March 28th - The trail is pretty much free of snow and fine for cycling, walking, etc. If you should see downed trees, mudslides or erosion on the Rail Trail, please let us know ASAP at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-683-SVRT so we can get on correcting any problems.
March 15th - The Ministry of Highways announced yesterday that a pedestrian underpass will be a part of the South Slocan Bridge Replace Project now! At long last we will be able to develop the southernmost trailhead of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail! As well, the South Slocan community will continue to have access to this route for walksing, and now cycling. Thanks to all those who came out to the Open House on March 4th. You really did make a difference!
March 4th - Thanks to all those who showed up at the Open House on March 1st. The message was sent loud and clear and we're confident a tunnel is now part of the South Slocan Bridge Rehabilitation project.
February 20th - The Ministry of Transportation and Highways MOTH is hosting an Open House to provide information of their plans to decommission the Bridge at South Slocan near the Dam Bar & Restaurant (formerly the Dam Inn). The land below the bridge is going to be filled in and we, the SVRT want a tunnel included in the plans. A tunnel would keep us connected to our lands, offer the local community a safe avenue to connect to area trails, and offer us a future safe connection corridor to the Trans Canada Trail. MOTH is suggesting the cost of the tunnel to be too expensive and are reluctant in formulating a tunnel in to their plans. We are saying we can't afford NOT to have it! WE WANT and NEED the tunnel and request your support at the Open House, March 1st at the Mt Sentinel School. We're asking everyone to try to be there at 6:30pm. A strong show of community support may very well help us achieve our "Tunnel Vision". We look forward in seeing you there at 6:30 Thank you one and all and please share this message
DAY ON THE RAIL TRAIL - Sunday, January 31st. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Winlaw Station. This year as well as going for an enjoyable ski, we'll be offering a waxing demo, skiing tips and lessons, refreshments (hosted by Winlaw School) and ski games for kids. Everyone is invited to come out and spend some quality time with us, catch up on what's happening with this great resource we all enjoy.
January 9, 2016 - The entire Rail Trail has been groomed and trackset in the past two days. Skiing conditions are excellent! Right now we're asking for your support with our "Toonie for the Trail" drive. This asks that you drop a toonie in one of our donation boxes every time you are out enjoying the Rail Trail. Your support will help to defray the costs of grooming the trail ( gas, etc) and maintaining the 7 main parking areas along the 50 km long Rail Trail
The Slocan Valley Rail Trail got a nice write-up in the fall edition of BCAA's "Westworld Magazine". Check it out on page 12.
Slocan "Owl Walk" grand opening was held on Friday, Oct 2, 2015 at 1PM at the new Owl Kiosk on the rail trail in Slocan. Over 100 people were in attendance. The Owl Walk is now finished and another attraction along the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.
The very ugly, graffiti-covered old trailers and collapsed tent platforms beside the SVRT are gone! This once-ugly section of the trail is now enhanced with a lovely nature park between the trail and the river - complete with marked walk-ways, interpretive signage, an outdoor classroom and pit-toilet. A joint project of the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society and the Village of Slocan, a 45-minute educational nature walk has been created centred on the habitat needs of the endangered Western Screech-owl which was found to be nesting in the area. The "Owl Walk" begins at the new kiosk beside the rail trail at the intersection of Main St. and Fletcher Ave. in the Village of Slocan (3 blocks west of the Post Office). This is where the grand opening ceremonies took place. After viewing the 4 beautiful and informative interpretive signage panels on the kiosk, everyone walked south on the rail trail for about 5 minutes to the "Owl Grounds" where a ribbon-cutting by Mayor Jessica Lunn took place. Refreshments and guided tours through the park were available.
BRIDGE REPAIR WORK - Between July 27th and August 7th the decking on the bridges crossing Pedro and Trozzo Creeks will be getting replaced and the bridges will be closed to public use. Please adjust your travels to bypass as necessary. Pedro Creek is 2 km south of the Winlaw Trailhead and Trozzo Creek is 3 km north of the same trailhead. We'll update this site as work is completed.
A DAY AT THE DIG - On Sunday, July 12th, we'll be hosting a day at the Slocan Narrows Archeoligical Site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nathan Goodale, professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College, New York, along with students from Selkirk College and Hamilton College will be taking guided tours through the Pit House site on the Slocan River that dates back over 3000 years. This will be the fourth such tour we'll be hosting, which sees hundreds of people coming out for this unique experience. There will be a $10 admission which will include a BBQ lunch, fresh fruit and refreshments. Proceeds from the event will be going towards eventual signage to be placed at the site. Park at the Lemon Creek Trailhead and cycle or walk up from there. Memberships will also be available should you wish to join the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society.
