Being a regular year around user of about three times a week, I believe that I am in a position to comment on the District of Summerland upgrades to Giant’s Heads hiking trails and their attempt to keep everyone on the trail.
When the work was done, they failed to recognize a few key points when they smoothed out all the trails and closed some trails that people who are doing this for exercise want.
This smoothing out of trails eliminated foot holds which act as stairs so instead we were left with slippery slopes (think snow, rain, muddy conditions). Not only have these slopes caused significant erosion in some areas so far this year and will accelerate once we get rain but also have forced hikers off the trail to find secure footing so now where there was once one or two trails side by side, there are four or five.
Hikers need to avoid falls, so smooth trails have forced them to establish new ones that are safe. Try walking down a smooth steep slope and you will get the idea.
For those who are more exercise motivated to climb Giant’s Head, many of these want steeper elevations. From the top parking lot up, the steep trails were eliminated and a slow winding path was established. This just does not work for cardio work outs and now there is being established a new wide trail that hikers that want exercise are more suited to.
The district of Summerland posting “stay on the trail” signs is just trying to force bad decisions made in planning. They fight a losing battle. I myself tried hard to keep the the new trails but falls have forced me off slippery slopes. I am in my 70s and need very much to avoid falls
In summary, great idea but poor execution.
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