The Pickles Road Trail is part of the Denman Island Park system. It began as an old sluicing run for logging in the early 1900’s. The trail, 2.6 km in length, lies deep inside a 160 acre section that has limited access, and runs from Pickles Road in the north to Denman Road in the south. There are deep gullies, bridges, twists and tall roots to navigate while walking. As people settled on Denman, it became a popular horse trail in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In the 1990’s, it was part of the bicycle competition that occurred yearly on Denman Island.Read More »
Recently, the park visitor use has tripled during the pandemic. Denman Island Park has no management plan at this time and therefor no budget for maintenance or upgrades. BC parks has very strict requirements for trail maintenance and products used. With trail surface conditions deteriorating quickly, and even more so during the winter months an action plan was formulated and in reaction to a call for support, Sonya received quick responses from Horse Council BC, Back Country horsemen BC and the Denman Island community. Applications to Horse Council and Back Country Horsemen for grant funds necessary to rehabilitate this popular trail were applied for and successful.
As the local Denman Island Residence Association (DIRA) didn’t want involvement and could not sponsor our efforts, it was determined that a Partnership should be formed between Back Country Horsemen BC and BC Parks in order to cover liability and maintenance on this project. We are in our first year of a ten partnership with BC Parks. We hope all future projects will go as smoothly.
Project Objectives and Activities
- To redirect the standing water away from the trail and make a more sustainable surface for year-round use. In addition, we needed to protect the salmon stream that flows through this property.
- Our original plan included having lots of volunteers to do the work and BC park rangers to guide us on the best way to proceed with in the BC Parks’ guidelines
- Due to time of year and availability of volunteers, we engaged a contractor to do the majority of the heavy wheelbarrow work. We did have several volunteers to help with ditching for the pipes to drain the water off the trail and preparing of the trail for gravel leveling.
We have provided a year-round sustainable trail for walkers, runners, bicyclists and horseback riders. The pack firm footing should provide years of use.
The upgrades to the trail are a huge transformation and are already greatly appreciated by the Denman Island community. The muddy and wet areas are dry and firm under foot and hoof. Bicyclists are very happy with the packing of rock to provide a firm surface to cycle across. Walkers are happy to have a firm trail with less muddy areas.
Two signs will be placed at either end of this trail. They will have a map of the trail, both logos and yield sign for trail etiquette. They are currently in process.
BCHBC NVI chapter greatly appreciates the support from HCBC and provincial BCHBC towards the rehabilitation of Pickles Road Trail. We hope, future visitors to Denman Island will visit our unique parks and enjoy this trail.
The BCHBC -North Vancouver Island chapter members want to express our thanks and appreciation to Horse Council of BC for 2021 funding of this project. Many thanks go out to my husband, Aaron and our two volunteers Lesley and Trevor for braving the weather to work on this projects.
A special thanks to Deb Oakman, Chair BCHBC NVI chapter for her encouragement and support of this project.
North Vancouver Island Chapter of BCHBC – $1,300
Horse Council of BC – Grant – $5,000
BCHBC Provincial Trail Grant- $ 500
Value of in-kind vollunteer labor – $1,000
For more information on the Pickles Road Trail and how you can assist as a volunteer Click on the “Contact Us” button located on the North Vancouver Island Chapter page. If you wish to assits with financial support this project and future maintenance work, Click on “Donate Now” on the BCHBC Home Page and select the North Vancouver Island Chapter from the dropdown list when making your donation.