Dry weather opens some Smithers mountain bike trails

Riders and hikers are asked to check which trails are open and to avoid damaging them.

The Smithers Mountain Bike Association wants riders and hikers to go through puddles to avoid braiding, which damages the trail. (SMBA photo)

If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear a big sigh of relief as some of the local mountain bike trails are finally being opened.

The trails have been closed on the recommendation of the Smithers Mountain Bike Association (SMBA) and the authority of the Recreation, Sites and Trails branch of the Ministry of Lands and Resource Operations.

Prior to this week, the wet weather did not allow the trails to dry out enough to allow their usage by the local enthusiasts. The SMBA has been monitoring the trails to ensure that their usage will not create additional problems due to erosion and unusual use that could cause greater difficulties down the road.

Brandy Hughes of Recreation, Sites and Trails said that it would be better for the club to be using it’s time and money on upgrading and improvement as opposed to repairing damage done due to using the trails before they were adequately dried out.

There has been concern in particular with a process called “braiding” which increases the footprint of erosion as people go around puddles.

At this point most of the Bluff trail system will be open for use. Users should check for any signage indicating specific closures on the trails.

Some of the Ptarmigan trails remain mostly close as they continue to dry out. At press time all of the Piper Down trails remain closed.

Those interested in riding, hiking or running on any of the trails should check for specific information on the SMBA website smithersmountainbike.ca.

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