Going off-road with the Lower Mainland ATV Club

The Lower Mainland ATV Club built and maintains an outstanding network of off-road trails in the West Harrison Lake area

by Susan Lohrer

A group of ATVers from the LMATV club stopped along the trail while on a day ride to North Cheebalis Lake, near Harrison Lake area.

LMATV day ride to North Chehalis Lake, near the Harrison Lake area. — Kim Schumacher photo

A highlight of off-roading in the Lower Mainland is crossing the Walian Bridge and seeing the extent of the work the Lower Mainland ATV Club has done for the safety and enjoyment of its members and other off-road power-sports enthusiasts. The club has a strong core of volunteers and according to president John Stevens is very active in the development and maintenance of the West Harrison trail network near Harrison, B.C.

“My club and trail building organization have built over 150 kilometres of trails,” Stevens said.

Stevens describes the club as having around 150 members made up of various people from young to old, male and female, with most members being couples or families.

ATVBC Poker ride July 2015 in Clearwater BC.

ATVBC Poker ride July 2015 in Clearwater BC. — Kim Schumacher photo

“Our club has many long weekend camping events as well as a number of week-long camping trips in the summer with one going down to the Oregon sand dunes,” Stevens said.

Stevens rides a 2012 Polaris 850 XP, after handing his 2011 model down to his son. “I like the 850 XP for its ability to do everything I want it to do,” he said. Riding mainly on weekends, he racks up about 3,500 kilometres per year.

Eight members of the LMATV club standing on the Wallen Creek bridge.

70-foot bridge crossing over Walian Creek, West Harrison Lake area, part of the trail system LMATV/SWATT have put in during the last seven years. — Kim Schumacher photo

Another member, Kim Schumacher, volunteers for the club whenever he can, whether it’s doing a maintenance run or preparing a delicious barbecue meal on group ride days. He too was involved with the bridge project, standing guard over the excavator for three long, wet days and nights. That bridge, funded by a grant that was matched by ATV/BC, is a huge asset to the off-road riding community, allowing riders to avoid 22 kilometres of a busy forest service road.

LMATV Club anniversary ride and lunch at 20 mile bay on Harrison Lake.

LMATV Club anniversary ride and lunch at 20 mile bay on Harrison Lake. — Kim Schumacher photo

For Schumacher, off-roading and camping in the West Harrison Lake area has played a big part in his life over the last 40 years. He’s explored the terrain in 4x4 trucks and various ATVs; his current ride is a 2009 Yamaha Rhino 700 side-by-side. He averages 1,850 kilometres per year, many of his rides including his 13-year-old grandson who has been coming with him since age five. As for riding style, Schumacher likes everything from easy riding trails to technical rides.

“Not such a fan of deep mud holes,” he joked. A future trip to Saskatchewan this summer includes the Rhino along with plans to meet the Saskatchewan locals and do some riding there. Everywhere he goes, he takes his camera, snapping shots of every ride to add to his photo collection.

A sidexside on a hill overlooking a scenic valley with a highway far off in the distance at the bottom of the valley.

ATVBC Poker ride July 2015 in Clearwater BC. — Kim Schumacher photo

Riding off-road has a universal appeal. The vivid beauty of the backcountry in the Lower Mainland is an obvious part of that, but what really stands out for the LMATV Club’s members is spending time riding with friends and family. Whether they’re on an 800-kilometre trek through the backcountry or taking an afternoon ride with the kids, one theme rings true for this club: knowing your fellow riders are there for you.

For more information about the LMATV club, visit their website or click here to see upcoming club events.

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