QUALITY CANYON TRAIL GETS RESURRECTED

One of the WNMS projects for 2008 is the resurrection of the Quality Canyon and Mouth Trail. This is an historic trail close to town that was probably established by Billy Warn and his predecessors over 70 years ago. It leads for three kilometres from a parking lot on Highway 52, via some steep descents, down to a relaxing spot on the Murray River at the mouth of Quality Creek.

The creek can then be followed upstream to where it dramatically makes a final exit out of Quality Canyon, by means of a small falls. The return leg of the trail then clims steeply to yield a spectacular view of the lowest and deepest section of this impressive canyon, which is without a doubt the most spectacular geological feature close to Tumbler Ridge. This section of trail then loops back past another viewpoint to rejoin the main trail.

It is possible for intrepid hikers who are experienced in vertical rope work to enter the canyon at their own risk, by descending into it with a thirty metre fixed rope (there is only one safe spot to do so). One can then walk a few hundred metres beside or in the creek up this stretch, between towering rock walls hundreds of feet high, to the next set of falls at a great swimming hole.

Five years ago this trail was threatened by logging activities. After cordial discussions between WNMS and Chetwynd Forest Industries, a division of West Fraser Mills, the company generously agreed to change its plans and not log this area. In one place a single cutblock now comes close to the trail for a short distance, otherwise the trail remains in pristine spruce forest. This act of co-operation typifies the constructive role industry has played in preserving important and sensitive areas and trails.

On Labour Day members of the Booker, Helm and Perry families got to work removing the accumulated deadfall of the past few years and brushing the trail. At day?s end the trail was re-created, ready for use for hiking, running or for horse riding. Signs are being installed and a hiking brochure developed. The Quality Canyon and Mouth trail provides a welcome addition and variety to the trail system close to Tumbler Ridge, and offers visitors another reason to spend another day in this magnificent area.