RAIL TRAIL - AGM - Is Thursday, May 28th at 7 p.m. at the Passmore Hall. As well as the usual business of an AGM, there will be an opportunity for some open discussion. New members are invited to arrive a few minutes early to purchase memberships. You must be a member in good standing to vote at the AGM
Support the Rail Trail at DOT DAY! This Saturday, April 18th from 1 to 3 p.m. at Winlaw Hall is the annual "Dot Day" in the Slocan Valley, Area H. The Columbia Basin Trust, Community Initiative Program makes around $62K available each year, and in our area, where is goes is determined bt the community.If you ateend and are a resident of Area H, you will be given up to 4 'dots' which you stick to the application(s) of your choice. Each year, those interested in taking advantage of some of these funds submit an application.This year the Rail Trail is looking for support to help with ditching along the Rail Trail. The heavy rains in late February showed us that there are several area needing attention so we can prevent further erosion. Come to the meeting on Saturday and help us out.
March 4th - Trail has been repaired from two slides during the rains a couple of weeks back. Passmore/Slocan Park is fine, Crescent Valley still requires a culvert but can be walked.
Benches on the Rail Trail. The Slocan Valley Lions Club has a fundraising program where they build and install benches on along the Slocan Valley Rail Trail. Some are there to remember loved ones, others to remember those who have made a contribution to their community. There are several benches along our Rail Trail that they have built. There is room for more benches, so if you're interested in getting more information, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 250-226-7528
January 29th - Mild conditions make for hard grooming, but decent skiing. Over 70 swans have been counted at the Walter Clough Wildlife Sanctuary north of Lemon Creek. An easy ski and a great reward awaits.
DAY ON THE TRAIL - Circle your calendar for Sunday, January 25th, 2015, because that will be the day of our annual Ski on the Slocan Valley Rail trail. This year we'll be set up north of the Lemon Creek Trailhead between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. There'll be a blazing bonfire, refreshments and the company of other Rail Trail enthusiasts. From there it will be a short ski to check out the swans before warming up at the fire.
Come join us, catch up on the latest news, become a member of the group or whatever. The Lemon Creek Trailhead is off Kennedy Rd. on Highway 6 near Lemon Creek. Watch for the Trailhead sign on highway 6. Call us at 1-888-683-SVRT should you require more information. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we post all the grooming updates.
December 7, 2014 - four new interpretive signage panels have just been mounted on a trail-side kiosk in Slocan City providing pictures and information about the rare, endangered Western Screech-owls that have been tracked by biologists in the Slocan area. For a very detailed lesson about these "Red Listed" birds, please check out the signage. Eventually, this signage will be part of a more extensive self-guided "owl walk" through Western Screech-owl habitat on and along the SVRT between Gravel Pit Road and Slocan Lake. Thanks to the CBT Environmental Initiatives Program for funding this signage.
Many trumpeter swans have come and some have gone. High count so far this year is over 40 sighted, but it is unknown how many are migrating further south and how many will winter here. Both eagles and blue herons have been sighted north of Lemon Creek. Snow conditions on the trail have not yet been good enough for the grooming program to begin.
October 14, 2014 - The first trumpeter swan was sighted this morning at the Walter Clough Wildlife Area adjacent to the rail trail north of Lemon Creek! May it be the first of many. In recent years between 60 and 100 swans grace this section of the river between October and February.
The Slocan Valley Rail Trail is and will always remain a recreational trail for non-motorized uses. Some confusion may have been caused by an article in the Vancouver Sun on Saturday, September 27 that discusses the Province's intention to allow motorized use on "remote" sections of the Spirit of 2010 rail trail network. A Ministry (FLNRO) spokesman clarified that this change of policy "will have no effect on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail as it is already designated non-motorized". In fact, public affairs officer Greig Bethel said, "the strategic allocation of resources will likely benefit the Slocan Valley and increase the ministry's ability to ensure compliance with non-motorized use on the trail." Compliance is already almost universal with any violators wilting under the glares and reprimands they invariably receive from the general public using the SVRT.
2014 older news items:
FALL COLOURS BIKE RIDE - On Sunday October 5th, about 50 people showed up to experience the SVRT in all its fall grandeur. The event was centred at Winlaw Station and from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. folks rode their bikes in either direction from the Station where they enjoyed hot dogs, chili, refreshements and a chance to meet and chat with friends and neighbours. This year the Columkbia Basin Trust helped make the day possible.
Work-party - this Sunday, September 28 starting at 10AM. Choose either Winlaw Station or Crescent Valley parking lot as two groups will be heading out. Bring loppers, brush-saws, etc., as the object is to trim back small trees and other woody intrusions on the trail. (Post Script - the work day was a great success! Check out the trail to see the splendid results!)
