What a strange year 2020 was! Just as hiking trails were thawing out last March, the COVID-19 pandemic began and many parks and recreation sites were closed.
New Trails Added
With restrictions in the spring, I re-hiked many of the trails within a short drive of Nelson and added new photos and information to West Kootenay Hiking. A highlight this summer was finally hiking the entire Seven Summits Trail near Rossland! I’d done many segments over the years, but doing the entire thing in one epic day had been on my bucket-list.
New trails explored in 2020:
- Dove Hill Loop
- McPhee Waterfall Loop
- Salmo Ski Hill Trails
- Cody Caves Interpretive Loop
- Twin Peaks
- Panther Lake
- Mill Lake
- Thanksgiving Mountain
- Sphinx Mountain
- Seven Summits Trail
- Emerald Lake
The West Kootenay saw increased visitors during the summer when local travel within BC was encouraged. This led to some trailheads becoming very busy and some concern among locals about overuse and crowding. It’s important to remember that trails are on public lands, often built with public funding, for everyone to enjoy responsibly whether they are a long-term local or first-time visitor. Some things we can all do to make our trails better are:
- Follow Leave No Trace principles to reduce environmental impact
- Be fully prepared for your adventure by following the Adventure Smart program. Leave a trip plan, take the essentials, and have the proper training/experience for your adventure.
- Contribute to the local trail society that maintains the space you’re exploring. Make a donation, become a member, volunteer.
- Advocate for increased funding to BC Parks as well as Rec Sites & Trails BC.
- Be flexible in your plans. If you know a place is busy, go hike somewhere else or visit during off-peak times. Every season there are new trails being built by volunteer trail societies and there is no shortage of mountains.
During the summer of 2020, West Kootenay Hiking promoted new or lesser-known trails on social media to encourage people to explore new places and spread out.
Donation to the Friends of Rossland Range
West Kootenay Hiking is a non-profit project, aimed at sharing helpful information and benefiting the outdoor community. The website made $147.09 in merchandise sales in 2020 and in turn, $150.00 has been donated to the Friends of Rossland Range (FORR). FORR maintain the awesome Rossland Range Rec Site, and although the day-use cabins were closed during COVID-19, the society is looking for donations to help cover the cost of plowing the winter parking areas and pullouts.