by Rose Schroeder, Back Country Horsemen of BC
Like Isaac Newton said, “we build too many walls and not enough bridges!” The Back Country Horsemen of BC (BCHBC) use that theory to build bridges and partnerships to help preserve equestrian access to trails around BC. As you might recall from previous stories, the Headwaters Corral Equestrian Campground project is a partnership between BCHBC, Manning Park Resort and BC Provincial Parks. We will never forget all our generous sponsors and volunteers who have donated their time, equipment, materials, expertise and cash to see this project keep growing.
You see…..there is more involved than just building a safe place to camp with horses and mules. There have to be trails to ride too, right out of that camp. As of September 15, 2013 the are the designated horse trails in EC Manning Park and their status. This can change daily so always best to check with the Visitor Center (1-604-668-5953 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the trail report.
Similkameen West – open
Similkameen East – closed, not cleared, board walks/bridges rotten, mud
Windy Joe – open
Pacific Crest Trail – closed to horses
Monument 78 – closed due to washout & Monument 83 – open but washout reported
Little Muddy – open, short connector trail
North Gibson – open
South Gibson – closed, rotten bridges, mud
Poland Lake – open
Hope Pass – closed, rotten bridges, mud, currently under repair
Dewdney – open
Skagit Bluffs – open
Skagit River – open
Silver Daisy – open
As you can tell there has been a lot going on! This story was to be about “a bridge with no name. This is the 4th bridge that our BHCBC volunteers have re-decked in the past year. This was by far the longest of the bridges on the Similkameen Trail at 56 feet. Funds for the materials and lumber were received from the BC Equestrian Trails Fund at Horse Council BC. There were still hikers finishing their long trek from Mexico on the Pacific Crest Trail passing through so we would stop work and congratulate them on their astounding accomplishment. On this day our volunteers also helped find 2 lost hikers…took a right when they should have taken a left! Not including transport of materials to the site, it took 5 volunteers and 1 Park Ranger approximately 5 hours to systematically dismantle the old planks and put on the new ones without disrupting hiker passage! There were also volunteers working back in the campsite adding names to the donor board, pulling and cutting weeds and taking care of stock.
So…next time you ride, hike or bike across a bridge in beautiful EC Manning Provincial Park, look for horse tracks and ask yourself if BCHBC had a hand in fixing it? If you might be interested in participating in preserving the trails in EC Manning please check out Friends of Manning Park Facebook Page.