Category Archives: Parks and trails

Bowen Island Takes Responsibility for the Trails on Mount Gardner

After three years of hiking Mount Gardner, mapping the trails, and negotiating with the Province, The Rotary Club of Bowen Island — on behalf of the community — will sign an agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC. The official signing will take place in Collins Hall at an event beginning at 6:30 PM, Thursday, March 17. All who are interested are invited.

Participating in the signing is Tom Blackbird, the District Recreation Officer for this region. Blackbird’s office is in Chilliwack, and Bowen Island is on the westernmost verge of his district. Also, from the Province’s Sea-To-Sky office in Squamish is Tennessee Trent, Manager - Trails, Recreation Sites and Trails, for all of the Province of British Columbia.

Blackbird and Trent have asked to see some of the trails during this visit. Interested hikers are welcome to join the group on the mountain. The initial arrangements are still tentative, but the plan is that Blackbird and Trent will arrive from the mainland on a late morning ferry sailing. Sometime later a group will hike up the mountain starting at the Kiosk at the upper end of Laura Road. Probably the destination will be the North Summit.

Those wishing to participate in the hike should watch for updates, including up-to-the-minutes tweets on March 17. Note: this is not an escorted mountain hike. Anyone who joins the group must be an experienced hiker who is completely responsible for her/his own route-finding, gear (including appropriate clothing, food and water), and personal safety.

The Trails Agreement expects that the community will provide routine observation and maintenance of the trails. In return, the polygon of crown lands that include the trails will becomes designated a Recreation Site under Section 56 of the Forest and Range Act.

In 2014 the Undercurrent published a well-researched article on the Rotary Trails Project that described the conditions of the trails and the reasons and advantages for this community taking control of the recreational use of the mountain.

While the Municipality of Bowen Island is not in a position to be responsible for those trails, the trailheads, parking areas and kiosks are on municipal land. BIM Council recognized the economic benefits that result from visitors who travel to Bowen Island to hike, and the value of this resource for its citizens. Council has agreed that the municipality will continue to provide appropriate access.

The event at Collins Hall on March 17 will begin at 6:30 PM with a welcome to all visitors. There will be a short explanation of the agreement by some of the signing parties. This will be followed by the official signing. The remainder of the evening will be a potluck dinner. Visitors are most welcome!

Those interested participating in the hike, the signing, or the dinner should call Robert Ballantyne before noon on Wednesday, March 16, at 604.947.0815.

Robert Ballantyne 604 947 0815 Rotary PR Director
Denis Lynn 604 947 9806 Rotary Past President


Proposed Ski Development at Brohm Ridge

There is a proposal to develop a commercial ski operation at Brohm Ridge, by "Garibaldi at Squamish". On September 23, 2015, the FMCBC, of which this club is a member, held a meeting with representatives from the developer. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

  1. the maps shown (no different from the online versions, except bigger) depicted the ski runs and the "resort development", both of which run very close to Garibaldi Park (they claimed a 50-metre buffer zone, which Mike rightly said was pretty close to the Park);
  2. when challenged that "ski hills don't make money, the real estate surrounding them does", and although there is no real estate, actual or proposed, on the maps, Chris admitted that in exchange for building the ski hill, they will be able to obtain real estate "at a nominal price"; they weren't too clear on what a nominal price meant; and of course we have no real idea as to the extent of their property aspirations;
  3. the displaced snowmobilers (and there are lots using this area) were unfortunately directed by GAS to an area that is currently a non-motorized area; GAS was informed of the Sea to Sky LRMP and the sectoral distinctions between motorized and non, and could they please at least direct them to a motorized area in future;
  4. GAS was made very aware, largely through the Fellers and Monika, of the numerous frustrations FMCBC and member clubs have experienced in the past: not being consulted, not being listened to, Garibaldi Park being revised by the Government for Whistler/Blackcomb, no enforcement of the motorized activity, especially the snowmobilers, and more;
  5. in good "I feel your pain" style, responding by GAS, the 3rd member (Peter something) suggested it could be possible to have a covenant or easement up against the Park, requiring FMCBC's consent to encroach (I'll believe that when I see it, but they must be reminded of this in the future);
  6. it will be 4-5 years at least before actual construction could begin;
  7. GAS made it sound like there won't be any snowmobiles buzzing around their ski resort; it would be as much of an annoyance to hotel guests there as to anyone else;
  8. when asked why they would succeed where numerous others have not, the response seemed to be their thoroughness, aided by their "deep pockets";
  9. Monika made a great point that, in essence, we are arguing for the public's benefit (The Public's Right to Quiet Enjoyment of our Parks); every other dog in this fight has a vested interest.

Mack Skinner,
secretary of FMCBC, exec member of North Shore Hikers.


Hollyburn Lodge Renewal

The old Hollyburn Lodge at the Cypress Mountain commercial ski area is being rebuilt. The area is hence now a construction zone and closed to the public.

Steve Williamson, Director of Operations for Cypress Mtn., has provided this map to make it easier for hikers to navigate. He also provided the following safety information about the project.

  • Burfield trail will be closed until further notice for the installation of utilities to service the new lodge.
  • Hollyburn trail is open at the present time and will have closures in effect when required. When Hollyburn trail is closed access is via Sitzmark or the trail from the end of lot 4 as marked on the map.
  • The lodge site has been delineated with fencing and access is prohibited unless authorized by Cypress personnel. Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn if access is granted including steel toed boots, hi-vis vest and a hardhat.
  • Clearly marked detours have been placed throughout the Nordic area to guide hikers and cabin owners.
  • Access to first lake picnic areas is still available outside the construction zone orange fencing.

More information about this project and on the background of the lodge can be found at the following links:

We thank Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society for relaying this information to us.

Pinecone Burke Provincial Park 20th Anniversary

This June there will be two events that you may want to join to celebrate the anniversary of the Pinecone Burke Park:


June 7 – the Burke Mountain Naturalists will lead a moderate hike in the celebrated park.

For details and to register follow the link


June 12 – the FMCBC will be hosting a presentation about this park by Justin Brown at UBC, Buchanan’s Building.

For details follow the link

District of West Vancouver Upper Lands Review

The District of West Vancouver Upper Lands Review is holding open houses (April 11, 14 and 16 – details below) and an online survey to encourage discussion and feedback on the group’s draft final recommendations.

The group’s draft final report with recommendations is available here. The survey will be online March 20 to April 19 at:

Upper lands review

Friends of Garibaldi Park Society looking for volunteers

We are looking for keen individuals to come out for 3 day/2 night work parties. If you have some spare time and want to volunteer in the most beautiful park in the world, here is your chance! We will be accommodated at the Black Tusk Ranger Station on the shore of beautiful Garibaldi Lake. Volunteers will need their own sleeping bags and food for the three day session. Duties to include but not necessarily be limited to ditching, building boardwalk, clearing culverts, resurfacing, bridge repair and maintenance etc etc etc. Park Rangers will provide supervision.
Confirmed dates for trail work are:

  • August 8, 9, 10
  • Sept 6,7,8
  • Sept 16,17,18

More information on the Friends of Garibaldi website.

Snowshoers – new policy for local parks. Comment by June 29

Check out the newly announced consultation on a new policy for ski resorts in Cypress, Seymour and Manning Parks.

You can submit your comments until June 29.You may remember the protracted discussions on parking for snowshoers and back country skiers at the local hills which did not result in any mutually agreed solution for the stakeholders invloved/consulted. We North Shore Hikers will be impacted by this new policy so I urge you to get involved, either at the member or club level or both. Under Miscelanous in the Forum you can see the comments I sent to the Province.

via Cristina Jacob