Cranbrook Yahk Assessment Report

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Information about Cranbrook Yahk Assessment Report

Published on July 13, 2009

Author: TrailsBC



This is a 2004 report on the feasibility of a Trans Canada Trail route between Cranbrook and Yahk. Other routing options were eventually decided on, however this route option has the potentail to be a connecting spur trail to the TCT at Cranbrook. Refer to CranbrookYahkNorthMap and CranbrookYahkSouthMap for identifying segments found in this report.

Oliver Thomae, R.P.F. 3116-5th St. South Cranbrook, B.C., V1C 6H7 250 426-3122 Al Skucas, Director, Rockies Region Trails B.C. 3200-4th St. South Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 5N5 April 13, 2004 Dear Al Skucas, Re: Assessment of Yahk to Cranbrook Route Options I am pleased to submit the final report describing the assessment of the Yahk to Cranbrook trail route options we discussed. This report is based on the best readily available information pertaining to the area of interest. Map data was obtained from the Geographic Data B.C. warehouse, and other sources. Some features are current and some are a few years old which means that there may be minor changes in land ownership and road development and deactivation which are not captured in this mapping. However, overall it should provide a fairly realistic picture of jurisdictions and interests which are traversed by the route. Thank you for choosing ArbourTech for this project. Yours truly, Oliver Thomae, R.P.F. ArbourTech Forest Management Services Encl.: Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Prepared for: Al Skucas, Regional Director, Trails B.C. Prepared by: Oliver Thomae, R.P.F. ArbourTech Forest Management Services Mapping and GIS by Karen Brown, Inventory Mapping Technician ArbourTech Forest Management Services With assistance by Curtis Bell, Sales Manager ArbourTech Forest Management Services March, 2004

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 3 Yahk to Cranbrook Trans Canada Trail Location Assessment Acknowledgements: The following people contributed valuable advice, assistance and/or information which assisted in the development of this assessment. Al Skucas, Regional Director, Trails B.C. Kootenay Region (also contributed photos) Jack Marra, Tembec Industries Inc. Neil Shuttleworth, Ministry of Forests Joanne Page, South Star Trails Society Roy Catherall, Chair, Cranbrook Community Forest Society Bob (and Gretchen) Wetham, Senior Planner, Regional District of East Kootenay Rick Logan, Kootenay Lake Forest District Anja Tolman, B.C. Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management Jeff Nicolajson, GIS Department, Regional District of East Kootenay Mike Leblanc, Trans Canada Trail Foundation Coordinator Curtis Bell, Sales Manager, ArbourTech Forest Management Services Karen Brown, Mapping Technician, ArbourTech Forest Management Services

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 4 Background: In the late 1990’s a citizen’s initiative to establish a trail across Canada was begun. Preliminary scoping by project leaders identified a general route through southern British Columbia not unlike the historic Dewdney Trail which linked Victoria and Vancouver to Ft. Steele in 1865. Transport modes are to include hiking, cycling, horses, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling where terrain and weather conditions allow. The current map of the designated route as found on the B.C. Trans Canada Trail web site is as follows: Although considerable route assessment work has been done by numerous dedicated volunteers, the trail from Creston to Cranbrook still requires specific location, approval and registration. This route section is characterized by portions of steep terrain, a mixture of private and crown lands, and a variety of utility and transport corridors.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 5 B.C. Government Guiding Principles: The following guiding principles are quoted from the B.C. Trans Canada Trail website. Emphasis has been added by this writer. Guiding Principles for the Trans Canada Trail in British Columbia These Guiding Principles provide broad policy direction for managers and users of the Trans Canada Trail in British Columbia and are subject to the legislation, regulations and policies of British Columbia. A companion document being developed (The Users Code of Ethics) provides trail users with further information regarding trail etiquette. These principles are endorsed by the Province of British Columbia, the Trails Society of British Columbia and the Trans Canada Trail Foundation. It should be recognized that the primary emphasis is to ensure that hikers can use the entire trail by the year 2000 and that the trail may not be open for all users by that time. 1: The Trans Canada Trail in BC (TCT) will provide a continuous recreational corridor from Victoria to the Alberta border. There will also be a portion of the TCT through northeastern BC, providing a link between Alberta and the Yukon. Wherever possible, practical, and safe to do so it will make use of existing trails and corridors. 2: A Trans Canada Trail through BC will exist in perpetuity. Where necessary, the specific route may be relocated to 1) meet public safety requirements; 2) address geotechnical concerns and/or environmental impacts; or 3) address significant land and resource development interests. 3: The trail will support the following core uses where appropriate and supported by the local community and managing agency: hiking, cross country skiing, bicycling, horseback riding and snowmobiling. 