Hoult benches – a new TR trailside phenomenon

Charles Helm, Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society

John Hoult takes a moment to enjoy the view from the bench he built along the TR Trail near the golf course.

John Hoult takes a moment to enjoy the view from the bench he built along the TR Trail near the golf course.

John Hoult has turned his carpentry skills to a new community cause. As the Tumbler Ridge trail system undergoes ongoing development, opportunities for further enhancement arise. Nathan’s trail is a 500 metre extension of the TR Trail, just south of the golf course parking lot. It includes a spectacular viewpoint of the Murray River with our hills and mountains on the horizon – a perfect place to take a break, relax, and enjoy not just the scenery but the new interpretive sign for the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.

John built a superb bench to go on a level spot at the viewpoint, and this was installed on Saturday June 18 with the help of his family, Laura and Steve Ockey and Peter Stelmack, as well as Linda Helm. Simple security measures were taken to try to prevent future vandalism, although this can never be guaranteed and all those involved in such projects understand that rebuilding and replacement may one day be necessary.

This bench follows on a labour of love, the remarkable Memorial Bench for Lynne Hoult at the viewpoint just north of Lost Haven Cabin. That site is now known as “Lynne’s Lookout” in honour and in memory of Lynne, who loved these trails and loved guiding others on them to this special spot.

John is already busy with the next set of benches, which are destined for some further sites on the Wolverine Nordic & Mountain Society trail system. These complement the rustic “Booker Benches” built by Fred and Shawna Booker, which typically are located at more remote viewpoints as they can be created with logs at or near the site.