Thanks to everyone who showed up for "dot-day" as the SVHTS raised enough money at the event to purchase a new Ginzu Groomer for winter grooming!
Next month the SVHTS will be looking for community support at "Dot Day", which is when the community decides who can take advantage of funding through the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program (CIP). We are hoping to replace the seven year-old GinzuGroomer and Tracksetter with a new one for next winter. This is the unit which is attached to the snowmobile that flattens the snow and sets the track for skiing. This is part of a larger plan by our Society to replace the groomer plus get a new snowmobile. "Dot Day" in the Slocan Valley (Area H) takes place on Sat. April 5th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Winlaw Hall.Only those who are residents of Area H can participate, so please bring ID. How it works is all those attending are given three dots. All the applications for funds through the CIP program are put up on the walls and you get to decide to which application you wish to put your dot(s). The value of the dots is determined by the number of people attending. There is around $62,000 available. The more who attend, the lesser the value of the dots and vice versa. So it's important that as many of you attend as possible and please let your friends know as well! You don't have to give us all your dots. There are plenty of worthy projects looking for funding that you should consider supporting as well. Please share this with others and we'll see you there.
2013 and earlier Old News:
The trumpeter swans are back! The first pair was spotted north of Lemon Creek at the Walter Clough Wildlife Reserve on October 14. As of February 2, about 70 swans have been counted on the river - mostly north of Lemon Creek. If you haven't seen them yet, you should!
The Fall Colours Bike Ride was held at Winlaw Station on Sunday, October 6. The Winlaw School parents association served hamburgers and hotdogs to the well-attended event.
The trail repairs at Trozzo Creek (2 km north of Winlaw) are now complete. This was a major undertaking to repair sloughing where the trail was eroding into the river. You can now safely enjoy the whole trail once again!
Archaeology Open House - was held July 13 at the Slocan Narrows Pit-house Village site beside the rail trail north of Lemon Creek. Over 300 people attended the event which included small-group tours of the site. Dr. Nathan Goodale and Hamilton College/Selkirk College field school students shared their findings with the public. This year, they exposed part of the floor of one of the largest pithouses ever found - which dates from 2,750BP.
2013 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - was held Thursday, May 23rd at the Passmore Hall. Current directors are Helene Dostaler (chair), Craig Lawrence (vice-chair), Scott Carlson (treasurer), Linda Out (secretary), Larry Prosser, David Hogg, Brian Gagnon, Jim Berrill and Kurt Hilger. Brian Rehwald and Donna McEwen did not run for re-election and were thanked for their service over the years. Members in good standing stood at 304 at the AGM.
The dedication ceremony for the new Doukhobor History Interpretive Signage took place at the Slocan Park kiosk at 11AM on Sunday, May 26 with about 100 people in attendance. Rory Lindsay officiated and John J. Verigin, Peter Relkoff, Katrine Conroy, Walter Popoff and sign-maker Ian Fraser spoke. Madelaine Perriere, mayor of Slocan, and Sheri Walsh, School Board Trustee also attended. Following the ceremony, fruit, pastries, coffee and tea were served by the Doukhobor ladies at the Slocan Park Hall. Two signage panels were dedicated - one which remains at the Slocan Park kiosk, and one that was relocated to Claybrick, site of a Doukhobor brick factory and settlement - north of Winlaw. Next time you are out for a walk or ride, check out these panels depicting an important part of our Valley heritage!
1. Pets must always be under control. You are responsible for your pets behaviour. Please make sure they stay close when meeting other trail users to reduce the chances of a negative interface.
2. Please clean up your animals droppings. Far too often these end up going through our grooming equipment and get spread all over the tread surface. Please carry a doggy bag with you. If not use the read end of a ski as a simple shovel and flick the pet doo off the trail. Hint - If you wait to the end of your walk it may be colder and less likely to leave a mess.
3. Please contact us if you find anything amiss on the trail - i.e. downed trees, flooded surfaces, bad pet behaviour.
News & Coming events
The final two panels of environmental interpretive signage have now been installed along the trail. A beautiful panel depicting the variety of bird life along the Slocan River has been installed 1.8 km north of the Lemon Creek trailhead alongside the Walter Clough Wildlife Area. A panel depicting the environment of the Slocan River has been mounted on the south side of the kiosk at the Perry Siding trailhead. Check them out!
The swans are back! In the last few years, between 65 and 100 swans have spent some or all of the winter on the Slocan River. If you haven't seen them yet, treat yourself and either ride your bike or walk the 2 km from Lemon Creek to the Walter Clough Wildlife Reserve.