4: The Trans Canada Trail as a whole is not intended to be a linear park or protected area. Portions of the trail run through existing parks and protected areas. Designation of future parks and protected areas is an outcome of broader land use planning processes such as Land and Resource Management Plans (LRMP), and such areas may incorporate parts of the Trans Canada Trail. 5: The trail will seek to highlight and respect the natural and cultural heritage of British Columbia. 6: Management of the trail shall take place at the most local level possible. 7: Trail managers will practice a "good neighbor" policy with adjacent landowners and leaseholders.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 6 8: It is recognized that the trail will traverse a variety of landscapes in BC, including parks and protected areas, urban and rural landscapes, working forests and other landscapes modified by resource development activities. In some locations, resource development activities will occur adjacent to, across, under, above or on the trail. 9: The trail will contribute to the social and economic well being of the province by providing appropriate recreational, economic and educational opportunities. 10: The establishment of the Trans Canada Trail is done without prejudice to First Nations treaty negotiations. 11: Trail designation and management will be consistent with regional and sub-regional land use plans. 12: In some instances, certain routes may be identified and recognized as interim until such time as a more suitable alignment can be secured. 13: Not all portions of the trail will support all uses, or be passable in all seasons. Sections may be closed temporarily to meet public safety or environmental objectives, and sections may not be open to some of the five core uses. Different route alignments may be established to support the range of trail uses (i.e., trail users may be separated on certain segments, either by using different routes, or by physically separating users on the same route). 14: Proposed route alignments and design standards will be cost effective, considering costs of trail construction and maintenance and probable levels and types of use. 15: Existing legal motorized access will continue. Changes in usage may occur following community and agency consultation. 16: Where the trail is on private or leased Crown land, formal agreements will be sought as required with landowners and leaseholders. The trail will not use private or leased Crown lands without the consent of the land or lease holder; where agreements cannot be reached, alternate routes will be established. Lands will not be expropriated for the purposes of the trail. 17: Existing resource management commitments on Crown lands will continue. Future commitments can be made and will consider the existence of the trail through existing planning processes.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 7 Trans Canada Trail Foundation Guiding Principles: Community Support The essential ingredient of any trail is that it be embraced by the community it is intended to serve. Any proposed route of the Trans Canada Trail that cannot demonstrate broad-based community support must be re-considered. Sustainability A trail requires ongoing investment in the form of management, maintenance, patrolling, amenities etc.. To sustain a trail over time, there must be a dedicated group in place that assumes this responsibility and is accountable to the community. Community support is the cornerstone to trail sustainability. Infrastructure Travelers on the Trans Canada Trail will require basic amenities to ensure a rewarding experience on the Trail. Infrastructure such as food, accommodation, fuel, access to tourist information must be available to the traveler to a reasonable degree. Travelers must be made to feel welcome in the community. Once again, the development of adequate infrastructure on a trail begins with community acceptance and support of the trail. Degree of Difficulty The Trans Canada Trail is intended to be accessible to the “average traveler” as distinct from the traveler seeking and capable of “extreme experiences”. The route of the Trail should, wherever the Canadian geography permits, be accessible to travelers that are in average physical shape and have average competence as hikers, cyclists, horseback riders, cross-country skiers or snowmobilers. Safety Traveler safety is of utmost importance on any trail. Routing decisions must be first and foremost predicated on the security of the users. Experiential The route of the Trail must strive to provide the traveler with typical Canadian experiences. The Trail should be viewed as a stage for a distinctive and memorable experience in history, culture, nature, geology, adventure etc.. The Trail is more than just a path on the ground, it

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 8 should connect and involve travelers in the wonders and activities of the area. Time to Complete The Trans Canada Trail is striving to be substantially complete by 2010. Any proposed route that cannot be realistically completed by that date must be re-considered, even if it is officially registered – other routing options must be identified. In addition the following considerations were used to guide route selection: • Private land was avoided. • Priority was placed on incorporating existing features and facilities. • Trail grades were kept to under 10% wherever possible. • The lowest elevation route that would bypass obstacles and private land was used. • Wherever possible existing travel corridors that have low levels of motorized use were selected. • Local and Provincial recreation access zoning was respected.