Monday, August 29, 2011

Help Save the KVR Trail from ATVs

The Kettle Valley Railway Trail is being threatened by ATVs. They destroy the surface of the trail and create ruts making it very difficult to cycle on.

Photo -
From Trails BC:
Trails BC is expressing concern about a recent petition and a letter writing campaign by the provincial motor sports sectors, lobbying the provincial government for authorized motorized access to the Kettle Valley Trail (KVR) trails which are the backbone to BC’s portion of the national Trans Canada Trail as well as the province’s Spirit of 2010 Trail Network.
Spearheaded by the provincial ATV organization, the Quad Riders of BC, this campaign threatens to turn the KVR/Trans Canada Trail into an official motorized trail with major negative implications for non-motorized users. 
Over the last two years there has been resurfacing of sections of the KVR trail between Summerland and Faulder. In an attempt to maintain the integrity of these newly surfaced sections as well as to address other concerns impacting non-motorized users, the government of British Columbia Recreation, Sites and Trails posted official non-motorized signs on these sections just before the May long weekend. These non-motorized signs were immediately removed by unauthorized individuals. As a result, motorized users are still using these sections and the newly resurfaced sections are already degraded from motorized use. Such degradation discourages cyclists, the main intended user, from using the trail.
The KVR is largest component of the Spirit of 2010 Trail and the Trans Canada Trail in BC.
The Spirit of 2010 Trail is the first segment in the creation of world class recreational rails to trails product that will stimulate the development of incremental tourism infrastructure and incremental tourism visits across a significant portion of British Columbia. The Spirit of 2010 Trail is 750 kilometres in length and there is the potential to convert over 2000 kilometres of rail trails in total. The rails to trails movement has become an accepted model in North America for sustainable economic development in rural and urban areas. It is the conversion of former railway corridors into world-class recreational trails for use by cyclists, hikers, equestrians and Nordic skiers. It has enabled primarily rural communities to develop a sustainable business case for economic development using rail trails.
Marlene Gregory of Summerland reports:
Clear signs indicate that motorized vehicles are not allowed yet many of the cement blockades have been removed. Some refused to slow down, causing undue dust and one dirt bike rider narrowly missed hitting a cyclist in our group.
Parts of the trail are so soft that cycling and even walking are difficult.
Please write Premier Clark, Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and your MLA encouraging them to protect the KVR and other trails from motorized vehicles.

Premier Christy Clark

Hon. Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

cc your MLA

As well, cc:,


  1. The photo says it all. I will definitely send in a letter.

  2. What we should do is put large boulders with a 1/2 meter clearance (atvs can't get through and bikes can)like the ones they put on the Central Valley Greenway:

  3. Hi JKKT, I was recently on the trails in the Cowichan Valley, part of the TCT. Big boulders, unfortunately, don't help.. the ATV'ers just drove through the woods making a new trail access. And, despite posted signs saying no motorized vehicles.... they will find a way to get around these obsticles, especially in non-urban settings where alot of the surrounding land is forestry land, and where their access is unsighted.

  4. Perhaps the best solution is to pave the trails. That way, they can't be torn up by ATVs. They are also safer, easier and faster to cycle on then.

  5. Paving doesn't work for horses nor hikers, and when you ride these trails outside urban areas - where ATV's exist, I think you really are looking for the "outside nature experience" where pavement is out of place and "unnatural". One could hope for Peak Oil to eliminate - or at least gradually reduc - the number of ATV's "out there". In the meantime I took up the request and have written to the Premier, the Ministry of Forests and my local MLA. I also included photos of trail destruction that I have come across.

  6. Thanks for the email addresses - it made it easy to send off a quick email.
    Colleen MacDonald at

    As a family slow-riding cyclist, I am opposed to ATVs on the Kettle Valley Trail. These machines compromise the quality of the trail bed making many areas unsuitable for riding and even hard to walk and push my bicycle. When I was last on the trail, I found the riders on the ATVs were aggressive and hardly let us get off the trail safely before they tore by spewing gravel and dust. There are many backcountry dirt roads in the province that are more suitable for this activity. Many maps are available from I would like to see the Trans Canada Trail keep its original vision as a quiet connection for hikers, walkers, and cyclists.

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  10. I was in a motor vehicle accident caused by a road biker and now I can no longer ride or hike, so I'm forced to drive. I still have a passion to explore the history that developed Canada.
    The Kettle Valley Railway has a huge historical significance to my family. I enjoy my ability to travel it, I miss the smell of the steam trains.

    Why do you feel it is your right to discriminate against other wilderness users who are unable to ride a bike or hike. I too can point to many popular designated hiking areas and parks with groomed trails for your 'type' to enjoy.

  11. I'm an avid cyclist, but also enjoy ATVs and motorcycling. I don't have a problem with sharing the trail. The ATV clubs in BC put a lot of time and effort into maintaining the trails for all users. Responsible ATV and motorcycle use will not harm the trails. I encourage a sensible speed limit for ALL users (30 mph) as well as encourage a spirit of cooperation and respect for all users. Cyclists and motorsports advocates need to get along... the trail belongs to all.