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New trails added near Chase and Salmon Arm

Hikers and mountain bikers rejoice as Scatchard Mountain and South Canoe systems grow.
Bob Ritchie, Shelley Witzky, Derek Sheena, and David Lepsoe look on, as technical trail specialist, Sutra Brett, and Ariana Scholinder from the Shuswap Trail Alliance demonstrate sustainable trail building practices at the new Rocky Road trail above Chase. (Shuswap Trail Alliance Photo)

The Shuswap Trail Alliance’s summer trail crews and stewards have been hard at work adding to the region’s extensive system of trails.

New trails have been added to the South Canoe trails near Salmon Arm, the Scatchard Mountain Rocky Road trail has been expanded hillside east of Chase.

“We’ve had a great trail crew this season,” said Adrian Bostock, Project Manager with the Shuswap Trail Alliance.

“They’ve made the most of the lower fire hazard allowing us to finish up two of the seven new sections of trail we’re working with regional partners on this year.”

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The Rocky Road is 1 km addition to the switchback trail that climbs above Chase on the east side of the Trans-Canada Highway. Those looking to see the trail for themselves can park at Safety Mart in Chase, cross under the highway using the pedestrian underpass and reach the trailhead on Foothills Road, passing the old cemetery on the way.

A unique feature of the trail near Chase is the hand-built retaining wall it passes. Local historian and champion of trail projects David Lepsoe said the retaining wall was a part of the old Scatchard road that was never used due to alignment problems. According to the trail alliance, the wall now sits hidden in a dense forest of Douglas firs waiting to be discovered by hikers.

According to the trail alliance, more interpretive signage explaining the area’s significance within the Secwepemc territory is forthcoming.

The Scatchard Switchbacks offer views over Chase Creek and the village itself. The 3.5 km one way hike up the switchbacks is listed as more difficult on the trail alliance’s website; it takes approximately one hour to reach the top.

The additions to the South Canoe Trails are an exciting one for mountain bikers who enjoy longer rides. A loop trail has been added allowing for a 12 km continuous ride without the use of logging roads.

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The trail alliance’s announcement of the new addition to the trail system states that the upgrades at South Canoe and Scatchard Mountain aren’t the only ones they expect to be completed this season.

“Watch for more new trails to come later this season, as the Shuswap Trail Alliance trail crew and volunteer stewards continue to work on further additions at South Canoe, on the Larch Hills Traverse, at White Lake in the South Shuswap, and in the East Shuswap,” a notice from the trail alliance reads.

“The 2019 trail projects were made possible through a combination of community funds and sponsorships raised during the annual Shuswap Trails Party and Fundraiser in February, and gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through a BC Rural Dividend Program grant.”


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Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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