On October 12 & 13, the trail between Slocan Lake and Vallican Bluffs was cut along the sides with a sickle-bar to move the thick thimbleberry bushes, bracken, etc. back from the trail. This year, the wet spring followed by sunny weather provided ideal growing conditions for this vegetation which grew tall and was leaning over onto the trail. This would have caused problems with winter grooming - and some sections were already reduced to single-lane bicycle traffic.
Your board of directors for 2012/13 - Chairperson - Scott Carlson, Secretary Linda Out, Treasurer Brian Rehwald, directors Donna McEwen, Helen Dostaler, Brian Gagnon, David Hogg, Craig Lawrence, Kurt Hilger and Jim Berrill. Call 1-888-683-7878 to report any issues.
Dedication ceremony - new Interpretive Signage - Japanese-Canadian Internment at Lemon Creek and Popoff - was held on Saturday, June 16 at 2PM at the Lemon Creek site (on the SVRT just south of Lemon Creek Lodge) and at 3PM at the Popoff site (less than 1km south of Gravel Pit Road on the SVRT). Famous Canadian author Joy Kogawa, Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto and other dignitaries participated in the signage dedication. An Open House with displays, films and slide-shows about the internment took place at the Legion Hall in Slocan from 4PM until 6PM where Joy Kogawa, Chuck Tasaka, Rita Moir, Roy Inouye and several other dignitaries were available for conversation and book signings.
The Commemorative Dinner at 6PM was a resounding success and all present were moved by memories and observations of the internment experience.
AGM and International Trails Day, June 3 - we had a good turnout for both the AGM and the bike tour of the north section of the SVRT with Deborah Apps, President of Trans Canada Trails. She and Al Skucas, President of Trails BC were extremely impressed with our wonderful trail and hope to facilitate it becoming a spur to the Trans Canada Trail system as soon as possible. Deborah Apps presented a slide show on the TCT movement to our AGM. Welcome to new SVHTS director Kurt Hilger, and many thanks to retiring directors Rory Lindsay and Dennis Stefanik.
Day on the Trail - We had a great turnout for our 8th annual Day on the Trail on January 29, 2012 - about a hundred people enjoyed the bonfire, hot-chocolate and hotdogs!
Full-moon Ski - January 8th - Another success with 85 people (but no moon!) skiing and walking in to the bonfire.
Fall Colours Bike Ride - the Weatherman cooperated on Sunday, October 16, 2011 for our second annual bike ride enabling the 80 or so participants to enjoy the spectacular fall scenery experienced along the rail trail. We could not have asked for a better day to enjoy a fall bike ride - from South Slocan north 8km to a beautiful, private location behind Kosiansic's Hill where we enjoyed hotdogs, beverages and socializing - before either heading back to South Slocan or extending our rides northward. We had the 2 electric-assist bicycles on hand for those 55+ to try out and several people did just that. Thanks to everyone who helped organize this event!
Interpretive signage - 2 new panels depicting the history of settlement in the Slocan Valley are now mounted on the kiosks at Vallican (about 2 km north of the Passmore trailhead) and near the archaeological site 2 km north of the Lemon Creek trailhead. Both kiosks now have panels explaining prehistory on one side, and the historic period on the other side.
Interpretive signage is currently being developed to create awareness of 2 Japanese-Canadian internment sites alongside the rail trail - one at Popoff Farm (about 2 km south of Slocan) and one at Lemon Creek (just south of Lemon Creek Lodge). This signage may be ready for mounting by the summer of 2012. The autumn of 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Slocan Valley between 1942 and 1946 when the camps were demolished.
News item re Archaeological Interpretation Event held on Sunday, July 24, 2011 - approximately 350 people trekked to the prehistoric village site 1.5 km north of Lemon Creek for this event. Archaeologist Nathan Goodale and the Hamilton College field school provided an intimate and detailed tour of the site by sending small groups of 15 to 20 on the one-hour tour with a new group starting about every 20 minutes. A BBQ lunch was provided by the SVHTS - although the large number of visitors, more than twice as many as expected, meant that the food ran out before everyone could be served. By all accounts, everyone was very happy with the experience with visitors coming from around the region and beyond.
New website and brochure
Slocan Valley Rail Trail marketing initiative. With funding obtained from the CBT Community Initiatives program, the SVHTS has engaged i9 Design of Slocan to create a new website, a new promotional brochure and to market local hospitality and service businesses to potential rail trail users from out of the area. You have obviously found the new website. The brochure was completed and 2500 copies delivered in November, 2011. Nineteen local businesses have their advertisements in the brochure.