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 9 Previous Routing Decisions: Over the past several years, the east Kootenay route location has been gradually narrowed down. To approach Yahk from Creston, the Highway 3/95 shoulder can be used, or the trail could one day be located on a railway grade that now receives limited use with the closing of the Sullivan Mine in Kimberley. Presumably the railway track portion from Yahk to Cranbrook is expected to continue to be used as railway line because it supports use for north-south rail traffic into the U.S., but the east-west portion may not see further use. This route will require further assessment. Proceeding north from Yahk, at least two options on the west side of the Moyie lakes have been previously proposed but are currently not feasible due to reliance on two narrow, highway river-crossing bridges which lack sidewalks, and when combined with their poor site lines, present a level of danger deemed unacceptable by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. West side routes could be reconsidered in the future when these bridges are reconstructed or modified to current standards. A preliminary cost estimate for the two bridges to be upgraded to accommodate the trail has been set at about $350,000.00. Existing bridges on Highway 3/95 near Moyie Lake have no pedestrian crossing capacity. Curve in immediate background reduces sight lines for traffic and pedestrians. The East side of the Moyie Lake corridor also contains a number of challenges for locating the trail. Private land along lower elevations, steep terrain in mid-elevation, and old mine workings and a community watershed at Glencairn Creek all provide obstacles to avoid during route location. A possible partial solution to this has been to use existing utility corridors which typically include a narrow gravel access road. Alternatively the route could be located at about 1200m elevation to bypass the majority of obstacles.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 10 Previously it has been determined and agreed to by the South Star Trails Committee that the route from there should pass through the South Star recreation trails and down into Cranbrook via Idlewild Park. The City of Cranbrook is confirmed as being on the route, and the new cycle/walk Rotary Way trail has been designated as the official route through the city, accommodating hikers, cyclists and in-line skaters. The southern entry is currently confirmed at Idlewild Park near the SE corner of the City and the northern terminus is near the Southeast Fire Center, Initial Attack Base, at the trailhead for the Isadore Canyon Trail. The Isadore Canyon Trail leads from the north end of the City of Cranbrook towards Ft. Steele. This former rail bed has a gentle grade and good alignment, and is just distant enough from Highway 3 to have a trail feel. In approximately 2001, a trail connecting from the Isadore Canyon Trail to the Eager Hill-Fort Steele Road was laid out, constructed and marked. From there the trail follows a rural road Northeast to Highway 3/95. From the highway junction the route follows the shoulder of the highway to the Kootenay River bridge crossing and on up to the Wardner – Fort Steele road which then leads SE towards Fernie. Snowmobile capability ratings are based on the current physical condition of the trail, and do not take into account “Recreation Access Planning” work which is currently underway but incomplete. Some areas with snowmobile capability may not be permitted for motorized use, and others may not be appropriate due to the other modes of travel intended. In some remote areas, snowmobile use may enhance the route capability for skiing and snowshoeing where snow depths and lack of grooming would make use otherwise prohibitive. Winter use by snowmobiles and others depends on other resource activities active on the roads. Winter harvesting operations are common and result in roads being ploughed. This makes it difficult to use the shoulders and dangerous to use the surface.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 11 Methods: 1) Digital data was requested and obtained from the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. Data supplied was limited to contours, water features, and partial roads coverage. The Kootenay Lake and Rocky Mountain Forest Districts provided additional data for land ownership. More current roads mapping was provided by Tembec Industries Inc. 2) Al Skucas provided extensive background maps, information and gps data on route location reconnaissance work which he had already conducted. A variety of reference materials were also provided including Moyie history, current route mapping, trail standards etc. 3) Field reconnaissance was undertaken to verify route concepts and ensure their technical and jurisdictional feasibility. Due to the winter season, much of this was by snowshoe and cross country ski, which ensures that the route will have multi-seasonal capability. 4) Reconnaissance work attempted to connect existing trails and low use roads in consideration of the TCT Foundation objective of accommodating average Canadians. We sought to provide reasonably direct alignment, with minimal drastic elevation changes, in consideration of travelers attempting to traverse extensive portions of the trail, while at the same time either directly or indirectly incorporating features and views. 5) Reconnaissance routes were recorded by Global Positioning System for transfer to digital mapping. 6) The most immediately feasible route is shown as solid line, with options shown in dashed line. The segments are then recorded and characterized in the spreadsheet table. 