September 5th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 36
Short but mighty connector road built by volunteers
Critical section of Pass Powderkeg-York Creek connector trail now complete
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Jim Lucas Photo
The PPK-York Creek connection trail was built entirely by UROC volunteers and the Junior Forest Ranger crew, who came out one day to help. Pictured: Two members of the Junior Forest Ranger crew helping with the trail building.
Pass Herald Reporter
The new section of mountain biking trail recently completed by the United Riders of Crowsnest (UROC) may only be 250m long, but it plays an important role in connecting the 20km of single-track non-motorized trail in Pass Powderkeg Ski Area (PPK) to the 30 km of trail in the York Creek area.

The new section of trail connects at Buck 50 and eliminates a particularly steep and difficult section of OHV track that was bikeable if going from the PPK to the York Creek, but was almost impossible to bike up going the other way around.

“We had a connector, but it wasn’t something you could really bike without getting off and pushing quite a bit. The hill is too steep,” says UROC trail coordinator Jim Lucas. “The purpose of this new little project is to create a bit of extra single track and make the whole thing bikeable. A little bit of pushing is okay, but a lot of pushing gets to be a bore.

Past the new connection, riders still need to use “unofficial” mountain biking trails like OHV tracks to cross to the other area, but the route is overall not as difficult as the avoided section was.
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This small section is the beginning of a larger-scale project on UROC’s wish-list. The ultimate goal is to complete another 2km of single-track mountain biking connector trail that, paired with another 2km of existing OHV trail, will facilitate access from PPK to York Creek.

“The intent of the single-track is to create a better biking experience and eventually encourage more travel between the two trail networks and the potential for longer rides for those seeking more challenge,” says Lucas.

The roadblock that UROC is facing is that since the projected trail would cross the Livingstone Public Land Use Zone (PLUZ), Alberta Environment and Parks has not authorized trail building projects on that land as they continue to plan future non-motorized recreational trail development at the local level.

In the case of the PPK-York Creek connector trail, the municipality is a disposition holder of that land, facilitating the process.
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The bigger picture is that the projected trail may also play an important role in connecting with the proposed “Epic” trail that Alberta Parks is currently planning.

UROC presented two suggestions to Alberta Environment and Parks as to where they recommend to route a potential IMBA Epic trail. One option was in the Star and Girardi Creek basins while the other alternative was Willoughby Ridge.

At this time, the government has yet to select a route that the Epic trail would take.
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September 5th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 36
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