MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Spring 2021

49 WHEEL WELL words & photos :: Colin Field With the growing popularity of going outside ( Mountain Life made it trendy!) many trail systems are getting overrun. The parking lots are full, the trails are widening due to overuse and getting away from it all seems more difficult than ever. So the introduction of a new multi-use trail system is a pretty big deal. And that’s (sorta) what’s going on with the trails at Kimberley Forest. The trails aren’t really new; they’ve been there for more than 40 years, but they haven’t been maintained or mapped. That changed with the formation of the Friends of the Kimberley Forest Committee in 2013. Following a formal agreement with the MNR, the group has permission to maintain the trails in this nearly 1 000 acres of public land. They can’t build new trails, but they can maintain the old ones and reroute them where necessary in an ecologically sound way. Representing users as varied as mountain bikers, hikers, horseback riders and hunters, the committee has its challenges ahead, but the fact it exists is a huge step forward. NEW PUBLIC TRAILS Kimberley Forest offers a much-needed trail injection in the heart of the Beaver Valley