7) Route segments are classified into categories representing their current condition, mode of transport capability and required development. Approximate cost estimates for development activities are provided. 8) Each segment is described and discussed in the report text.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 12 Detailed Route Assessment: The route starts in the moist Interior Cedar Hemlock forest near Yahk and heads northeast into the Rocky Mountain trench Interior Douglas-fir forest between Cranbrook and Fort Steele. Land status is primarily Crown land. Most of the trail length is Provincial Forest, which is used for timber harvesting, range management, and recreation. The Kootenay Boundary Land Use Plan indicates that the proposed trail corridor contains the following resource values and features: • 83 rare and endangered, threatened, or regionally significant species • Areas of low to medium emphasis for biodiversity management • A regional connectivity corridor • Some moderate quality grizzly bear habitat • Ungulate winter range habitat • Glencairn creek community watershed • A Class 1 regionally significant visual area • Fire maintained ecosystems in need of restoration • A human settlement corridor The land use zoning applicable is Integrated Resource Management. This is defined as “area where the full range of resource use and recreation activities can proceed, including forestry and mining exploration and development”1. The trail route has been sequentially numbered in segments for correlation with map and spreadsheet data. Each segment has somewhat uniform administrative or physical characteristics which allow it to be managed as an entity for planning purposes. Most of the proposed route traverses Crown land assigned to Tembec Industries Inc. for timber harvesting rights. Extensive recent harvesting directed at controlling and salvaging Mountain Pine Beetle infested timber has provided extensive opportunities to link harvest roads and skid trails into a trail corridor. Tembec staff have greatly assisted in choosing a route corridor that minimizes conflict between industrial and trail use. The old forest roads and newer roads together provide access valued at over $250,000 if it had to be constructed as virgin trail. 1 East Kootenay Land Use Plan, 1995, Government of British Columbia.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 13 A) Yahk to Moyie (YAMO) YAMO 05 Features Hawkins creek This segment is a conduit from Highway 3/95 to the eastern edge of private land east of Yahk. It follows the road shoulder past the small town of Yahk for a distance of 0.7 km with a gentle grade. Traffic is light and road width and visibility are adequate to accommodate travelers. This segment requires only signage. At the point where the road nears Hawkins Creek is approximately the start of Crown land. YAMO 10 Features a small bridge, and a forested hillside. From the Hawkins Creek road a small ditch crossing will be required leading to a new trail on a moderately steep hillside. This 0.3 km trail will require layout and construction with two or more switchbacks to take travelers from the public road to an old “Tote Road” which is located at the lower edge of a bench. YAMO 15 Features historic tote road, aspen forest. This 0.3 km segment of old Tote road is grown in with aspen but light clearing will restore an adequate trail grade to accommodate hikers, cyclists and horses. YAMO 20 Features diverse forest openings, vigorous plantations. A timber harvest forwarding trail leads northeast for about 1.8 km, and eventually connects to the Mt. Mahon Forest Service Road. The forwarding trail has been deactivated with logs and stumps placed on the dug up grade. With some handwork a suitable trail grade could be located. YAMO 25 Features forested hillside. Rather than following the forwarding trail all the way to its junction with the Mt. Mahon Forest Service Road, a connector trail could be constructed here to avoid doubling back for several hundred meters. This segment would be about 0.6 km long and requires layout, construction and marking.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 14 YAMO 30 Features easy grade along forested logging road. The Mt. Mahon Forest Service Road has light periodic traffic and leads travelers past private lands on an 8.4 km route parallel to the Moyie River at roughly 1200m elevation. When it reaches the Manson Creek drainage it stays level around the first basin and then connects to a road which hooks to the Manson Creek Forest Service Road. Travelers have the option to circle back to Yahk, or continue northward, either on a deactivated roundabout upper road, or via a yet to be completed lower route. The Mt. Mahon Forest Service Road provides good grade, visibility and a good surface. Industrial use is infrequent. YAMO 35 Features forested hill with occasional viewpoints. This section is steep but connects between long gentle grades. This 1.8 km segment follows a non-status road which requires signage. YAMO 40 Features lower bench near Moyie river valley and railway. Using some old road, this segment, coupled with the next one, would connect from the Munson Creek Forest Service Road to the Trans Canada Pipelines RoW. This 2.8 km segment will require field reconnaissance, layout, clearing, construction and marking. Some wet areas requiring drainage or structures are also anticipated. A riverfront rest stop is a long-term option. This lower trail route offers opportunities to view or visit the riverfront.