The 2018 summer trail work focused on maintenance, repairs and upgrades to the existing trail network. Work was done on 22.3 km of trails or 22.7% of the single-track network.
Single Track, All-Season Trails :
- Braggin Rights . Cleaned drainage swales and culverts from parking lot to West Telephone junction (3.9 km). Fixed problem drainage areas and tread repairs between West Telephone and Merlin/Reconnect junction (0.7 km).
- Boundary Ridge . Cleared encroaching brush and branches from East Crystal Junction to cattle fence line on ridge-top (1.5 km)
- Demi-Tel . Completed alder and encroaching branch removal on 400m east of Long Distance junction.
- East Telephone . Installation of one culvert and tread repairs, just north of the north Hostel Loop junction to deal with winter ice-flow problem. Some brush clearing and deadfall/log removal from tread.
- Interpretive Trail . 305 metres of new trail constructed between east end of parking lot and Snowshoe Hare. Includes a very nice curved bridge. 4 interpretive sign stands have been installed. 2 more being installed in the next few days. Actual signs may not be available until November.
- Kestrel . 2.4 km of machine built tread was hand finished by volunteers. About 2.6 km of machine built trail remains to be hand finished. Machine work to construct the final 600m to connect to Tom Snow trail will be done by Alberta Parks (Jeff Eamon).
- Long Distance . Encroaching brush cleared and branches pruned to approved standard on all of Long Distance South (2.9 km). Tread and drainage repairs completed for 1.1 km south of Reconnect/Demi-Tel junction. Includes addition of 1 culvert and one section of raised tread.
- Reconnect . (1.7 km)Cleared all encroaching brush. Pruned trees to approved width and height standards. Repaired all drainage issues, including the installation of one culvert and addition of two sections of raised tread. Re-aligned two sections of erosion prone tread and added an easier option for one steep corner.
- Snagmore . Brush clearing, branch pruning, tread and drainage repairs for 1.7 km from Elbow Trail to just beyond the Sugar Daddy junction.
- Snowshoe Hare . Completed one culvert install with upslope ditching (10 m), near the junction with Hostel Loop (west).
- Sugar Daddy . Completed drainage and tread repairs on the 300m between Elbow Trail and Snagmore.
- Sugar Mama . Installed a new bridge and added re-routed the trail by 80 metres with new tread. Cleared brush, pruned branches, repaired tread and fixed drainage issues on 1.1 km of trail between Elbow junction and the new bridge site.
- Tom Snow (south) . Cleared encroaching brush, removed deadfall/logs and pruned branches on 700m of Tom Snow between Mountain Road and Moose Loop.
Winter Multi-User/Snowshoe Trails :
- Old Shell Road . Constructed 200m single-track alignment parallel to Moose Loop, between “picnic table” at the top of Old Shell Road and West Telephone junction. Cleared rocks & debris from Old Shell Road (1.0 km).
- Snowy Owl . Cleared brush, pruned branches and leveled rough areas on the 2.0 km segment between Ranger Summit and Snowy Shortcut.
- Snowy Shortcut . Brush and branch pruning for 500m between Snowy Owl and Moose Connector.
- Whitetail . Drainage and tread repairs at two short sites (90 m).
- West Telephone . Cleared brush, pruned branches, removed rocks & logs and minor drainage repairs to the 700m section between Moose Loop and Reconnect. Includes clearing a short reroute around a chronic ice-flow area just south of Reconnect junction.
Summer Ski Trails Work 2018
This was a busy and productive summer for the GBCTA on WBC ski trails. Here are some of the projects that were completed:
- In partnership with Bragg Creek Excavating the GBCTA completed installation of 2 new bridges to cross creeks that previously had culverts which chronically froze creating dangerous ice flows. These were among the biggest projects GBCTA volunteers have ever undertaken involving the transport to site and placing of 64 tons of concrete bridge abutment blocks and over 8 tons of telephone pole bridge stringers and decking material . To address environmental concerns prior to construction bridge sites were isolated with temporary dams, the areas were electro fished and brook trout removed, silt fence was installed and after completion all disturbed areas were re seeded with AEP approved native grass mix.
- The GBCTA partnered with Shell Canada to install trenching and cross drains along a stretch of Mountain Road that was prone to ices flows. This work should sustain this popular area through the winter freeze thaw cycles. The GBCTA also contracted Bragg Creek excavating to install a large culvert on east Telephone to address a similar ice flow problem. Multiple cross drains were hand ditched around the system to drain tread.
- Extensive brushing occurred on East Telephone loop to open up areas that were being encroached by alder regeneration. Brushing also occurred at multiple sites around the trails system and all trails were mowed by volunteers in October to create an optimal base for grooming.
- New signage was installed including map signs that reflect trail upgrades.
