“Whatever good things we build, end up building us.”
“15 minutes with a shovel” is a running joke among friends that trail build; the publicly perceived amount of time it takes to fix something. The reality is much different.
Severed: New Life for an Old Trail
Co-Leads: P. Deck & M. Newman
Repairing a trail may not feel as glamorous as building something new; instead the reward is in successful problem solving to transform the trail into an experience that can be enjoyed by all.
Years of little to no maintenance left Severed in disrepair. Flat, poorly drained sections turned to mud pits, steep fall line pitches were eroded from water and trail users, and the low lying exit had become a rocky creek bed. Trail repair followed sustainable best practices. Identifying the root causes of damage along each section of the trail ensured that work solved the contributing problems and that repairs would last.
Outslope, grade reversals, drains, and ditches were used to divert water off the trail at every opportunity, minimizing damage from water. Redundancy helps safeguard against failure. The trail tread was repaired with rock and mineral soil to provide a durable surface that helps shed water. Sections widened from erosion were narrowed to reduce the overall footprint of the trail. Realignment of the low-lying section to higher ground enabled restoration of water's natural course. Original sections of the trail were closed and renaturalized. The junction of Severed with the popular cross-mountain Bridle Path was redesigned, routing the trail uphill and adding corners to improve sight lines and slow mountain bikers.
Restoration took over a year, and as all trail builders know, the work is never truly finished.
John Deer: from Secret to Sustainable
Co-Leads: M. Newman & P. Deck
John Deer began life as a secret trail. The entrance was hidden behind a log and signs at the exit cautioned riders to hike. The original builder moved away from North Vancouver and the trail was decommissioned, but it wasn’t destined to stay that way. A favourite among those that knew it, gradually the trail was reopened and it wasn’t long before the secret was out.
The increased traffic was taking its toll and with the blessing of the original builder, we strove to transform John Deer into a sustainable trail yet retain the feel of the original as much as we could.