In 2013 Grand Forks ATV Society (GFATV) partnered with several different groups to create Morrissey staging area. The idea was that recreationists would have a place to park their vehicle and unload/load their off-road recreation vehicle (ORV). The City of Grand Forks entered into a Lease of Occupancy with Grand Forks ATV for a 10-year term. Together they created a well used staging area where you could come and have a picnic at a picnic table and read the informational signage. They even installed an outhouse, so users had that option.
The area was originally developed by the Grand Forks Trap Club and had been used by many families as a location for kids to ride dirt bikes, hiking and mountain biking. Local business owner (B&F Sales & Service) Ryan Tomlin mentioned that 35 years ago as a child he would ride the area, known as moto, every weekend and he took his kids to ride there too.
The new staging area was a place that GFATV held educational events, hot dog cookouts, club meetings, and took Sunshine Valley Clients for rides on the loop trails. Society director Mel Carroll has a very personal attachment to the Sunshine Ride and loves to see the big smiles on the clients faces.
During this government supported job creation project, two other staging areas were also developed. GFATV installed kiosks that presented maps and historic information of the area between Grand Forks and Christina Lake, and included signage, mapping, trail building, and historic bench placements.
GFATV volunteers have maintained the Morrissey staging area over the years and has spent many hours making improvements and adjustment to the trails in the area. There have been some unfortunate changes over the last few years. GFATV had to remove the outhouse and picnic table. These assets had been vandalized to the point they presented a health risk for the volunteers that maintain them.
The most resent developments are the continued removal of garbage and damage of the assets. The City is proposing a development near this area. GFATV has been working towards engaging the City to determine if the staging area is in the planned changes. The situation at this site is so unfortunate, one member had his personal effects stolen and another had their vehicle broken into. Most unfortunate to see such a well used historic relevant area, fall into disrepair. Families have approached GFATV with their concerns.
Snow Report – Ran into snow west of Fife and East of Snow Slide Bridge
Cascade West Access Point
GFATV members were on the trail from Cascade West to Catlin Road. Cascade West is where the old train trestle goes over the gorge west of Christina Lake along Highway 3. This area is very significant for its history. There was a dam located here, the Kettle River was dammed for power and there was a large sawmill operation. The falls are especially spectacular in the spring. If you follow along the Mixed Use trail to the east you can see where the penstocks used to direct water to the turbines. Catlin Road is where Interfor has developed a Forest Service Road to connect to the Rail Trail.
The crew was pleased to see the outhouse and area very clean and only one pile of garbage having to be picked up. The bridge deck looked good and there are two new picnic tables installed. We did some brush removal; the aspens are very prolific along this section and a few dead trees had to be removed. There are a few spots further east that need to be addressed but trail looks great. There is a few patches of snow in the shade. Just on the east side of the trestle we filled, and we brushed.
Cascade West to Santa Rosa
Trail to Santa Rosa looked good with only a few rocks that had rolled onto the trail. At Santa Rosa we found:
In a few areas, signage could be more clear for users head west. The private drive and the trail are confusing.
There should be a new picnic table installed at Santa Rosa.
There where two signs that have been broken, not sure if they should be replaced or?
We picked up garbage from the parking lot and around large Kiosk.
Outhouse was in good shape and the surrounding area looked good.
Santa Rosa to Fife
This is a challenging section as rocks continually roll down the steep hillside and fall from the bluffs onto the trail.
There was debris on the trail and rocks have rolled down from Santa Rosa for approximately 2km.
We should clean out these rockslides and reestablish a ditch line.
There is a large dead tree hanging over the trail 2.5 km, east of Santa Rosa.
There is a narrow section where the trail drops straight off and we removed rocks on the hi-side of the trail and flagged the area.
Checked culvert entrance to make sure they were clear.
CPR pump house still has snow on its roof, but the trees have been removed. Looks like the structure has been improved. The culvert looked clear.
Fife to Catlin
Fife area looked good! We did not go into CPR shack. The new historic sign (where we took off the plexiglass) looked good. There is heavy growth along the side of the trail in several sections all they way to Catlin road, we will have to mow this area with the new mower. One pass up, one down should work. It’s about 5 km one-way from Fife to Catlin.
We removed several trees and many rocks.
There are a few rockslides that need clearing.
The historic sign at Baker Creek looks great, and we got a picture of the culvert below 1908.
A few more trees and some rocks but the last few km to Catlin road were great.
Looks like Interfor has done a great job linking to the trail. The trail was accessible all the way to Snow Slide Bridge.
On the return trip
We travelled back to Cascade West and did some touch ups along the way. We left at 8am, and returned by 3pm
GFATV Club is sad to have to announce that one of our members was in a fatal accident on her ATV. At this point we haven’t got official word on the accident.
The times she has ridden with friends & other members she was very cautious as one believed she would be, as a certified electrician for most of her life.
She will be missed.
GFATV extends our thoughts and condolences to the family. We are hoping the passenger in hospital makes a full recovery.