An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) user took a joy ride on portions of the Ray Peters and Cheekye Fan trails this week, damaging segments of the popular Brackendale pathways.
The damage, discovered early Tuesday (Feb. 25), occurred on a portion of the Ray Peters Trail that runs alongside the north-south stretch of Ross Road and on a section that carries on into the middle of the Cheekye Fan near the B.C. Hydro power lines.
Most of the damage occurred on the outside portion of bends in the trails, where the outside wheel spun in the snow and soil and/or gravel surface. A couple of years ago, gravel was added to the affected portion of the Cheekye Fan trail to provide a more consistent surface for recreational users and for competitors doing the run portion of the Squamish Triathlon.
“This is so frustrating and far too common,” Bob Brant, president of the Squamish Trails Society (STS), wrote in an email. “A number of us put a tremendous amount of volunteer time into trails, only to have these type of people — who I suspect contribute nothing to trails — come in and rip it up.”
Trails in the Cheekye Fan, including the Ray Peters loop, are designated for non-motorized use only, Ed Alder, president of the Squamish Dirt Bike Association (SDBA), told The Chief.
Kristine Day, District of Squamish bylaw director, said the non-motorized use is covered under the Off Road Vehicle Bylaw (2002). If caught, violators are subject to fines, she said.
The last time major damage occurred on the Ray Peters Trail was in June 2011, when one or more dirt bikers “shredded” a section of the pathway near the Squamish landfill that had recently been gravelled, The Chief reported.
After that incident, signs were placed at nearby trail entrances notifying users that the trail is for non-motorized users. Alder suggested that the DOS place similar signs along trails where this week's damage occurred.
“It's [riding on non-motorized trails] something that we definitely don't condone,” said Alder, whose organization represents dirt bikers and ATV users in the Squamish area. “As few and far between as these incidents are, it's always a black mark on motorized recreation. It's a shame when people resort to these sorts of actions.”
SDBA puts a lot of time and effort into educating motorized recreation enthusiasts on where to ride legally and responsibly, Alder said. SDBA directors will likely contact their STS counterparts and take part in trail rehabilitation work in the aftermath of this week's incident, he said.
For more information, visit www.squamishdirtbikeassociation.ca
To report possible bylaw infractions, phone the District of Squamish bylaw department at (604) 815-5061. To report other suspicious activity, phone Squamish RCMP at (604) 892-6100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).