Thanks but no thanks, Whitehorse bike club tells rogue trail builders

Someone put a lot of work into making a new bike trail on Whitehorse's Mount McIntyre. Trouble is, they didn't get permission.

Unsanctioned trail on Mount McIntyre now blocked, may be dismantled

Access to the bike trail, marked with a sign reading '2nd Gen', has now been blocked by the city. (Cheryl Kawaja)

A Whitehorse mountain bike club has a message for whoever cut a new trail on Mount McIntyre — cut it out.

The unsanctioned trail was recently discovered running off an established, popular trail on the mountain. It was marked with a sign, reading "2nd Gen."

"I don't know who built it, but I assume it's probably a young builder who is the second generation of builders," said Sierra van der Meer of the Contagious Mountain Bike Club.

"And those are the ones we do want to encourage."

Sierra van der Meer of the Contagious Mountain Bike Club said it's important to follow the rules when building a trail, to avoid possible conflicts. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

But, the club doesn't want to encourage rogue builders.   

"Every year, we have a situation where maybe somebody doesn't know about the application process, or doesn't know how to go through the proper trail-building protocol," van der Meer said.

Last summer, a similar "rogue trail" was discovered under construction on Whitehorse's Grey Mountain. A city official at the time warned there could be fines for anybody caught making an unapproved trail.

City has blocked access

Van der Meer said the proper process involves consultation with other user groups in Whitehorse — such as hikers, runners or disc golfers — before any trails are built, to avoid possible conflict.

"We might not know about plans that one of our partners has in the same area," she said.

The new trail appears to have taken some time to build — trees have been cut and ramps built. That work may come to nothing, though.

The city has blocked access and threatened to dismantle the trail, unless contacted by the builders.

Sierra van der Meer hopes that doesn't discourage the builders, but instead prompts them to be mindful of the rules next time.

"When people come to the club and they have a vision for the trail that they want to build, we can find the place that that trail works," she said.

With files from Cheryl Kawaja