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 15 YAMO 45 Features edge of wetland This 0.9 km segment will require new trail at the base of a steep slope. This will require reconnaissance, layout, clearing, construction and marking. YAMO 50 Features gas line right-of-way views This 2.7 km segment would make use of the existing grade along the Trans Canada Pipelines right-of-way on Crown land. The Trans Canada Pipelines right-of-way provides good visibility, and a road corridor (visible in the distance). YAMO 55 Features near level forested trail bypassing hill. To avoid following the gas line up and down a moderately steep grade, a hill bypass with minimal additional length would nearly keep the route level. This 1.7 km segment will require reconnaissance, layout, clearing, construction and marking. YAMO 60 Features near level wide trail paralleling river and railway This 7.7 km segment would follow along the Trans Canada Pipelines right-of-way just slightly above the river corridor. At Stone Creek the route can follow the gas line across the creek draw, or follow the forest road for an existing bridge crossing. YAMO 65 Features corridor for access through private land. Tembec Industries Inc. has acquired a statutory right-of-way through this corner of private land. If it is agreeable to Tembec and the owner of the surrounding land, this 0.7 km trail segment could use the forest road on the statutory right-of-way. If agreement is not possible, then an option exists to route the trail above the property and connect back to the road near Sundown creek. This would be less desirable as it would require new trail, and require roughly 50m of elevation gain and drop and slightly more length.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 16 YAMO 70 Features a short connector road. This 0.3 km segment would connect from the Stone Cr. forest road to the Trans Canada Pipeline right-of-way. YAMO 75 Features Sundown creek crossing The trail here could follow the gas line down through the Sundown creek draw, or follow the Stone Cr. forest road for a bridge crossing. The gas line segment would be 1.6 km and the forest road option would be 2.3 km. Sundown Creek flows across the ga line right of way. During low to moderate runoff conditions travelers can skip across rocks. In high water, the Stone Creek Road above could be used, providing a bridge crossing. YAMO 80 Features Farrell and Sunrise creek crossings This 2.6 km segment would follow the Sunrise Creek Forest Service Road to Highway 3/95. This provides access through a small corner of private land, and two stream crossings. Moderate industrial traffic can be expected on this route. Over the long- term a trail above the road could be laid out and constructed. Terrain and vegetation at Farrell creek make trail routing difficult. Also a rifle range could present hazards to nearby trail users. Therefore it is recommended that the route use the existing Sunrise Road in this area.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 17 Sunrise Creek Road is paved up to the gas line right-of-way. Access to the gas compressor station and waste transfer station is ploughed in winter. YAMO 85 Features historic Dewdney Trail corridor and lake views. This 2.2 km segment would follow the small powerline above Highway 3/95 which has a level graveled surface. This unofficial trail receives regular public use. The powerline crosses 4-5 mining properties believed to be held by Teck Cominco Ltd. If the property owner and B.C. Hydro are not agreeable to allowing the trail through the properties, the highway shoulder is a nearby alternative. Unfortunately any attempt to route the trail further up the hill to bypass the mining properties would encounter the abandoned mine workings which would undoubtedly be a more serious concern to the landholder. Moyie’s St. Eugene Mine tailings are visible from the powerline trail. This would be a good location for an interpretive kiosk explaining the mining history. YAMO 90 Features short connector to Moyie General Store This 0.2 km public road would allow the trail to connect to Highway 3/95 near Moyie General Store. Moyie is a historic mining town established in 1893.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 18 Above: View of Moyie General Store area at south end of town of Moyie as seen from historic Dewdney trail route. Right: 1904 St. Peters Catholic Church on Tavistock Road. B) Moyie to South Star (MOSS) MOSS 05 Features residential road through historic Moyie This 0.6 km segment could use the shoulder of Tavistock Road, a part of historic Moyie. If this segment was not supported by the community, a slightly longer route along the shoulder of the highway could be used. Character homes provide charm to this street. MOSS 10 Features short segment of highway shoulder. This 1.0 km of highway shoulder has gentle grades and good alignment for visibility. This segment of Highway 3 has a paved separate shoulder on each side and good visibility.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 19 MOSS 15 Features quiet Barkley Road This 0.5 km portion of Barkley road is paved, has little traffic, and provides public access through private land. MOSS 20 Features forested Bark Shanty Forest Service Road This 1.3 km segment climbs steeply between two parcels of private land. Lush second growth forest surrounds the road. This steep narrow logging road may at times have active hauling. MOSS 25 Features scenic forest road. This 3.6 km forest road crosses Bark Shanty Creek and continues to climb leading northward. Several vistas may be enjoyed along its length. MOSS 30 Features bypass around private land The forest road here traverses a 0.1 km corner of a private lot. A trail bypassing this corner could be constructed if the landowner was not agreeable to having the trail routed through their property. MOSS 35 Features forest road crossing unnamed creek draw After bypassing private land the trail could connect back to the same forest road continuing to the northeast for 0.5 km.