- AEP re decked the bridge on south Moose Loop.
WBC and Provincial Recreation Area
A big focus of volunteer efforts occurred in the newly re developed PRA (Provincial Recreation Area). Here the GBCTA had a central role in working with AEP to guide completion of the PRA project. A great many hours were spent overseeing the completion of the maintenance compound and moving tools and equipment into the 3 bay storage garage and the heated 2 bay workshop. This maintenance compound is a big step forward in the GBCTA’s ability to maintain and groom the over 140 km of trails.
Cell Phone Service in WB
The GBCTA was instrumental in solving a major public safety concern with the installation of a cell phone hot spot at the Trails Centreand maintenance compound. Cellular and 911 calls ( on Rogers and Telus networks) can now be made on the Trails Centre deck for free by the public.
VHF Radio Base Stations
Winter grooming operations are now safer and more efficient with the GBCTA’s installation of VHF radio base stations in the maintenance compound and Kei trucks and hand held radios for all operators who all now carry Industry Canada issued restricted radio operator licenses.
David Cebuliak & Bill Hoyne – June 5, 2019
TransCanada Trail at West Bragg Creek Report
In early 2018, the GBCTA raised $331,000 from Rocky View County and $169,000 from the TransCanada Trail Foundation to complete the construction of a pedestrian bridge just east of Wild Rose and 472 meters of strong post guardrail that is required as per the Rocky View County approved design for the trail.
The strong post guard rail was installed for the GBCTA in the summer of 2018 by Volker Stevin, under contract to Bragg Creek Excavating, providing trail user safety adjacent to the busy WBC road.
McElhanney was retained in May 2018 by the GBCTA to handle all the technical, regulatory approval, tendering, inspection and project management work for the pedestrian bridge project. They completed environmental technical work and obtained Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulatory approval for the bridge abutment installation work. However the one bridge abutment tender received exceeded the budget funds available, so the abutment work was deferred until August/September 2019. The GBCTA recently received approval for $70,000 in additional funding from Alberta TrailNet for the pedestrian bridge. The GBCTA had the bridge abutment work retendered and is pleased to confirm that A M McKay Contractors Ltd. has been awarded a contract to construct the pedestrian bridge in August/September 2019.
The pedestrian bridge superstructure was constructed by JimBob for the GBCTA and is in storage awaiting installation in September 2019.
The GBCTA also installed a trail counter in the Hamlet of Bragg Creek, just east of the pedestrian crosswalk. The counter can distinguish between cyclists and pedestrians.
The GBCTA would like to thank all those who have supported this trail with funding, and volunteer work, particularly Carber Goodlet for his successful fundraising efforts and Conrad Schiebel, Bill Hoyne and Mike Frena for the installation of the trail counter.
2019 WBC Trail Work Plans
The 2019 summer trail work plan continues to focus on maintenance, repairs and upgrades to the existing trail network. We plan to complete Kestrel and construct an all-season link from lower Merlin to northbound Tom Snow.
Single Track, All-Season Trails :
- Braggin Rights . Repair more problem drainage areas and re-install the exposed culvert near Telephone Loop junction.
- Boundary Ridge . Tread repairs to narrow areas where the trail has widened.
- Demi-Tel . Ditch and culvert cleaning
- East Telephone . Investigate another solution for a winter ice-flow problem site, just north of the north Hostel Loop junction. Several short tread repairs required.
- Kestrel . Complete machine work on the final 600m to connect to Tom Snow Trail. Hand finish the final 3 km of machine built trail.
- Long Distance . Clear encroaching brush from Reconnect to the north end. Several tread and drainage repairs.
- Moose Loop . Construct 1.8 km of single-track all-season trail to link the bottom of Merlin View to northbound Tom Snow. Upgrade the culvert site at Telephone Junction.
- Reconnect . One short section of tread repair.
- Snagmore . Brush clearing, branch pruning, tread and drainage repairs east of the Sugar Daddy junction.
- Snowshoe Hare . Drainage and tread work between west Hostel and Demi-Tel.
- Sugar Daddy . Two sites require drainage and tread repairs.
- Sugar Mama . Two short sections of tread repair.
- Tom Snow . Clear encroaching brush, remove deadfall/logs and and drainage work for 500m north of Mountain Road and northward from Moose Loop.
Winter Multi-User/Snowshoe Trails :
- Old Shell Road . Define a clear tread for the 300m closest to Moose Loop ● Snowy Owl . Clear brush, pruned branches and realign tread for the 1 km segment west of the Blue Bridge on Mountain Road.
- Snowy Shortcut . Several minor drainage and tread repairs.
- Whitetail . Drainage and tread repairs at two wet sites.
- West Telephone . Install bridge at water crossing and short reroute near north Braggin Rights junction, and improve tread south of Reconnect.