LETTER: International Trails Day is Saturday, June 1

International Trails day is the annual celebration of trails, trails development and the healthy lifestyle they encourage.

This day is marked by more than two dozen nations worldwide and encompasses all forms of trail usage.

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The goals are to: promote public awareness of trails; recognize the people who build and maintain trails; build partnerships among trail groups and businesses; encourage cooperative efforts among all the different trail users, and get people out to enjoy the health benefits of nature.

We residents of Squamish live in an urban oasis that has about 300 kilometres of recreational trails.

These trails are a ready means of access to the revitalizing tonic of nature.

Outdoor activity is good for the body and soul, especially the medical benefits of mobility.

On June 1, everyone is encouraged to walk, stroll, hike, run ride and perambulate on your favourite trail or try a new trail

Our trails offer something for everyone — tall trees on the Ray Peters trail in Brackendale; roaring waterfalls on the Ring Creek and Powerhouse trails; the smell of fresh ‘road apples’ on Loggers Creek Trail; the tang of sea air on the Oceanfront loop; the adrenaline rush on the many black diamond SORCA trails; birdwatching on Woodpecker and Blue Heron  trails in the estuary; chuckling streams on the Four Lakes Trail in Alice Lake Park, and so on.

The Senior Smoothers project, a co-operative effort of the Seniors Society and Squamish Trails, funded by a federal grant, has laid new surface on some trails. This is designed to make these trails user-friendly for people using mobility assist devices.

Parents with strollers, seniors with walkers and people in wheelchairs can now use the Nature Loop and  Loggers Creek trails. Further traiis to be completed this year include the Blue Heron/ Old South Dike; Mamquam Spawning, Magnoliia, and sections of Ray Peters.

Everyone, regardless of mobility, should be able to access  trails.

“Pristine” is the most frequent adjective assigned to our area.

Maintaining this accolade is important for the economic benefits of tourism in the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada” and to our selfish desire to live within easy access to ‘nature.’  Pitch in to keep our trails neat and inviting. Volunteer to assist local trail groups. Enjoy International Trails Day.

Jim Gracie

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