City strives to find the right trail

With more than 850 kilometers of trails, Whitehorse has one of the largest municipal networks in Canada’s North.

With more than 850 kilometers of trails, Whitehorse has one of the largest municipal networks in Canada’s North.

We just can’t agree on what to do with it.

“It all depends on who you talk to,” said Parks and Recreation development co-ordinator Douglas Hnatiuk.

“In some communities there was quite an adamant desire to have non-motorized trails throughout their subdivision.

“And in others there was overwhelming support for multi-use trails.”

An initial trail plan was created in 1997 that focused on developing key routes, setting standards and mapping the city’s trails.

Inukshuk Planning and Development was awarded the contract to do an update on that plan, and public consultation began in 2004.

The 2007 Trail Plan was presented to council on Monday.

The extensive trail system has grown and evolved organically over the years without much in the way of proper planning.

This has resulted in some trails appearing in environmentally sensitive areas.

“Over time, the trails developed without a lot of thought given to erosion and things of that nature,” said Hnatiuk.

“We may look at decommissioning these trails and building new, better-planned trails in their place.”

The trail plan would also like to encourage more public self-management of the trails.

This includes enforcing the rules of trail etiquette — as long as it is in a non-adversarial manner.

“We talked with the city’s bylaw services and they are not in a position to patrol the trails,” said Hnatiuk.

“There’s no way we can manage over 800 kilometers of trail.”

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been running on one of these trails and met a four-wheeler,” said councillor Doug Graham.

“Conflict resolution under those circumstances is extremely difficult, because they never stop.

“They don’t even slow down in most cases.”

Graham would like to see a strong statement made about the usage of motorized vehicles on the city’s trails.

In the end, the only way to please both motorized and non-motorized trail users may be imposing different rules for different neighbourhoods.

The plan calls for more neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood consultation.

The city will work on a consensus model to come to a conclusion on how to deal with trail usage and maintenance in each individual neighbourhood.

“We just need to get the word out there, and get everyone involved in the process,” said Hnatiuk.

The system of trails is part of Whitehorse’s identity, according to the city’s new trail plan.

The trail system and easy access to nature are an integral part of what makes Whitehorse a special place to live, said the report.

Council will vote on the plan at Monday’s meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Premier Sandy Silver speaks to media after delivering the budget in the legislature in Whitehorse on March 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Territorial budget predicts deficit of $12.7 million, reduced pandemic spending in 2021-2022

If recovery goes well, the territory could end up with a very small surplus.

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25 after two masked men entered a residence, assaulted a man inside with a weapon and departed. (Black Press file)
Two men arrested after Dawson City home invasion

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25.… Continue reading

Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters at a news conference in Whitehorse on Dec. 21, 2017. New ATIPP laws are coming into effect April 1. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News file)
New access to information laws will take effect April 1

“Our government remains committed to government openness and accountability.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read