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 20 MOSS 40 Features open forest with views of north Moyie Lake A 0.4 km segment of new trail would be required through a recently logged cutblock to connect to skid trails leading to the lower Cotton Cr. road. The trail should bypass private property. If the landowner is concerned with having this trail in proximity to their holdings, it could be moved northward. MOSS 45 Features views from skid trail leading to Cotton creek road. Skid trails of moderate gradient can be followed for 1.1 km down to the Cotton Creek road. Some cleanup and marking will be required. MOSS 50 Features south portion of Cotton creek forest road. This 1.1 km forest road has limited industrial use. MOSS 55 Features some potential views of Moyie lake This 1.2 segment of new trail through a cutblock will require reconnaissance, layout, construction, and marking along a steep sidehill. MOSS 60 Features Cotton Creek Forest Service Road Except for the first small portion, this 3.3 km segment follows the Cotton Creek Forest Service road which provides crossing of Cotton and Prudhomme creeks. This temporary bridge across lower Cotton creek may be removed as harvesting operations are completed. If so a smaller footbridge would have to be installed.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 21 From this segment, users have the option to return to Highway 3/95 to the west, or follow the Cotton creek road north to Hidden Valley road and back to Cranbrook. MOSS 65 Features a small harvesting spur road with nice views. This 0.6 km spur road climbs moderately towards Hogg Creek. Views from here include north Moyie Lake, and the interface between the Semlin fire (1995) and the Lamb Cr. fire (2003). MOSS 70 Features new trail over slight pass, heavily used by ungulates. This 0.4 km segment of new trail passes through a recent cutblock. Reconnaissance and layout will be straightforward to connect the two roads. Only minor trail clearing and marking is required. MOSS 75 Features a recently constructed forest road. This 0.3 km segment would use a new forest road with little industrial use. MOSS 80 Features recent cutblock offering views to the west. This 0.8 km segment has been partially deactivated. Minor clearing and marking will be required. The road and skid trail have a gentle gradient along the edge of cutblock bench. MOSS 85 Features small unnamed stream crossing This 0.6 km segment will require reconnaissance, layout, and a small stream crossing. The north and south ends will require clearing and construction on moderate to steep sidehill. MOSS 90 Features lower Hogg Creek road. This 0.6 km segment would use the existing lower Hogg creek road to gently climb towards the South Star trails area.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 22 MOSS 95 Features historic access road near Hogg Creek This 0.6 km segment follows a historic access road that has begun to grow in. Some clearing and drainage will be required. This old resource road in lower Hogg Creek has a good grade but has grown in somewhat as illustrated by this large Cottonwood growing on the center of the grade. MOSS 100 Features recent opening with some views This 0.6 km segment follows a terrace above Hogg Creek. The harvesting trails have been deactivated. Some layout, clearing and subgrade work will be required to recreate a trail corridor. This cutblock west of Hogg Creek has benchy terrain with gentle to moderate grades. Volunteers assisted on snowshoes with trail reconnaissance through 60 cm of new snow in January, 2004.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 23 MOSS 105 Features upper Hogg Cr. spur road with outstanding vistas. This 1.9 km segment uses a south facing spur road with vistas over the Hogg to Peavine creek valleys. MOSS 110 Features a new trail connector to South Star trails. This 0.2 km connector requires reconnaissance, layout, clearing, construction and marking. An optional route on the south side of Hogg creek could also be considered. Final routing here should consider the wishes of the South Star trails committee. C) South Star to Cranbrook (SSCR) The South Star Trails area is shown in jade green on the route map. It contains an existing network of recently enhanced trails and facilities which are co-managed by a volunteer society in cooperation with the Ministry of Forests. It has been an objective of this project to route the trail through South Star to feature the local facilities and to provide recognition and support to this hard working group of trail stewards. SSCR 05 Features Gooseneck Loop ski trail This segment would use 0.8 km of the existing Goose neck loop ski and multipurpose trail. The junction at the terminus of this segment has a trail map kiosk providing several route alternatives for users. Some winter trail grooming is carried out by the South Star trails committee in cooperation with Ministry of Forest. SSCR 10 Features Moose Creek ski trail This segment would use 2.4 km of the existing Moose Creek ski and multipurpose trail. An alternative route using Easy Street would be shorter but slightly less trail like. SSCR 15 Features Shady Lane, Aspen Bend, Peavine and Snow Creek ski trails The south star ski trails offer several route options. This route is recommended to provide visitors with access to the main central trail kiosk, warming hut and pit toilet.