Sinkut bike trail vision raises questions

Rip'N The North mountain bike club has an idea for Sinkut Mountain development

Jason Barr

Jason Barr

Members of Rip’N The North mountain bike club held an information session March 18 about their idea to install a triple bike trail on Sinkut Mountain.

“This is probably about a year or two ahead of ourselves but we wanted to introduce the idea to let people know what were thinking,” Jason Barr, club member, said at the meeting.

Similar to Boer Mountain  in Burns Lake, the group would like to build 20 km of trail to International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) standards over an area stretching 455 hectares – a cross country trail, a mountain trail and a down hill trail.

“We want to develop Sinkut for all levels of riders and maybe even put up a gazebo… and benches at scenic spots so people can enjoy the view,” Barr said.

The bike club also expressed interest in becoming a larger part of the Northern Mountain Bike Tourism Strategy. A regional initiative targeting the growth of bike trails to help boost the economy and bring tourists to northern communities.

For example, Burns Lake has developed their bike trails through the strategy over the past ten years. They started with only a few members and now they have more than 200, Barr said.

“I go to Burns Lake every year and I see just as many couples and families as I do single riders. It gets people back out into nature, it will protect the land from further development (logging, mining, pipelines)…. and it brings funds to the town targeting people driving through,” Barr said.

One community member brought to attention the fact there is already an illegal trail on the mountain that was installed without permission.

Barr reiterated that Rip’N The North did not put that trail in and wants to develop the current trail into three legal ones.

Chris Mosher, district recreation officer with the ministry of forests, said every community has a trail that was built without authorization.

“The procedure is the same to make it a legal trail.. but from what I’ve seen of some of the structures that are already there some will need to come down,” he said.

Mosher also brought up that installing trails would not make the site a park, it would actually be put under recreation status and would not stop other groups from possibly acquiring room for their interests.

Sai’kuz First Nation lands and resource manager, Jackie Thomas, was off put by the whole idea since Sinkut mountain is used as a place for First Nation women to do vision quests.

“Sinkut mountain is a women’s mountain…every traditional territory has one and that’s the one for Sai’kuz,” she said.

There are already mineral exploration on the sides of the mountain along with the proposed Nulki hills wind farm in the works. If the bike trail idea was to proceed the plan would have to incorporate everyone cohesively, Mosher said.

Anyone with ideas or needing further information can visit Rip’N The North bike club’s Facebook page.