Campbell Mt. - Second Site Visit

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Campbell Mt. - Second Site Visit

Post  Admin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:49 pm

Thanks to everyone who made it out to today's Campbell Mt. hike.

I have attached two images taken at Fintry Provincial Park just north of Kelowna. These demonstrate what we might look at for the initial wooden stairway up to either of the two main entrance areas visited this afternoon In the case of the Fintry stairway - all 400 steps(!), they were working in far less hospitable and accessible locations than what we are facing at the Campbell Mt. sites.

I suggest that we pare down our ideas of what a footbridge might look like; asking developers to come up with a safe but affordable solution. Money saved on a bridge could then be funneled into a solidly built wooden staircase and required trail maintenance.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty; there are two basic options available to us:

A) The 'South Ridge' - The "bridge at the bus-stop" option and the controversial "golf-course / riparian area staircase" option are really one in the same, as they both merge onto the same route in short order, so I will heretofore refer to them collectively as the South Ridge)

B) The City of Penticton Reservoir - Which is the trail that currently dead-ends behind the water treatment plant at the end of Penticton Ave.

In either case the bike club emphatically supports routes which match current BC Parks / Parks Canada / IMBA and other established standards of slope and carrying capacity. We strongly feel that any money invested in public access to Campbell Mt. lands must, first and foremost, be spent on projects which are designed from the outset to handle significant volumes of hikers and cyclists. Access routes must reflect attention to erosion issues and be supportable with little maintenance.

Option A) The South Ridge Trail

At first glance, this option seems a tempting choice as it offers immediate access to the beautiful vistas over the city of Penticton and beyond. It appears that ‘everything is in place’, as a deepened trail already exists on-site.
Upon closer inspection however, one finds that very little of the existing 1.5km trail between the base of the mountain to the first plateau is usable from the perspective of sustainability under moderate to heavy foot / cycle traffic. The existing trail is aggressively eroded over the majority of its length. Far too steep for cyclists, it is also treacherous for hikers in even the best conditions - as demonstrated by slip-sliding individuals on the two group hikes into the area.
In order to create a safe and erosion-resistant route in this area, most of the existing trail must be decommissioned / reseeded - and a completely new trail must be implemented. This new path would include numerous, properly engineered switchbacks and meet the aforementioned provincial etc., specifications of slope and sustainable surface.
Further up this trail, one finds that a questionable water diversion project has redirected seasonal runoff (aka; flash-floods) down the road and trail (!). This diversion has caused many meters of trail to be eroded and paralleled by a dangerous, ever-deepening and widening trench. In many cases more than 50% of the trail is missing - this situation will continue to deteriorate.

Option B) - The City of Penticton Reservoir Trail

This option requires a foot bridge over Penticton Cr., followed by a wooden staircase up a steep slope, ending on a plateau above. From there, the route would follow an existing horse trail which switchbacks up Campbell Mt. Initial ideas leaned toward implementing a wide, full-bench trail cut on a nearby slope, but financial implications, together with possible soil displacement issues and potential legal issues with land owners below, have seen us abandon this concept.

The route between the creek-side and the road / plateau above appears daunting, due to the initial slope which must be overcome, but if we implement a solution similar to what was done at Fintry Provincial Park (see attached images) we will end up with an excellent access and fair compromise; an affordable, extremely sturdy and aesthetically pleasing access to Campbell Mt.

Once at the plateau above Penticton Cr., one immediately connects with the horse trail described earlier. This route is in excellent condition, save for a quartet of small culverts which must be installed, along with adjacent water calming systems; numerous options for which were discussed at today’s outing.

The Reservoir Trail also features one additional positive; it allows our citizens somewhere to go once they hit the dead-end fence at the current conclusion of the Penticton Cr. trail. At present, its a curious summation of the trail, one that I feel begs to "go somewhere"...
I’m obviously wearing my preference on my sleeve. This is only because I seek a sturdy, multisport route up the mountain, one featuring safety, low maintenance and longevity.

I am up to showing the proposed routes once more, for those who were unable to make the last two site visits. If you are interested in experiencing the three main Campbell Mt. access options this spring, please feel free to contact me at 250.486.2443 and we’ll line up a time.

Appreciate your interest in this project; not because it’s specifically a great riders route - though it is that, but because it affects all of us, along with future generations of outdoor recreationalists.

Andrew D.
President, PACA |

Basic, sturdy and effective structures:

I really like this concept, as it would provide excellent overviews of the water reservoir & falls


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