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 24 South Star ski trails are popular for cross country skiing in winter, and mountain biking in summer. The South Star Trails area also has several This warming shelter is located near the main trail map kiosks including this main one. kiosk. SSCR 20 Features Far East ski trail along south side of powerline. This 1.1 km segment climbs moderately to the east along the south edge of the powerline. The ski trails are reasonably well removed from the powerline road which is also used by snowmobiles and ATVs. SSCR 25 Features Christmas tree farm and vistas along the powerline right-of- way This 0.2 km segment would cross the powerline linking to some unofficial trails within the southern portion of the South Star area. SSCR 30 Features a semi-open forested trail of moderate gradient. This 1.9 km trail complex would require some reconnaissance and layout, and final marking. Trail grades are in good condition with minimal work required. This route has been selected to avoid being along the residential boundary, and yet staying away from the city water supply reservoir and watershed.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 25 SSCR 35 Features rural residential roads leading into city. This 3.5 km quiet public road system would lead users to Idlewild Park. Alternatives are possible should residents have concerns over the use of this route. SSCR 40 Features trails, views, facilities of Idlewild Park. This 0.6 km segment would traverse Idlewild Park providing pit toilets, a lakeshore trail loop, fire pits, benches, a crossing of Joseph Creek and a parking staging facility. D) Cranbrook To Fort Steele From here several options are available to lead users into or around the City of Cranbrook. Only the trail oriented ones are discussed here. CRFS 05 Features paved cycle/walk/in-line skate trail, and city amenities. This 7.1 km route through the City of Cranbrook has been paved and line painted as a two way cycle/walk/in-line skate trail by the Rotary Club of Cranbrook. Its use as the official Trans Canada Trail route has been approved. Only minor signage additions and selection of a pavilion site is required. The Rotary Way trail through Cranbrook connects a number of parks including Baker Park where the trail (here seen in the foreground) passes by an outer hockey rink. An alternate route through the Cranbrook Community Forest has been selected and marked in cooperation with the Cranbrook Community Forest Society. This route provides more natural trails through the scenic alkalis area and accommodates horses.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 26 Left: The alternate route through the Cranbrook Community Forest features the Kettle Lake Interpretive trail, toilets, picnic tables and interpretive kiosk and plaques. Right: The alkali grasslands in the Cranbrook Community Forest provide open vistas. Isadore Canyon trail has been marked and this Interpretive Kiosk provides a brief history near the Cranbrook trailhead.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 27 CRFS 10 Features the existing Isadore canyon trail on historic railway bed. This 6.8 km trail has a gentle gradient on a City of Cranbrook owned right-of-way. It has been designated and marked as Trans Canada Trail. Isadore Canyon trail in the fall. The abandoned railway bed has a gentle grade and allows visitors to travel side by side. CRFS 15 Features low elevation constructed trail leading to Fort Steele This 2.1 km segment was constructed and marked as a portion of the Trans Canada Trail in about 2001. It still requires formal establishment with the Ministry of Forests. CRFS 20 Features open forest ridge trail paralleling Highway 3 This 2.3 km segment parallels Highway 3. It was constructed and marked as a portion of the Trans Canada Trail in about 2001. It still requires formal establishment with the Ministry of Forests.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 28 CRFS 25 Features a quiet rural residential road. This 3.9 km segment follows the Eager Hill-Ft. Steele road which is a quiet residential road past the City Sanitary ponds. Marking has been completed. CRFS 30 Features bridge crossing Kootenay River, Fort Steele Heritage Park This 2.5 km segment would use the highway shoulder to cross the Kootenay river bridge. Trail Class Designation Table 1 below indicates the design parameters for classification of trail segments used in the Route Segment Data Table. These are adapted from the B.C. Parks Trail Planning and Construction Manual. Lengths and other aspects have been adjusted to provide complete ranges that suit this component of the Trans Canada Trail. Those classes that could apply to the Trans Canada Trail have been highlighted. Because a class captures variations in several trail characteristics, (eg. slope, length, and width) all characteristics may not fit absolutely from one class to another. A best fit approximation is used in rating the trails. Route Segment Data Table: Table 2 contains the route data summary used to compile the route lengths, characteristics, and necessary developments. Trail classes are assigned based on the lowest class between any two communities. In the case of snowmobiles, the individual segments are rated to assist in determining potential snowmobile applicability. The table includes potential trail classes if it were built to an anticipated standard. If the indicated class is desirable to Trails B.C., then that class can serve as the design standard for layout. These classes are initial approximations to serve planning and discussions. It is expected that these could be modified before actual trail layout and construction commences. Cost estimates are initial coarse approximations. They should not be interpreted as an offer to construct for the indicated amount.

