Trail should be for everyone


I am 70 years old. I was born & raised in Burns Lake and spent most of my life in this area. My parents & my grandparents homesteaded here in the 1920s and lived here until their deaths. We have all been tax payers and contributed to society and been good members of this community from day one! I’ve spent much of my younger years, right up until recent times, trudging through the bush all over this beautiful country, with a rifle on my shoulder and a camera around my neck or in my pack with my lunch and necessary supplies.

Now I find it outrageous and appalling that there is such a blatant show of greed and selfishness by a select few, in a select age group, in this community. I am referring to the hikers and mountain bikers that have arranged to have the 9.5km trail around Red Johnson Lake closed to anyone but themselves. By limiting the use of that trail to only people who want to walk or hike it. No quadding allowed.

The parks and recreation ministry, has been blindsided with BS from this greedy group of hikers and bikers and have apparently passed legislation or at least an arbitrary rule keeping people like myself going for a nice slow ride around this beautiful lake with my quad. And being able to enjoy the wildlife and scenery in this particular.

The greatest majority of people that I mentioned this trail and lake to have no idea where it is yet there was more than $600,000 spent on building this trail. This money was granted to this area to partially compensate for the loss of trees caused by the mountain pine beetle. And so far, since it was built I have been around that trail many times and have never seen a soul. This same trail has been there for 10 years now, there are many structures and bridges that are unfinished with piles of treated 2x4s laying on the ground and left abandoned. I have also in the past, walked around Kager Lake many times, but I have had to quit because I’ve been almost mowed down by mountain bikers going like the milltails of hell. There are all kinds of other trails for these bikers but rather than share they have taken over all the trails, even the one around Red’s Lake is not used much by them since this trail’s inception about 10 years ago. I have walked it and in the past few years ridden my quad around and have never encountered another person on foot, bike, or horse back.

A lot of seniors and people with disabilities, are restricted, I myself use a quad now, traveling at a very low speed and enjoy the scenery and wildlife, I also bring a chainsaw and cut the odd tree off the trail when necessary. I believe these trails should be opened to everyone to make better use of our tax dollars (grants). I quite realize the main reason for the signs on the trails prohibiting motorized vehicles but would not the solution be to restrict the use of motorized vehicles to seniors and disabled or handicapped people. If half the money that the Burns Lake Mountain Bike Association has received from the government grants for bike trails had been received by the Village of Burns Lake and had been used to pave our streets the village would not be in the position with things like the Eight Avenue conundrum.

Gerald Eckland

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