Crowsnest trails need rebuilding after last year’s floods

The Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad faces a big challenge in restoring some of the best quad trails in western Canada.

by Kris Dickeson

Quads, mountains

As snowmobile season draws to a close, an ATVing community in southwest Alberta is poised to begin dealing with the aftermath of last year’s massive flooding. Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad lost 35 to 40 per cent of its trail system in late June 2013 when the rivers and streams in the area swelled and overflowed after several days of heavy rainfall.

Quad Squad vice president Joe Lumley said damage to the trails is extensive.

“It’s more than shovels and picks,” he said. “This puts the costs up, because we have to rent equipment—plus it takes a lot of time and people. But we have a strong club that is always willing to help.”

With over 400 members, the Quad Squad is one of the strongest in the province, overseeing and maintaining a 1,400 kilometre designated trail system with the Crow Snow Riders snowmobile club. Offering some of the best quadding to riders of all levels, the rugged terrain in the Pass brings in up to 50,000 people from all over B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan every summer. The Quad Squad is very environmentally conscious, asking all riders, including visitors, to “keep it clean, keep it green.”

Some of the best trails in the country

The combination of forests, mountains, lakes and rivers in the Crowsnest Pass makes for superb camping and fishing. Whether you want to take advantage of one of the many campgrounds in the area or embrace the wilderness via forestry roads, there really is something for everyone.

“We prefer to explore and find a place off a forestry road,” said Lumley. “My wife and I will go away for 10 days or so and camp, fish and quad. We don’t know exactly where we will be, but instead, pick a random spot to camp.”

Lumley has ridden every trail in the Quad Squad’s system at least once, and is hard pressed to single out his favorite. But for those ATVers new to the area, he recommends the trail called Plane Crash for its steep and rocky landscape.

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