UPDATE (March 2019): Our time with the mini-excavator is nearly up as the revitalization of Empress Bypass nears completion! Once Empress is ready to go, the District of North Vancouver will be replacing a Bridge on Bridle Path to make it fully aMTB accessible and then the entire loop will be ready to open. While the bridge is completed, the trails will still remain open so we will update everyone once Empress Bypass is ready to ride.
UPDATE (Feb 2019): The Hiking section of the loop has now been completed (name coming soon) as well as the upgrading to Old Buck. The trail crew has since then been focusing most of their efforts on the revitalization of Empress Bypass and are happy to say that, despite some slower progress due to the cold temperatures and recent snowfall, the work there is nearing completion!
All that’s left is the upper section of Empress Bypass and some sections on Bridle Path. We are planning to host a couple of volunteer trail days to support the final touches of the loops completion once the trail day weather returns – stay tuned! We are on track for an early Spring 2019 Grand Opening Party which you will all be invited to for first tracks!
UPDATE: We reached our fundraising goal which was matched by Neptune Terminals! Work has begun and the Hiking section of the loop is nearing completion and the revitalization of Old Buck and Bridal Path is now in progress!
The North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) will begin work to create an “all access trail loop” by upgrading three existing multi-use trails on Mount Seymour in North Vancouver to create a fun, inclusive mountain bike experience for individuals who use adaptive mountain bikes (aMTBs). The loop incorporates three existing trails: Old Buck to Bridle Path, Bridle Path to Empress Bypass, and Empress Bypass descent. View the “Trails for All” Seymour accessible loop on Trailforks.
Through this project, the NSMBA will be increasing the opportunities for outdoor recreation for people with mobility challenges. As such, this work is meant to create a trail network that will meet the ever-increasing demand for adaptive outdoor recreation experiences (an example of this demand is the over 1000 waitlist of Whistler’s adaptive skiing program and comments submitted in our own annual survey) and ensure that all users feel welcome on the trails.
While creating a loop for users of adaptive mountain bikes is the core goal of this project, the trail changes and improvements we propose are also designed to enhance the riding enjoyment for youth, families, and less experienced mountain bikers. Hikers, trail runners, and dog walkers will also benefit as our proposal includes the twinning of the downhill section of the loop to include a path for foot traffic only, enabling all trail users to enjoy this shared resource safely.
As the North Shore trail networks continue to gain more accessible options for all trail users, the result will be an even more outdoor recreation centered community, fostering healthy lifestyles and stewardship of our shared areas.
The proposed work to upgrade the trails aligns with the Province of BC’s Accessibility 2024 Action Plan and will increase accessibility to trail users of all ages and skill levels. Increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation for individuals with disabilities increase the inclusiveness of our community, one of the key building blocks for accessibility identified in the Plan.
The proposed loop is situated near existing parking and other trailhead facilities. Recommendations to the Land Managers include adding an accessible parking space and upgrading washroom facilities to accommodate those with different abilities. These upgrades will help reduce barriers to participation.
The proposed Seymour aMTB loop falls within the jurisdiction of BC Parks and the District of North Vancouver. The NSMBA has permission from both Land Managers to perform regular ongoing maintenance on each of the three trails within the loop: Old Buck, Bridle Path, and Empress Bypass. Additional authorization for trail upgrades within Mount Seymour Provincial Park has been provided by BC Parks.
An authorization for machine work on Empress Bypass within land managed by the District of North Vancouver has been applied for and is pending their Seymour Trails Strategy to be completed in Fall 2018.
Work will begin in September with route flagging and environmental assessments. Trail construction will begin once approvals are in place. For land managed by BC Parks, this is projected to be September. For land managed by the District of North Vancouver, this is projected to be by the end of 2018.
Thank you for your generous support!
All donations made to fund this project, up to $10,000, were matched by
$10,000 – Neptune Title Sponsorship of the Project
$15,000 – Public Donations
$10,000 – Finished Construction Sponsorship
$5,000 – BC Parks Park Enhancement Funding
$17,000 – BC Gaming Capital Project Grant
$57,000 : Total Funding
Project Expense Details
$7,000 – Trail Construction – Empress Bypass (operator, flagger & first aid attendant)
$6,000 – Trail Upgrade – Bridle Path + Old Buck (operator, flagger & first aid attendant)
$8,000 – Machine Rental & Insurance
$1,800 – Fuel
$2,500 – Bridge Materials: Piping & hardware
$5,000 – Additional NSMBA Trail Crew wages for hand built sections of trail
$1,250 – NSMBA lead Volunteer Days
$1,000 – Administration pre/post project
$2,000 – Contingency Fund
Total Estimated Cost: $34,650
Additional funding beyond the estimated costs will be forwarded towards the continued maintenance of the loop into 2020, support the upgrading of facilities and signage for the community.
Your support can also be shown by emailing or completing the comments/suggestions page on BC Parks and the District of North Vancouver websites. Please thank them for their support of the project and offer encouragement to make more opportunities for accessible mountain bike experiences available on the North Shore.
Letters of Support:
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.