Youth volunteers led the way on the Brown Drive Trails project (Town of Ladysmith photo)

Youth and community combine to build bike trails in Ladysmith

Grand opening for the new Brown Drive Park trails will take place in the near future

A youth-focused and community-driven project to build Ladysmith’s first sanctioned mountain bike trails got underway over the weekend at Brown Drive Park.

Volunteers from the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society Ladysmith Chapter, (CTSS) worked alongside Town of Ladysmith staff, and youth to create a network of bike trails at Brown Drive Park.

“The trails are fun for all. They’re short, but flowy, and the jumps are good for all skill levels,” CTSS president Tara Pollock said. “We haven’t completed the third portion of it, which is a little skills area with wood structures, and more techincal features. We’ll likely have that completed by this fall or winter.”

The Brown Drive Park trails project is the biggest CTSS Ladysmith project to date.

“It was a real collaborative effort,” Pollock said “We put forward a proposal to the Town, and consulted with the youth about what they wanted to make sure our plan was in line with what they would use.”

Town staff and a team of CTSS-Ladysmith volunteers, as well as professional mountain biker Ace Hayden, started the initial heavy lifting on Friday, roughing in new flow trails and jump features.

Youth and parent volunteers then arrived on Saturday to complete this initial phase of the trail work and a pump track– working alongside CTSS-Ladysmith Chapter volunteers who provided guidance on building the trails and features to International Mountain Bicycling Association standards – an internationally recognized benchmark for safety and sustainability.

In keeping with proper physical distancing protocols, groups were separated into family clusters and hand sanitizer was made available for use.

Volunteers from Fraternal Order of Eagles, Kinsmen Club of Ladysmith and Rotary Club of Ladysmith provided everyone helping over the weekend with a free lunch – fittingly, a Teen Burger from A&W.

An official grand opening for the new Brown Drive Park Recreational Bike Trails will take place in the near future.

In the interim, temporary signage has been installed at the entrance to the wooded area as well as the trailhead. Anyone using the mountain bike trails is reminded to watch for hikers and dog walkers who also frequently use the area. As a reminder, motorized vehicles are not permitted in this area.

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