Students of College of Caledonia’s first ever trail building course pose at their recently constructed trail head with Mayor Bob Simpson (holding bike), Quesnel Campus Principal Morgan Ross (far left), instructor Justin Truelove (second from left) and some local riders (far right).

Quesnel’s trail building community just got a lot bigger

A new CNC course gives students a well-rounded education in track design, building and maintenance

The first students from College of New Caledonia’s (CNC) new Trail Building and Maintenance course showed off what they have learned at a small trail opening adjacent to South Quesnel Park on Friday (July 13).

The course, which was partially funded by the B.C. Rural Development Fund, is one of the first of its kind offered across the country.

“It’s really great to see CNC step up and create a course like this,” says Justin Truelove, the courses instructor, who travels coast-to-coast building trails in Canada.

“The trails industry across the country, North America and the world is booming and there’s a lot of project potential as well as a lot of funding potential.”

Truelove taught the students design principles, trail theory and constructions and maintenance principles for two weeks.

READ MORE: Influx of green to keep trails white for Cariboo Ski Touring Club

Beforehand they learned wilderness first aid, quad training and working with various tools, including getting their chainsaw certification.

The students then built the 60-metre long trail by hand in three days.

“The methodology and thought process behind this project was to create something that is going to be a lasting legacy for the community,” Truelove says.

“Given the location, we wanted something that is be visible as you come into the park and it’s going to be accessible by anybody using the park.”

A group of six or seven mountain bikers came to the opening to christen the trail, which is only the beginning of what the City of Quesnel has planned.

“Once the students are finished with their training, they’ll be going out into different areas of the community an working on additional trails,” says Morgan Ross, principal of CNC’s Quesnel campus.

In addition to funding the course, the B.C. Rural Dividend fund will provide for some trail work around Dragon Mountain as well as Wonderland bike trail, off Quesnel Hydraulic Road.

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