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Montane trailhead gets a glow-up

The CCHS and their sponsors recently completed major work at the Montane trailhead parking lot
The Coal Creek Heritage Society, along with Tourism Fernie, Parastone Developments, and Columbia Basin Trust, worked on major parking lot and signage improvements at the Montane trailhead in Fernie in July, 2022. (Courtesy of Rick Wiess)

Fernie’s Montane trailhead has an improved parking lot and the Eco-Terrorist trail has new and maintained boardwalks due to recent work done by Coal Creek Heritage Society (CCHS) volunteers and their sponsors.

According to CCHS director Pat Gilmar, major work was done over the week of July 18 at the Montane trailhead.

The work includes new signage, re-contouring the lower parking lot, and levelling and compacting it.

Gilmar also mentioned re-establishing a port-a-potty and building a kiosk at the trailhead.

The work was done with the help of Parastone Developments, Tourism Fernie, and the Columbia Basin Trust, and began around the beginning of July.

“Fernie Tourism is providing us with some new trailhead signs, like big maps that are oriented properly and make it easier for out of town people to orient themselves and follow the right trials,” Gilmar said.

Rick Wiess, vice president with the CCHS, said that for trail work, they have been focusing on Eco-Terrorist for the past four weeks.

He said the trail was a mud-hole mess due to a very cool, very long and wet spring, and said the trail doesn’t drain well.

“We re-did every board walk, not a full rebuild, but fixed them up, made on-and-offs because there was big holes developing.”

He said there are a couple more shorter boardwalks planned, but there is no rush to complete them at this time.

CCHS volunteer crews have been busy with other work as well through June and July.

Wiess said they successfully re-routed Kids Stuff and R-Trail around a CanWel logging staging area, which he said was a safety issue.

“People were riding into a work zone when they weren’t supposed to.”

Crews have been working on odds-and-ends on every trail, Wiess said, such as Roxy Roller, Eric’s Trail, Split Decision and Sidewinder. They will also be working on the Trans Canada Trail from TR3 to Sidewinder, he said.

The November 2021 rain event created a lot more work than normal this spring due to erosion and other issues, Wiess said.

“But we’ve pretty well caught up on stuff like that.”

Gilmar noted that work is ongoing to build a flow-trail at the top end of Montane, which he said would take all summer. Another crew will be working to build a 1 km connector to ride to the top of that trail.

READ MORE: ‘Respect the trails’: volunteers have been busy getting Fernie trails into shape


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