Trail news: Boulderama, Gutterball, Orange Jelly extension
The MRWA volunteers and trail builders have been working hard on new trails since October, weather permitting!
The new trails are all on the southwest side of the river, in the area between Norawarren and the existing Orange Jelly trail which starts at Sarah Drive. We expect all ~3 km of new trail to be complete and open by early summer, 2023:
- Boulderama, a 1.5km trail from Norawarren to near the bottom of Granitude.
- Gutterball, a 0.5km trail that links Boulderama to West Pine trail near the Porcupine Creek bridge.
- Orange Jelly extension: Orange Jelly grows by about 800m, and will connect to Boulderama.
- Angler Footpath (~0.4km), a hiking-intended route from the bottom of Angler Drive to West Pine@Boulderama.
We’re pretty excited by the new experiences these trails will provide. The trails weave through giant boulders (glacial erratics), lush and mossy mature coniferous forest, and some areas of dense maples that resprouted after the 2009 fire.
The trails create new options to get to the river, and loop and figure-8 route options when combined with West Pine and Granitude.
All the new trails are intended to have green-circle difficulty rating (‘easy’) and are bidirectional; they are fairly similar to the existing Orange Jelly in terms of difficulty: short climbs, a mix of dirt and low-angle granite slabs. The combination of green trail and loops fills a need identified in the trail user surveys.
The Angler Footpath mostly follows an existing informal footpath that developed shortly after West Pine trail was built, with a few reroutes and upgrades especially through wet areas and unsustainable fall-line slopes. The Footpath crosses Porcupine Creek near it’s start; we’re leaving this as a stepping stone crossing for now.
Major kudos to Kodiak Trailworks for their machine work on the tread. Working through our mix of boulders and organics, with dirt little and far between, is a challenge Kodiak is up to!
The planning, clearing, finish work, some rock work, and structures are thanks to about 1000 hours of volunteer work so far (and still counting).
We’ve had solid volunteer efforts during a few open drop-in sessions and wood-carry parties, plus special trail days with Natural Forces and a group of military nurses. Plus, the usual volunteers have put in many hours. Thanks everyone!!!
Our trailwork also depends on many individual donations and the support of all our sponsors. Please support them, as they support our community. See the banner below.
The trails lie on a combination of Crown and HRM lands, and were permitted under new landuse agreements developed in 2020-2022, following a planning process and biodiversity surveys to test our alignments. More trails are on tap, including black and blues.
The new trails remain closed. They are NOT yet finished. There’s still lots of work to do, including a another bridge, finish work, drainage and some revegetation/renaturalization.
We anticipate opening in early summer but, as we say, there’s work to do.
Want to know more about the trails? See Singletrack 101