Trail Etiquette & The Lunch Loop

Trail Etiquette
September’s Education Issue is a great time to review and bring awareness to trail etiquette. There are number of things to keep in mind when you are out there on the trails either on foot or on 
a bike. The main overall theme is to be courteous and safe when encountering other trail users, but here are a few key tips to play safe.
We have a number of two-way trails in Fernie. A great example is Lazy Lizard. As you know this is a very busy trail for all levels of riders, especially on the weekends. The thing to remember here is that the uphill rider has the right of way. However, you should always be aware and prepared to pull over regardless of the direction. Make noise to ensure riders know you are approaching, and communicate if you would like to pass. 

We also have trails in town that are one-way and signed, “No uphill traffic.” Red Sonja is a great example of this and is the route of the month for September. Please respect the one-way direction on these trails and you can giv’er on the downhill. If the trail isn’t marked, and you know it’s a popular descent but choose to climb it, be especially aware and prepared to step aside for riders. 

Like all trail networks, there is an array of types of trail users including bikers, hikers and runners, as well as equestrian on some trails. As IMBA Canada outlines, “bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is cleary signed for bike-only travel.”

Finally, remember to leave no trace. This means not riding the trails when they are muddy, staying on the existing trail, and making sure to pack out what you pack in. 

Route of the Month: Red Sonja
Time: 1-1.25 hrs. 
Distance: 3.5 km
Level: Black

To start this route head over to Burma Road and look for the small pull out and signage to Phat Bastard. Head up this technical climb with lots of roots, bridges and a few punchy sections. It will top out at the powerline, which you cross and continue on the double track, taking a right on Red Sonja, where the fun begins. There are lots of fun corners, wooden features and tight sections in the trees. Cross the section of trail you climbed up enjoying the rollers and the bridge over the old car to finish things off. That should put a smile on your face for sure! 

The Lunch Loop
The Sparwood Trails Alliance (STA) has been working diligently to provide the Valley with new trails this year. We’d like to highlight our newest completed project this month: The Lunch Loop. We’ve recently completed the first section of a multi-year trail building project that will provide users with beautiful, multi-directional beginner and intermediate trails. The newly finished section is a 2.4km trail open to bikers, runners and hikers alike. Although we do recommend riding counter-clockwise for maximum appreciation, it can be ridden in both directions. 

The trail, along with Middletown and Middletown extension (another new build funded by the Community Initiative Grant) are now uploaded to Trailforks for ease of use. The build was done partly by our amazing volunteers and partly by the very talented BackCountry Trail Experts, with funding from Teck Coal and the Columbia Basin Trust. 

The STA is working really hard on expanding its trail network to make the best parts of Sparwood rideable, runnable and hikeable and look forward to seeing you all out enjoying what Sparwood has to offer, and if you like what you see, consider becoming a member of the Sparwood Trails Alliance. Follow them on Social Media for updates and announcements on all our new projects!