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Recreation Sites and Trails BC - Bear Creek OHV

 

 

 


On this page we post news specifically about the huge trail building and reclamation effort underway in Bear Creek.


Current Bear Creek OHV News

Spring 2017 Update!

As per our Rec Site agreement Tolko has been actively logging in the Bear Creek OHV area earlier this year. Operations manager Trevor Timmer and the OTRA Directors are working hard alongside the forest companies to restore the trails that have been affected. This is a top priority and we ask that the riders respect the trail signage and avoid the area. Riding within the 85,000 acre Bear Creek OHV area is a privilege that we share with a number of stakeholders including ranchers, loggers, water providers, hunters and recreationist. It is all good and getting better every year. With the sun shinning it should be a good weekend. Steve Sampson our Site Host will be on site in the Aspen Trailhead selling day and season's passses.

https://instagram.com/p/BSjCWXylzAl/

August 27 2013 Bear Creek Update - Trail building, Enduro Cross

We're back to trail building! The spring of 2013 saw quite a lot of rain, which meant that we didn't have the opportunity to start on our new trail projects. Improving drainage and eliminating mud holes was our priority. Then came the heat of summer, and a high fire danger rating means that operating machinery in the forest is just too risky. Now, the weather is cooling, the fire danger is reduced, and we're enthusiastic about building some new trail.

Our single track guru has been working on extending the popular Trail 51. Where it ended on the west end, at Trail 433, it now continues into the Lean-to and Ladder Creek area. This adds over 5 Km of trail to the Bear Creek system, including a new bridge over Ladder Creek. We're working on completing the signing now.

Our master of double track has been working on Trail 3 where it loops around the north-west edge of our trail system. This trail shows on our 2013 map, but some sections are defined as "Proposed Easiest", and weren't rideable. He started at the Trail 433 and Trail 3 junction and has been working his way towards Jackpine Flats Main Road. This is going to be a great addition to our trail system, with some very scenic views and incredible riding for both quads and bikes.

Neither of these new trails are completely finished yet, so if you decide to explore them please respect our hard working trail builders. Also, be aware that signage may not be completed.

As you may have noticed, our Enduro Cross track building has stalled. Some tentative commitments from outside contractors, to donate time and equipment, have failed to materialise. We are now exploring some alternatives. Though we have had many OTRA members offer to volunteer their time to help build the area, we are in need of cash money to rent equipment and purchase some supplies. We realise that there is a lot of interest in the developoment of an Enduro Cross track, so until it is completed we will be directing all funds donated through our "DONATIONS" link at the top of this page to this development. Please help if you can.

 

April 15 2013 Bear Creek Update - Enduro Cross track building begins

We have started to clear an area where we will be building an Enduro Cross style of track. Fortunately we have been able to retain all of the healthy, growing trees in the area. Several of the huge, old dead stumps have been removed. The old log piles and forest debris have been cleared. Watch for future development and the placing of some fun obstacles.

 

Fall 2012 Bear Creek Update - Knife Ridge (Trail 51) takes shape!

Lots of hard manual labour has occurred this spring and summer resulting in several new kilometers of excellent single track trail being signed! The newest offering is the Knife Ridge Trail (or Trail 51).

For those of you who love the old style cross country feeling single track trails this one is definitely for you! The marked trail is about 13 km long, at this stage, and starts off of trail 5 just past the Junction of Trail 424 &5 where it crosses Jack Pine Flats Road.

You'll wind your way over and around some of the highest ridges in the signed part of the area (~1500m) and will be treated to great views of Bear Creek OHV, Okanagan Lake and the Okanagan Valley.

The Trail is rated as Blue but is a higher level of blue at this point due to the trail not being as "manicured" as most of the other blue trails you've ridden at Bear. There are a few rock ledges and ridge climbs that can be a bit tricky for blue level riders so be ready for a challenge! The trail will be easier to ride as it gets worn in but for now is still a bit of an adventure. Until it's fully worn in you'll need to make sure you look for the ribbons or paint marks that are still on the trail.

For those who'd like to try out the trail but aren't sure if they're ready for the whole thing you can ride the more defined section of Trail 51 from Trail 5 and then take the TR 514 exit and return back to the previously established marked trails to the east.

Trail 51 will eventually continue and connect with some more new and existing trails to offer you a series of trail choices.

For Garmin GPS users, email carol.boyd@okanagantrailriders.com and I'll send you the GPS track of the trail.

