BY LORNE ECKERSLEY
In the months before he died, Ralph Moore, began to map out a potential series of trails on the north slope of the Selkirks, 25km northwest of Creston.
About 36 hikers gathered at a new trailhead in the Char Creek basin on July 27, ready for a glimpse of Moore’s vision, as translated by the Trails for Creston Valley Society.
“I spent many, many hours hiking this area with Ralph,” Society president Mary Jane Blackmore told the assembly. “There are huge old growth cedars, Douglas fir and spruce but, just as important to Ralph, this is also a great location for winter recreation. It’s a beautiful place to snowshoe.”
Blackmore described the efforts to map out the first trail, a 1.3km circle route that takes hikers downward to near the shore of Summit Creek.
“FLNRO (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) worked with us, providing a trail layout expert.” When a centuries-old cedar was deemed a risk to recreationalists, the trail was rerouted so it didn’t have to be cut down. Huge fallen trees that now lie across the path will be left in situ and stairs will be built to assist hikers.
Grants and donations helped pay for a crew to spend the day roughly clearing brush for what will become a 1-metre wide path.
“That’s about what it would have taken Ralph to do it,” one of the hikers commented, in a clear reference to Moore’s now legendary back country skills.
More fundraising is planned to build a network of trails, one of which will require a footbridge to be constructed.
A fundraiser is scheduled for Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery on August 19. Creston Overwaitea is hosting, and pulled pork, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, salads and desserts will be served. 100% of the proceeds will to the Trails for Creston Valley for the Char Creek Trail construction.