The NorthStar Rails2Trails Society, which acts as steward of the 30-kilometre paved trail between Kimberley and Cranbrook, has a counter on the trail. From that the Society has determined that almost 100,000 people used the trail last year.
“Some people are using it every day, others only once,” said Society President Rob McIntyre “But it’s an exciting number. It shows that the trail has become a very important and appreciated amenity in our area.”
With that many people using the trail, some clean up is required each spring.
There are only so many volunteers, so this spring the Society is asking trail users to go on an elephant hunt, and bring along a rake, a broom and a garbage bag.
“The elephant hunt is an idea we had a year or two ago,” McIntyre said. ““We’ve revived it. What we want is people to just go out spontaneously, pick a kilometre of trail and clean it up.”
The trail officially opens for the season on May 1, meaning the washrooms will be open, but lots of people are already out enjoying it, given the early spring.
“We’d like to keep it spontaneous,” McIntyre said. “Just enjoy walking or biking, but do some sweeping, pick up litter, remove large rocks and throw them a metre away from the trail. If everyone helps it makes less work for board members and volunteers. Rather than organize a work party on a specific day we thought the elephant hunt might be fun.”
By the way, any elephants you capture are yours to keep.
Keep the date Tuesday, May 12 in mind as well as that’s when the Rails2Trails Society will hold their AGM.
It will be held at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook at 7 p.m. Last year it was in Kimberley and the Society intends to go back and forth each year.
“We’re hoping those who enjoy and love the Trail will attend,” McIntyre said.