 

 

Spring 2012 Bear Creek Update - Trail Pass

The Bear Creek OHV Area Trail Pass Program was initiated in May 2012 and has gone surprisingly well with the majority of people being happy to, or at least realize the importance of, financially contributing to OHV Riding at Bear Creek.

A big part of the success must be attributed to our Local OHV Dealers and to Dave, our Bear Creek Site Host. Their patience in explaining the needs and their support of the program has been invaluable. A big thanks to all involved!!

Funds collected go towards the continued development of Trails, the maintenance of existing trails, our Site Host and all those expenses related to operations (tools, insurance, equip. maintenance, etc).  Of course, without the further financial assistance of our Government partner, Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), we'd never be this far ahead. A big thanks to John Glaspie's Department for their support!

 

 

Past Bear Creek OHV News

Fall 2011 Bear Creek Update - The Bridge is in!

Finally after 3 years of one fight after another motorized recreation has prevailed. Our bridge is finished. It shouldn’t of been this hard or expensive but it is done and done well. A heartfelt thanks to all of you who helped make this happen. Many of you donated time or money or both. Some of you put a good deal of faith in OTRA. Some of you put your careers and political capital at risk. All of you supported this cause. This is a beautiful example that we are a legitimate activity that can coexist with the environment.. Please help to insure we use this momentum to manage our chosen recreation in a sustainable way going forward.

Regards,

Ken Umbarger
President,
Okanagan Trail Riders Association

Spark Arrestors & Sound!

A reminder that Spark arrestors are required year-round and sound must be at 96 db or less.   Education has been underway at Bear Creek for almost 2 years now and the time has come to comply. Non-compliant riders will be sent home and could be issued citations or orders to vacate. Please help your sport by being responsible and legal!

September 2011 Bear Creek OHV update - Lower Pit Hillclimbs closed

Due to new trail construction in the lower pit area we have closed off all of the hill climbs in the lower pits.  The soil was so eroded and had created so much displacement that the user created trails were no longer sustainable.  Hill climbs have been a number one source of negative public attention and have created huge sediment problems for us.  Please respect these closures and enjoy the new trails.  We will be working hard to put in more new trails and once we get out of the main staging area we will be able to put in trails with more difficulty and more technical aspects to them.   

Thank you,
OTRA trail crew


August 26 2009 Bear Creek OHV update - Bear Creek OHV now open!

We have been advised by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts that the Bear Creek OHV area is now open!
 

Although the area is reopened we’d like to remind people that the fire is still in the mop-up stage. We’d ask that riders:

  • Please stay away from the northern portion of the riding area, near Terrace Mountain , where the work is continuing.
  • Do not ride on the newly created Fire Guard or Hose lines. They should be fairly obvious as they will be very new and rough and won’t be marked. Some are very steep and we do not want to see Riders creating hill climbs in these areas as erosion is already a possible concern. Stay to existing trails. When in doubt, don’t ride it.
  • Do not ride on Bear Main unless you are appropriatey insured (bikes must have liability insurance). Even if you are appropriately insured please consider staying off this road as there is still more traffic on it than normal, due to fire work. As well, be aware that there may be increased traffic, including large equipment traffic, on other access roads and wider trails within the OHV. Ride with caution and stay off these main corridors as much as possible.

Some other general reminders for summer riding:

  • Please use extreme caution if you ride during times of higher Fire Hazard. Make sure you carry plenty of water, have a spark arrestor, don't smoke in the back country, and strongly consider not riding on days when higher ratings do occur.
  • Do not ride/use Forested areas during extreme rated conditions.
  • Inspect your bike/ATV during rides to make sure that it is free of debris near any of your bike’s/ATV’s high heat areas.
  • Report any fire activity immediately by calling: 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellular phone.
  • Don't forget that it's not just riding areas that are effected by High Fire Hazard ratings. Use all Park & Recreational areas with respect during higher risk times. Respect any closures. Protect our Parklands.

Thanks to all for their cooperation during the closure and we’d ask for your continued cooperation during the reopening period  

Helpful links:

Fire Hazard Index ratings (for the Kamloops Fire Centre) http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/DgrCls/index.asp?Region=5  

Forest Restrictions: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp


August 21 2009 Bear Creek OHV update - Area still closed
The closure for recreational use and dispersed camping in the Bear Creek OHV area will continue throughout this weekend in order to give a little more time for the Fire Fighters to finish their work in the area. Hopefully the area (or a portion of) will re-open as soon as next week.

We would ask that people stay patient a little longer and stay out of the Bear Creek OHV area. Please respect that it has been closed in an effort to safeguard those working the Terrace Fire so that they can get us back in as soon as possible.


