When BC Parks supervisor Rob Bressette asked the WNMS to assist in improving the Monkman Trail, members were eager to take on the task.
Rob left it to us to run the project, noting “the best part of my job
is working with the WNMS and I have full confidence in what you plan to do.”
The cutbacks to the parks ministry by the present government have
resulted in parks like Monkman being neglected. It’s a Catch 22.
Since the park is not well attended, there is no money for trails, and
without good trails, you can’t attract people. Trail maintenance and
expansions would not happen if it were not for volunteers.
The objectives of the project were to clear the main trail from Kinuseo campground to the Monkman Lake camp site, repair and rebuild bridges, establish a campground at the Cascades, improve the signage and trails around the campsite and to provide access to all the falls. Thanks to almost perfect weather conditions, all objectives were achieved.
The project started in May when John Lindsay from Victoria and Larry White from TR surveyed the trail and recorded GPS coordinates of the trail and key points of interest. In early June, Kevin Sharman used this information to investigate and flag possible new trails around the Cascades. Beginning on July 10, Doug and Rosemary Foerster, Earl and Eleanor Wilkerson and Alan Tucker started clearing the trail from the campground to kilometer 8. In the meantime, Kevin, Dan Cassan and Jason Unser were flown to km 13. Kevin worked his way back to the campground while Dan and Jason work to km 19 where Gary Doonan, Murray Smith, James Whiddon and Larry White were setting up a base camp. This is now a well established wilderness campground with a fire pit and 7 tent sites.
Rob managed to hike out and joined us on the last two days and commented,” I’m amazed at the amount of work you guys have done.”
Funding for the project came from BC Parks and Talisman.
Reasonable rates were given to us by Highland Helicopters, thanks to
Kevin’s negotiating skills. The success of the project has prompted
Rob to seek funding to continue this project over the next couple of years.
We encourage people to enjoy the beauty of the park.