Working as a contractor for Terrace Community Forests, Jason Bennett from Cypress Forest Consultants was out clearing brush for the new trail and thinning the forest canopy. Terry Brown photo

Onion Lake ski trail being improved

The doggie trail is being reworked to bypass the logging road and improve access to the trails between Terrace and Kitimat

The doggie trail at the Onion Lake Ski Trails is being extended to make it more accessible.

The extension is only about 600 metres of trail, but it will allow skiers to avoid the Wedeene Logging Road which runs south of the main trail network managed by the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club.

“In some years the main logging road has not been plowed out, and in recent years it hasn’t been available, so that meant the extension that we built several years ago, we couldn’t really use it,” said Jim Thorne from the ski club.

This new little bypass trail will also add a bit more variation to the existing doggie trail.

“The existing trail is all pretty [straight]… little variation. This new one will have a little bit of curves and some gentle hills,” Thorne said.

This week, Terrace Community Forest contractor Timber Baron Contracting was out clearing the brush for the new trail.

Community Forests is doing the work at no charge to the ski club and are selling the wood locally to Skeena Sawmills, said community forest general manager Kim Haworth, adding that they’ve donated more than $100,000 to the club in grants and work over the years.

They are also brightening the trails, removing overhanging branches and thinning the forest canopy, called day lighting.

“Day lighting allows more snow onto the trails as trees intercept it, thus reducing snow levels,” said Haworth.

The work is the first step of the project and the club still needs to round up funds to get an excavator to yank up the tree stumps and grade the trail so it can be properly groomed when the snow falls.

The club is uncertain whether the project will be done for next winter or for the season in 2018.

 

Map shows in green the Doggie Trail extension being built, which will add a few corners and gentle hills to the Doggie Trail and will allow skiers to avoid the logging road. Terry Brown photo