British Columbia

Happy trails once again for Mount Seymour bikers

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have agreed users can hit the trails on Blair Rifle Range at their own risk, with maintenance of the trails being taken on by the association.

North Shore Mountain Bike Association and CMHC reach a deal after more than a year of negotiation

Mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can freely return to using a popular Mount Seymour trail network commonly called Blair Rifle Range. 

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) announced a deal this week with the owner of the 644-acre property —  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) —   for trail users to ride at their own risk.

The agreement also stipulates the association will maintain the trails.

"We already do a lot of work on Mount Seymour surrounding these lands," said Cooper Quinn, NSMBA vice-president and director. 

In October 2016, CMHC  put up No Trespassing signs on trailheads around the area.

"I think it was kind of a knee-jerk reaction to a liability concern," said Quinn. 

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Two weeks later, trail users were given the OK to access the trails while stakeholders negotiated an official agreement on how to manage the land in the future.

Quinn says B.C.'s strong Occupiers Liability Act was a key factor in reaching an equitable deal.  

"It really protects CMHC from liability surrounding any potential injuries or lawsuits on these trails. 

"So, I think they've got a bit more comfort there now," said Quinn. 

Negotiations also included consultations with First Nations and other local land managers.