Windfall Lake enhancement project completed

Charles Helm

On Saturday August 27, Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society (WNMS) volunteers completed the Windfall Lake encarry_webhancement project, funded by the Peace River Regional District (PRRD). Earlier in the summer a team constructed six tent pad sites near the lake, installed bear caches and a toilet, and placed boards across wet sections of the access trail.

Since then signage and maps have been installed at the trailhead and the campsite area. The final push was made by cosmopolitan teams, with representation from Chile, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Ireland, France and Canada.

In worsening weather, with rain turning to sleet and then snow, twenty-one 10 foot long 4 x 4 posts were hauled on shoulders into the alpine, holes were dug, and directional signage was fixed to the tops of the posts, which were then installed at between 30–80 metre intervals.

Some hikers had been uncomfortable with this portion of the trail for fear of getting disoriented, especially in fog and mist. This section, known as the Circular Route, takes hikers above tree-line, and makes the hike into an attractive circuit. The posts are placed within line-of-sight of each other, which should enhance hiker safety and comfort, and concentrating hikers on one marked route will help protect the fragile alpine tundra and sub-alpine meadows.

This project, together with the Greg Duke Lakes trail re-establishment and the opening up of the viewpoints at Kinuseo Falls, formed the main thrust of new hiking trail enhancements in the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark in 2016.

In 2015 the PRRD provided funding for the installation of 120 metres of boardwalk on the Windfall Lake trail.

WNMS is most grateful for these consecutive years of funding, which has enabled the development of a spectacular destination for the benefit of residents and visitors to the region.