Twenty-two hikers from Red Deer visited Tumbler Ridge for a week, making the trip specially to hike the trails. The Red Deer Ramblers have been in existence for twelve years, and make such trips each summer to choice destinations in western Canada.
In spite of some rainy weather, and having to contend with floods, by week?s end they had notched up an impressive list: Windfall Lake, Mt Kostuik, Babcock Falls, Tepee Falls, Murray Canyon Overlook, Quality Falls, the dinosaur footprint tours, Kinuseo Falls, Stone Corral, Boulder Gardens, and a few others, plus visits to the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery and the Community Centre museum exhibits.
Tumbler Ridge resident Mike Sidwell was originally responsible for this trip, telling some of his old friends in Red Deer about the hiking potential of the area. Breathless after their week of adventure, they were raving about this great wilderness experience.
Betty Jaap, leader of the hikes, commented: ?We all want to come back, there is so much more to see; we loved every minute of our visit to Tumbler Ridge Windfall Lake was my favourite ? untrodden wilderness ? just beautiful!?
Bonnie Mullin, team photographer and one of the organizers, said, ?We?re going to tell all our hiking friends about Tumbler Ridge, and that they will need need to spend two weeks here! The trails and trailheads are so well marked, better than anything we have found in the National Parks.?
Heidi Werner, from Grand Forks, who joined the group, praised the local hospitality and the wonderful trails, saying she would spread the word when she returns.
Bertha Ford, the chief organizer, an avid hiker and the researcher for the trip, enthused: ?We couldn?t believe how we had some of the trails all to ourselves ? I am sometimes directionally challenged but I found the flags so easy to follow. This was a truly amazing experience, and the people really seemed to care about us. Our whole group was so impressed ? thanks so much!?
While smaller groups from hiking clubs have visited in the past, this is the first large, organized hiking group to visit Tumbler Ridge, hopefully the first of many. For the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation and the District of Tumbler Ridge, who have worked over the past years to help develop the Tumbler Ridge tourism product, this is evidence of an increasing trend, which is set to continue into the future, as word spreads of the unique attributes of our Shangri-La community.