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 29 Table 1 Trail Classification Ratings Adapted from B.C. Parks Trail Planning and Construction Manual –Shaded Classes Apply To Trans Canada Trail Transport Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Mode Hiking Day use Day use Day use or overnight Lightly used wilderness trails Overnight or multi-day 5-30 minutes long. 10-120 minutes long 2-10 hours Overnight or multi-day Wilderness hiking routes Two way traffic 1-6 km 5-30 km or more Width 0.5m Trail development is avoided Max. 8% grades Max. 10% grade Width 0.5m May have pit toilets No amendities Average grade <5% Average <5-8% grade Grades up to 15% Width 2 m Width 1.25 m May have support facilities Cycling Two way, paved Two way, surfaced One way, unsurfaced One way, unsurfaced, N/A 0-5 km 0-10 km Mountain bikes Mountain bikes Road and mountain bikes Road and mountain bikes Length 10-50 km Length 30-80 km Width 2.5 m Width 2 m Width 0.5-0.7 m Cleared width 1 m Max. grade 10% Avg. grade 5-10% Clearing width 1-1.5 m Cleared height 2.5 m Average grade 5-8% Max. grade 10-15% Clearing height 2.5 m Tread width 0.3-0.5 m Avg. grade to 10%, Avg. grades to 15%. Max. grade 15-20% Max. grade to 20-25% Horseback Day use, 1-15 km Day use or overnight Low use multi-day trips N/A N/A Gentle uniform grade 5-40 km 30-50 km Gravel, well drained Natural surfacing Low standards Grades 0-10% Max. grade 15% Riders may need to dismount Clearing height 3 m Clearing height 3 m for sections Clearing width >2.5m Clearing Width > 2.5 m Tread width >1.5 m Tread width >0.5-1 m Ford depth < 60 cm Ford depth < 60 cm smooth smooth bottom bottom Cross Country Ski racing trails. (Easy) Day use (More difficult) Day use (Most difficult) Ski touring route N/A Ski Cross Country Canada Up to 15 km Up to 22-36 km Up to 40% downhill grade Regulations. Avg. grades up to 5% Avg. grades up to 15% Single climbs to 100m Avoid climbs over 5m Max. grades up to 25% Trails over 15 km not to exceed Max. 100 m elevation change Avoid climbs over 75 m 1500 m climb. in overall trail. Max. 600 m elevation in Ungroomed Clearing width 3 m overall trail. Clearing height 2.5m Clearing width 3 m Wide curves Clearing height 2.5m Shelters every 15-20 km Wide curves Groomed Shelters every 15-20 km Ungroomed Snowmobile Day use Day use Day use to multi-day N/A N/A 24-40 km 40-80 km 80-120 km Max. avg. 8% Max. avg. 10% Max. avg. 15% Max. grade 25% Max. grade 30% Max. grade 25% Cleared width 5m Cleared width 5m Cleared width 2.5 m Clearing height 2.5 m Clearing height 2.5 m Clearing height 2.5 m Trail width 3.6m Trail width 3.6m Trail width 2.0 m

Trans Canada Trail Yahk to Cranbrook Route Assessment Report Page 30 Table 2: Trail Segment Data Table Trans Canada Trail Route Assessment Yahk to Cranbrook Current/Potential Work Required ss h la ss gt ss C s ile en a s re y r la ts Cl as n o. ne nu ar as ob s ar nd de ) m L r ia . iC ge en t (m ng C t Cl en g s Te imin ng ng ow Es (k rox. M sa Cl wm ra Cr am in rin st ut na m Sk st si de gm th e ki ki rr a ue bg nd yo m os st re ea gn ) cl re ai p o el id al ra XC Co Co Se Ap Cy Eq Sn Su Fo Te La La Dr Pr W W Cl St Si G

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