The Bulkley Valley Quad Riders have begun the process of upgrading a popular trail between Telkwa and Terrace to make it more accessible for motorized and non-motorized vehicles.
In collaboration with Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., the club is upgrading the 68-kilometre Telkwa Pass that connects Telkwa Forest Road, past Milk Creek, Blue and Top lakes, to Copper River near Terrace.
“The point is to make it a friendly user trail for all groups,” said Dan Rebbetoy, the club president.
“It’s one of the better ones, it’s more friendly for people to use. It has high usage and it is a nice trail.”
Last summer, they started brushing and doing campsite work. In the spring they will continue brushing areas that have grown over to make it more safe for riders.
They are also in talks with the Terrace ATV & SxS Society to build staging areas on the Terrace side and on the Telkwa side by Jonas Creek.
The club hopes to add another picnic table and campsite at Blue Lake as well.
“It’s a high-use area. I went through there three years ago and I passed 30 other riders through there,” said Ben Heemskerk, district recreation officer for Recreation Sites and Trails.
Though the club could not estimate the number of riders who use the trail on an annual basis, it is accessible with quads, mountain and motor bikes, hiking and horseback riding.
It also sees use in the winter for snowmobiling and skiing, but is most heavily used from spring to fall.
“It is a unique experience to be able to ride existing trails through a mountain pass that connects community to community with two beautiful lakes in the pass,” said Heemskerk. “It’s a real gem in our backyard.”
Currently, Heemskerk is working towards getting the Telkwa Pass designated as a multi-use trail for motorized and non-motorized vehicle use.
Terry MacKay, secretary with the club, said the upgrades could also bring a boost to the town’s economy.
“People come to our area and they want to go quadding in different areas,” he said. “The Telkwa Pass is a great one for that.”
In addition to the upgrades, the club is in the initial planning stages of establishing a memorial for club member Lloyd Kilback, who passed away earlier this year in Arizona.
“He liked hunting and he liked the outdoors and did a lot of volunteer work,” said Rebbetoy, adding that the proposed memorial is a way of remembering Kilback, who dedicated six years of his life to the club.
Kilback, who would have been 65 in February, played an integral role in moving the Telkwa Pass project ahead.
“It’s to recognize the work he did with the club and for the valley,” said Heemskerk.
Ideas include a plaque on a boulder or on a picnic table by one of the lakes on the ride through the pass, but nothing has been finalized.