Whitehorse aims to curb unauthorized trail building

The City of Whitehorse is encouraging budding trailblazers to approach them with their ideas, rather than taking charge themselves. Someone recently tried to create a new trail on top of Grey Mountain.

The City of Whitehorse is encouraging budding trailblazers to approach them with their ideas, rather than taking charge themselves.

Someone recently tried to create a new trail on top of Grey Mountain. But that’s illegal, according to the city’s parks and public open space bylaw.

Members of the Contagious Mountain Bike Club discovered the rudimentary path near the highest peak of the mountain, where the Mother T and Go-T trails are also located.

Removing trees without permission is also forbidden by city policy, and can incur a fine of up to $500.

Doug Hnatiuk, manager of parks and community development at the city, said it’s important for trail builders to go through the proper channels before attempting to do it on their own.

“It provides the city with an opportunity to inventory this work but also to ensure that it’s supervised and carried out to a standard that is safe, enjoyable, sustainable and which meets the city’s criteria,” he said.

“Let’s work together on this, because there’s a huge resource out there of people willing to put their arms to the plow, but they just need a bit of guidance on how to do it in a responsible manner.”

In the past, hikers and mountain bikers would often create their own paths without supervision or guidance, an “ad-hoc approach” to trail development, as Hnatiuk calls it.

But the city created new rules for building trails in 2007, after a decade of discussions. And in 2013 the city created its trails and greenways committee, a group that meets every month to assist with the implementation of the city’s trail plan.

“That further sent a message that the city is intent and serious in terms of working within certain standards, such as the International Mountain Biking Association standards,” said Hnatiuk.

“In the past eight years, the city has become a lot more proactive when it comes to developing, managing and maintaining trails. That’s because the community is starting to understand that you can’t just pull out chainsaws and start ripping around.

“They want to see a trail network that meets a standard.”

Hnatiuk said the process for creating your own trail is straightforward. You have to fill out a trail development application form and submit it to the city.

The form contains questions such as the reason for trail development, whether there has been consultation with the neighbourhood association, and the reason why you believe the trail will enhance the overall trail network for the City of Whitehorse.

Then, that information is presented to the trails and greenways committee for discussion, and a recommendation is brought back to city administration.

“It could be completed in a matter of weeks but one took as long as a year, because it contained too many uncertainties,” Hnatiuk said.

He encourages anyone willing to carry out trail building activities to call him at 668-8662 to discuss their projects.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Motorcyclist, car passenger dead after crash on Alaska Highway near blue bridge

Motorcycle rider, 43, from Whitehorse and car passenger, 47, from Manitoba pronounced dead at scene

In Portals, artist Dee Bailey finds safety, comfort in whimsical landscapes

The exhibition opened at Arts Underground on July 3

Rezoning process of industrial lot starts

Public hearing scheduled for July 27

Yukon River Chinook run not as disastrous as feared, but still small

This year’s Yukon River Chinook salmon run isn’t as disastrous as originally… Continue reading

New contract approved for landfill management

Norcope Construction Group will be responsible for “daily operations” at the landfill

Today’s mailbox: COVID reopening

Letter to the editor published July 3

Vuntut Gwitchin councillor submits resignation

Vuntut Gwitchin councillor Cheryl Charlie has submitted her resignation, leaving Chief Dana… Continue reading

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Ancient lake bed sediments, unusual plants are markers of the Takhini salt flats

It’s one of the Yukon’s best open geological secrets, a well-known but… Continue reading

Yukon University hires director of finance

Yukon University announced in a press release on June 29 that Sheila… Continue reading

Diamond Tooth Gerties to reopen

The Klondike Visitors Association (KVA) announced in a press release on June… Continue reading

Newly-elected Liard First Nation chief accuses YG of interfering with election

Stephen Charlie says YG’s announcement days before election endorsed previous chief

Most Read