We need Your Opinion on the Smith-Dorrien trail network

The Smith-Dorrien trail network of old logging roads stretches from Sawmill parking lot to Chester Lake parking lot. At one time it was touted  as a cross-country ski and mountain bike trail system and had its own brochure. The trails have not been maintained for many years and recently the colour coded signs have been removed. Only the snowshoe trail is signed. Effectively, the ski trails have become backcountry trails. OK, so K Country no longer has the funds to groom these trails (despite the network having the best snow in K Country). We can accept that, but why take down the signs which are still of benefit to skiers?

Regarding mountain biking, I have been told that bikers nowadays prefer exciting single track trails. I don’t think this is entirely true. We aren’t all  that good! There are still families who prefer wider, easier trails. And then there are others, like me, who bike the old roads to get to places like Headwall Lakes and James Walker Creek.

So my question to you  is: What are your thoughts on the trail system generally? Do you want the signs to go back in? Are you willing to help maintain the trails by removing deadfall?

Historically, it was the Foothills Nordic Ski Club who initially cleared these old roads in preparation for the Canadian Western Championships in 1984. At that time there was no Mt. Shark or Canmore Nordic Centre. Smith-Dorrien was the ONLY place with snow. The altitude (above the FIS maximum) proved a challenge for lowland competitors, which led to the construction, the next year, of the lower elevation trails at Mt. Shark .


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jenn Feb 25, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Ahhh i love our trail systems so much. I consider myself a beginner trail user who goes out several times each summer AND winter. I rely on signs to get me around the back ground as I never take maps. (I know…bad idea). The snowshoe signs are a god-sent in the winter. I wouldn’t know what to do without them. As for hiking maps, I actually wish there were more. My two cents!

    I do and will continue to take care of our trails!