Trail Building + Maintenance Policies

The local cycling community is only as strong as its members/volunteers and the time invested by the riding community to develop, build, maintain, and continually improve our extensive trail network. Without you, the progress our community and trails have seen would not be possible. Over the past couple of years, we have experienced unprecedented growth in the number of trail users and people wishing to contribute. This growth also translates into more wear and tear on our trails, and maintaining them often requires more than just a few buckets of dirt and a quick rake. 

I have an idea for a new trail.

If we are going to create a sustainable, functional, and fun trail system, trail builders and QRCA have to work collaboratively. Building new trails are as important as maintaining and caring for existing trails and you can be a part of the entire process; from putting in the initial application with the land owners, design, and the actual build. QRCA wants to support sustainable trail development and since we work so closely with land managers, we can manage this relationship successfully.

What’s the process?

– Confidential process to respect the builder’s vision and energy

– Builder must have an idea/plan for the trail from start to finish.

– Meet with QRCA rep

– QRCA looks into land manager and any known land use plans in the background

– Trail is walked and flagged with builder and QRCA

– GPS file is submitted to land manager by QRCA

– GPS file is submitted to RSTBC by QRCA

– Building begins following QRCA guidelines

I’m new to trail building but want to get involved.

The best way to learn more about trail building and maintenance is to join one of QRCA’s “Dig Days”. We host volunteer trail/dig days for our members throughout the year in different riding zones and it’s the perfect time to learn from experienced trail builders who have been working on trails for years. We provide tools, materials, food but most importantly we offer a super fun and inclusive time for those who come out. Keep an eye on our social media for updates on the next trail day!

Can I start maintaining trails any time?

Yes! We encourage everyone who has attended a trail day and/or is comfortable maintaining trails to do so. At this point, all of our trails are maintained by volunteers so it’s up to us to add fresh dirt, rake, and clear obstacles as needed. If you’re not sure or are uncomfortable with something, ask and we’ll help. 

Can I modify a trail that isn’t mine/without permission?

If you are unfamiliar with trail etiquette here are some widely acceptable practices and things to consider:

– A trail builder has put a ton of energy, time and effort as well as cost into building a trail

– A trail builder has often put their heart into building a trail.

– It is unacceptable to the biking community when someone modifies a trail without reaching out and discussing it with the original trail builder AND local cycling association.

– Unexpected trail changes lead to injuries.

– Safety for everyone.

– Trail modifications sometimes require new signage. 

– Often though, builders are excited and flattered that you care enough to work on their trail and will come with you to do the work.

Why should I follow QRCA’s guidelines?

In order to continue developing sustainable trails that everyone can enjoy, it’s important for us to work as a team, rather than as individuals. Following these guidelines allows QRCA to support volunteers, ensures positive relationships with land managers, and improves the likelihood of obtaining additional funding to build more world-class trails.

On a more serious note, because many of our trails are evolving under the Province of BC Section 57 authority (including most trails on Mount Mahony). QRCA has now taken on greater responsibilities with respect to trail development and maintenance and must protect itself from improper builds or trail work. If our agreement with the province is not acted upon in a responsible way, this could result in the loss of our sanctioned trails and our access

What can QRCA offer trail builders?

As a volunteer-led group, we are not in the business of handing out cash to those building and maintaining trails. We hope that our community members choose volunteering their time before asking for cash, but we also want our community to feel supported.

What we can provide is: the legal work and applications required to make new trails, materials and tools for trail maintenance, organized trail work parties on sanctioned trails, trail signage, protection against forestry work, and more.