Boulton Creek Re-envisaged

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o we started out on Boulton Creek interpretive trail and followed it down to the new bridge over Boulton Creek.  From here we turned left and looked at the re-worked section of the ski trail to the junction with Fox Creek and Moraine. All was good. Plodded up Moraine and down to the bridge again, then turned right, thinking we were in for a nice walk by the creek. WRONG. The next time we saw the creek was at the Boulton Bridge parking lot. A new section of  ski trail has been built that heads uphill into the pine forest, winding about with easy hills and some interesting bends (it will be great fun to ski), but as a hiking trail and specifically as an interpretive hiking trail, it “has no soul” as someone said. The entrance to the old creek trail had been blocked off.

Back at the parking lot, we decided to check out the old trail and see if it was still walkable for people on foot. The time it took us to get to the bridge and back was about the same  time as it took us to walk the ski trail one way. (The ski trail is only 300 m longer but it is hilly.) So from that you will gather there is not a lot wrong with the old trail. Most of it IS good, but here and there are glitches particularly at interpretive sign #9 where there is now the opportunity to talk about creeks in flood. And where have all the cobbles come from? Bolton used to be such  a scenic “babbling brook” with flowery grassy banks and overhanging bushes… Anyway, in our estimation the damage shown in the photos below is all fixable if there is the will to fix it. It would be nice to get the trail re-opened for walkers.

Please go and take a look. Would be interested to know what you think.

Bolton ski trail

New ski trail

Boulton Creek

Trail work and small bridges needed by side of almost dry channel.

Boulton Creek

Small bridge needed across muddy creek.

Boulton Creek

Flood debris at interpretive post #9 on old trail.

Boulton Creek

Diversion needed at #9 interpretive post.

Boulton Creek

Old trail blocked by construction debris from above.

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3 comments… add one
  • Gillean Daffern Nov 2, 2015, 11:07 am

    All the campgrounds in the Elbow, Sheep, Sibbald and K Valley areas have an adjoining interpretive trail for campers to walk. Such a great idea I’ve always thought, encouraging families with young kids and non-walkers out onto trails where they might learn something about the area. So Boulton Creek will be the only campground without one if it’s decommissioned. Maybe it will become a regular trail — why bother putting in a new bridge over Boulton Creek otherwise?— with a return via the ski trail which is only interesting if you are moving fast on skis.

    Come in James!

  • RyderDA Nov 1, 2015, 10:23 pm

    The Friends did a lot of work with Parks on the new trail, and I personally spent a bunch of time talking about the plans with the Parks crews while I was helping. My understanding is that Boulton may never be an interp trail again; the new ski trail doesn’t have much in the way of stuff to interpret. Better to do interp stuff on a better trail. The design of the new trail was deliberate to be interesting to skiers (sounds like you think that worked), and there’s a nice overlook point that will probably get a bench or something. The old trail near the river will probably be entirely de-commisioned next year; the old interp signs (or at least the ones they can find) have to be removed anyway.

  • GMJ Oct 29, 2015, 7:56 pm

    Seems to me it’s the new thing to route trails well away from creeks rather than repair the old trail. It makes sense from a maintenance point of view but I must say, I sure like walking beside a creek…

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