails may not be built to International Mountain Biking Association and CRD standards, may not meet safety requirements and may be impacting ecologically or culturally sensitive areas. Any mountain biking opportunities need to keep people connected to nature without compromising the natural integrity that draws people to the parks in the first place.

Unauthorized trails and structures/features developed by users create safety concerns. They are not identified in the formal trail network, do not adhere to site emergency plans, and are not regularly inspected or maintained. Regional Parks will close and remediate unauthorized trail construction or trail modification.

CRD Regional Parks works closely with the South Island Mountain Bike Society (SIMBS) on authorized trail building activity within the designated mountain biking area in Mount Work Regional Park.

By remaining on authorized trails you help protect these lands for the ecosystems and cultures that depend on them. Please travel lightly on ancestral lands and CRD Regional Parks.

We acknowledge with gratitude that we live and enjoy recreation on the unceded territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ People.⁠

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