Happy Homecoming Christina Lake.
The Christina Lake Trails Alliance was out on the trail today. Members started out at the non designated section of the Rail Trail. Cascade West better know as the gorge, old dam site, Billings is the end of the non designated trail section. To the west it is designated non-motorized.
The reason the members were on the trail was to do assessments of trail repairs needed, safety signs needed and in general the safety, maintenance and environmental sustainability needs of the trails.
The members noted that the immediate area c/w outhouse, large information kiosk, picnic tables, and the train trestle was in good condition. The Kettle River flows under the train trestle and crossing it ,the view of the gorge is great. The area had been mowed to reduce fire hazards and create an open sight line. By mowing late June when it is still moist enough for fire standards, as it gets hot the growth is less. With the hot weather the idea of being prepared for your trip is very important, it was 35 degrees on the trail today. Plenty of water is needed for a normal outing, add an unsuspected problem and you can be out of water quickly. There were no signs in the area to help visitors be prepared.
Heading east we noted that there is tall grass adjacent to the trail and there is a presence of alders along the sides as well. There are several dead trees at the first sharp corner heading south. Tall grass but no alders up to the crossing at Highway 395 and all the way to Smitten Trestle, a few on the east end of the trestle. Santa Rosa had been mowed, and it looks great, most users seem to respect an area more when it is kept neat and clean. The highway crossing at 395, Santa Rosa and Fife all require a stop sign and stop ahead sign. The area from Smitten Trestle to Santa Rosa was noted as grassy, rocky and avalanches present at the side of the trail. Dead trees were recorded. One of our members new to the area rode right past the Dewdney Trail start, possibly a larger presents is needed for this trail. The section from Santa Rosa to Fife has had some work done to it but still requires ditching, rock removal, slide removal, some sections need grading. Overall, it is in far shape, but bikers beware there are sharp rocks on the rail in sections, avoid hitting any larger rocks.
Fife has not been mowed and it shows, the area and the large kiosk is weeded in.
From Fife heading east the trail is better but weeds have taken over the sides. There is a kiosk and old mine cart, but needs work. There are rocks , rockslides all along this section, with the tall grass and the rock on the trail, safety is a concern.
Safety signage is along this section, however some of them are missing. We turned around at the road barrier that stops all traffic. The spring run off created a serious land side and it has yet to be repaired. This pause in repairing the trail at the height of tourist season is not fair to Christina Lake Tourism.