The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) has begun offering interpretive tours to its two publicly accessible dinosaur footprint field sites. The tours will run daily (except Tuesdays) till the end of August and can be booked through the Tumbler Ridge Visitor Info Centre.
The Wolverine tour, which lasts an hour, has a hiking distance of under a kilometer. Here shallower footprints allow the preservation of dinosaur skin impressions. Evening lantern tours are a wonderful way to enjoy this site, as the rock comes alive with footprints in the controlled low angled lighting, beside the rushing torrent of the Wolverine River.
The Cabin Pool tour takes two hours, with a return hiking distance of four kilometers. Here deeper footprints allow unusual features such as dewclaw impressions to be seen. Across the creek and fifty meters downstream is the ankylosaur trackway, discovered in 2000 by two local boys, which sparked the Tumbler Ridge dinosaur fervour. When water levels in Flatbed Creek are low, a creek crossing and visit to this trackway are an added bonus.
In addition to interpretation of the footprints, the tours include information on the Tumbler Ridge palaeontology discoveries and research, and other natural history. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the museum?s dinosaur and other fossil exhibits in the Community Centre.
Some trail sections are steeper, so good hiking shoes are recommended, along with a drink and snack, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Tours begin and end at the Visitor Information Centre in Tumbler Ridge. Group size is limited to 10 persons, although special conditions are possible for school groups.
Many visitors in the past have tried finding these sites on their own, and either been unsuccessful or not been sure exactly what they were looking for. In developing these tours the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation is hoping to promote education and enjoyment of these priceless treasures in their inspiring natural environment. Proceeds from the recommended donations are used to further the museum?s palaeontology projects. Call 242-3123 to make a booking.