City OKs guerilla trail signs in Edmonton's river valley

A series of new bike trail signs in Edmonton’s river valley are turning heads - particularly along the dirt trails of MacKinnon Ravine.

Volunteer group behind the signs do not want to be identified

Signs like this have been showing up along mountain bike trails in Edmonton's river valley. No one has publicly taken responsibility for adding the signs, but a local cycling advocate says they're part of an initiative to name and map all the trails in the valley system. (Tim Adams/CBC)

A series of creative, new bike trail signs in Edmonton’s river valley are turning heads particularly along the dirt trails of McKinnon Ravine.

Boasting titles like ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Bobsled,’ ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Root Canal,’ the signs are made of stencilled cedar, and bolted high in the trees.

Clearly, these signs took some effort.

However, as CBC’s Tim Adams explains, the people behind the new signs do not want to come forward.

Gary Olgletree, the chair of the Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance, would say only that the signs were done by volunteers, and they’d done a good job.

He says the names put on the signs are local identifiers reflecting each trail’s character or history.

Ogletree said the naming was done as part of an effort to map the trail system in the area, making it easier for future cyclists to access and enjoy.

He said the group was given permission from the city about three years ago to name the trails, but said a recent email message from a park ranger warning them to take down the signs had made some of the volunteers worry about getting into trouble. 

But city spokeswoman Gayleen Froese said the ranger did not know about the years-old agreement with the Mountain Bike Alliance when he told them to take down the signs.

She said the signs will be moved to sign posts in order to protect the trees, however.

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