Castlegar Parks and Trails Society is asking dirt bike and ATV operators to stay off hiking trails. Photo: Submitted

Castlegar Parks and Trails Society is asking dirt bike and ATV operators to stay off hiking trails. Photo: Submitted

Dirt bikes and ATVs damaging West Kootenay hiking trails

Trails society asks operators to obey the signs and keep off the trails

Spring is the season to get out and enjoy nature, to take a walk or a nice hike on one of the many beautiful trails across the West Kootenay.

But too frequently trail users are coming across unwanted guests — dirt bike and ATV operators.

The bulk of West Kootenay hiking trails are designated for non-motorized use, but Castlegar Parks and Trails Society representative Doug Clark says motorized use is happening far too frequently.

“A lot of people enjoy those trails because it is a peaceful, beautiful environment they are in — to have a noisy machine come along not only scares people, but it destroys the experience,” said Clark.

Clark is quick to acknowledge that it is only a handful of dirt bike operators that “spoil it for the rest.”

Dirt bikes and ATVs are frequently causing damage to the area’s hiking trails, according to Clark.

He says that when dirt bikers drop a wheel off the edge of a trail, the shoulder is pushed off, causing erosion.

Clark also says the practice of tearing up soft areas off of the trails can lead to irreparable erosion. Other problems include disturbing the natural environment, making ruts and disturbing wildlife.

Besides the damage caused to trails, Clark is also concerned about maintaining private landowner permission for existing trails, considering that most tenures were granted with the understanding the trails would not be used by motorized equipment.

Dirt bike and ATV users are encouraged to use sanctioned trails and areas such as those maintained by the West Kootenay Recreational Dirt Bike and ATV Society and logging roads rather than hiking trails.

If you see someone improperly using a local trail, Clark recommends informing them in a non-confrontational way that the trail is for non-motorized use only.

READ MORE: WildSafeBC: How to avoid bear encounters



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

KootenaysTrails

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Creston’s high school

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for the former Prince Charles Secondary School

A new doctor has been recruited for the Creston Valley. (Pixabay)
New doctor recruited for the Creston Valley

Dr. Luke Turanich is expected to begin practice in late summer/early fall

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read