The hills and woods of Quesnel are criss-crossed with hundreds of paths that lead to wonderful vistas and serene forest settings.
Traversing them is great exercise and a sure fire way to relieve the stress of school, work or family life.
Not knowing where to go or fear of animals can be quite daunting, so the best way to initiate oneself is to explore them in a group setting.
Reason 2 Run, a jogging supply shop downtown, has been offering guided tours of these trails for more than five years.
“We have so many trails here that people who have lived here their whole life don’t know about,” says Candace Miller, Reason 2 Run’s owner.
“Our group has enabled them to be discovered.”
While it originally started as a trail running venture, the program has since been opened up to people of varying ages and fitness levels, and participants have the option to walk.
Monday (May 7) was the first gathering of the year, with 50 walkers/runners and 13 helpers assembling in the Sugarloaf Park parking lot.
Some participants (including this reporter) took their dogs, and one brought her newborn.
While trail users are recommended to bring along water, the volunteers come packing bells and bear spray to ensure any unwanted critters keep their distance.
Miller says that with such a big group, it’s unlikely that animals would approach in the first place, but it doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side.
Spring is the perfect time of year to take advantage of the paths. Everyone is itching to get outside after a long snowy winter and the trails have yet to be overgrown.
Mostly importantly, there are little to no bugs.
Each Monday for the next seven weeks (except June 11) the group will be trying out a different location.
Pinnacles Provincial Park, Dragon Mountain and Emerson are just a few of the trails to be trekked.
Drop-ins are welcome, and there is still room to join the remaining six outings.