August 15 2009 Bear Creek OHV update - 2 Days of rain!
The recent rain has certainly helped to bring the Terrace Fire situation under control and it certainly looks as though the worst is over!

We would like to remind everyone that the Bear Creek OHV Area remains closed due to the high levels of Fire Crew and Equipment activity in the area as well as due to potential risks from fire damage in areas. Please stay out of the entire area until advised that it has been reopened . Let the Fire Crews continue their work as quickly and safely as possible.


August 6 2009 Bear Creek OHV update - New Terrace Fire map online
The Ministry of Forests, and all those involved with fighting the Terrace Mountain Forest Fire, continue to do an amazing job of holding back the fire from continuing to grow. Today’s map is now online at: http://bcwildfire.ca/ftp/!Project/WildfireNews/862009~74545_K50720_August6_Overview.pdf and has given us a bit of a feeling of relief. Although the fire has burned into the Northeast boundary of the Bear Creek OHV it has mostly effected future trail development as there are not many existing trails in the current burn area. At this time there is no indication that any of the commonly used Upper Pit trails (south of Terrace Mtn) or Lower Pit trails being effected. Having said that, trails are very close so any further growth of the Fire could begin to impact our trail system. Our hope will be that the Fire Fighters can continue to contain the fire until the much needed rains come.

For the most up-to-date Fire information online you can go to: www.castanet.net or www.bcwildfire.ca

The Bear Creek OHV area is closed at this time and road blocks are in place. Please continue to stay out of the area.

A further reminder that the BC Forest Service is requesting that, due to severe wildfire risk, people to stay out of backcountry regions. Campfire bans are in place throughout much of BC and definitely within the Kamloops Fire Centre (our region). A zero tolerance stance is being taken on campfires: http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-48701--.htm#48701

Helpful links:
Fire Hazard Index ratings (for the Kamloops Fire Centre)
http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/DgrCls/index.asp?Region=5

Forest Restrictions:
http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp


August 2 2009 Bear Creek OHV update - Terrace fire grows to 7,000 hectares
The fire grew extremely fast overnight and is definitely burning into the Northern border of Bear Creek OHV (click here for more information)


July 30 2009 Bear Creek OHV update -  AREA CLOSED
A closure for recreational use and dispersed camping in the Bear Creek OHV area has been put into effect by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts at the request of Fire incident command team.

We would ask that people stay out of the Bear Creek OHV area and respect that it has been closed in an effort to safeguard those working the Terrace Fire and to further protect our riding area during a time of high Fire Hazard rating.  

More information will be on this web page as it becomes available.


July 29, 2009- Terrace Mountain Fire / Bear Creek OHV Access update
For those of you who aren't in the area, or haven’t had access to the news, there has been a huge amount of fire activity in the Okanagan in the past weeks with 2 fires in the Kelowna area and one (Terrace Mountain Fire) near/in the Bear Creek OHV area.

The best place to get the most current information on the Fire is at www.bcwildfire.ca (Terrace Mountain) or at www.castanet.net

We do not yet have detailed information as to the exact impact of the Terrace Mountain Fire on the Bear Creek OHV area but we believe that a portion of the northern boundary will likely have suffered some damage. We will pass on further information when it is received.

There is currently a Ministry of Forest road block on Bear Main, as this is one of the roads used to access the Fire area. Forestry Officers are stopping people to determine their need to go into the area. They would prefer to not have riders and users in the area due to the Fire equipment and worker traffic on the access roads and also because of the Fire Hazard conditions. These concerns combine together to create a potentially extreme risk situation in the area.

We would advise riders that Forest Use restrictions may be implemented. If a closure restriction is implemented, please respect and support those who have made this serious decision.

We would highly recommend that you do not make plans to use the Bear Creek OHV Area without first insuring that it is open for use. A formal closure would be reported to us and we will send out the information and post on this website as soon as possible.

An important reminder that there's a campfire ban in our area:
http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

If you see anyone with a campfire please make sure they understand that there is a ban in place and aid them to put out the fire and/or report their activity immediately by calling: 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 from a cellular phone.

Some other general reminders for summer riding:

  • please use extreme caution if you ride during times of higher risk. Make sure you carry plenty of water, have a spark arrestor, don't smoke in the back country, and strongly consider not riding on days when higher ratings do occur.
  • Do not ride/use Forested areas during extreme rated conditions.
  • Don't forget that it's not just riding areas that are effected by High Fire Hazard ratings. Use all Park & Recreational areas with respect during higher risk times. Respect any closures. Protect our Parklands.
  • the Terrace Mountain Fire mop up will be continuing for some time so we'd like to remind riders that it is entirely inappropriate and, for most the most part, illegal to ride or block Terrace Main or Bear Creek Main as your presence may cause danger to yourselves and those who need to be on that road. Stay far away from the fire area and access roads and let people safely work.

Helpful links:
Fire Hazard Index ratings (for the Kamloops Fire Centre)
http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/DgrCls/index.asp?Region=5

Forest Restrictions:
http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation. Ride and play responsibly and protect our riding areas and Parklands!


July 11, 2009 - Trail Patrol Update - Training Next Weekend!

We are having our first trail patrol training next weekend July 18 and 19 and will be meeting at the Lower Pits at 9am until approximately 1pm Saturday and Sunday.

  One important aspect to trail patrolling is documentation and monitoring. If we haven't documented our efforts they don't carry much weight.  The documentation we have been doing is working greatly in our efforts to let folks know what we are doing and how successful our efforts have been to date.  We will be reviewing what needs to be documented with every encounter.  Successful encounters are essential to our program and to the steep educational curve we have put the riders at Bear Creek through.  Learning the technique to turn every encounter into a positive one is another aspect of our training.  What messages are the most important to give to the riders when you meet them will also be covered . We will also set up parameters regarding how far to take the encounter and when to step back. We will talk techniques and process and forms on Saturday and will practice encounters on Sunday.  We want every volunteer to feel comfortable in the Trail Patrol program.  Trail Patrol shirts will be available.

Dick and I have had excellent success doing public encounters for over 15 years, we know what works and what makes it fun.  We would love the opportunity to share that experience with you!

Bring a lawn chair, some sunscreen and lunch and we will see you at the Lower Pits on Saturday.  Please help us help the riders through education .and camaraderie. 

To sign up, contact Joani Dufourd at brjoani@bendbroadband.com    or 541-410-8127.

June 25, 2009 - Newly Installed Fencing Limits Access!

The recreation site at Bear Creek has undergone recent changes. Cattle fencing has been installed around the Sand Hill and in the area of Bald Range Creek between the upper and lower pits. While it is currently closed to our use, our hope is that we will have a corridor trail and bridge over Bald Range Creek constructed and installed this season.

This area is moving toward a managed, engineered, and designated trail system. Riding cross county, trail blazing and user created hill climbs will be discouraged and ultimately eliminated. The trade off for that type of restriction will be a trail system that will cover the whole of the 33,000 hectare recreation site, with current maps, signed difficulty levels, and a distinction between double track and single track trails.

There will be signs installed very soon that will state: Area Closed – use limited to designated routes and trails. Please respect this effort and know that the Okanagan Trail Riders Association is working very hard against some very determined forces to keep riding opportunities open and expanded.

June 23, 2009 - Watch a movie presentation on the goals of the Okanagan Trail Riders Association in Bear Creek.

June 19, 2009 - Letter of support for the OTRA efforts from Doug Krogel, Regional Manager, Integrated Land Management Bureau

June 17, 2009 - The OTRA crew started trail work June 9th, with brushing of cleared routes including a major corridor route out of JackPine Flats.  By the end of the season we should have three trails accessing Jack Pine Flats, effectively moving much use out of the existing impacted areas. We have the archeological assessment with Westbank First Nations scheduled for July 2-3.  Once we have clearance the crew will be able to start trail building some of our flaglines.

There will tentatively be a press conference at the Capri Hotel June 23 at noon to discuss all of the happenings surrounding the project.  OTRA members and interested enthusiasts are invited and encouraged to attend.  If plans change we will put out the changes as soon as possible.

Trail Patrol training scheduled for July 18-19 for more info check TRAIL PATROL TRAINING on OTRA web

We have ongoing work to complete several large funding grants totaling $100 to $300 and up for work to be done this year.  As always, our efforts in coordination with Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts,  to rehabilitate the last 30 years of unmanaged recreation and provide a world class riding system are at the forefront of our efforts. 

June 2009 - the new maps are now available for download from our site in different PDF printable formats! See the Maps page to view and download.

May 2009 - A great new map has been created of the Bear Creek Recreation Site. Called the 2009 Interim OHV Trail System Map, it was created by members working with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts. Get one today. They are posted at the two kiosks at the Lower and Upper pit areas. The map was funded by a grant from the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV). In addition to the map itself of some of the trails, there are sections on Rider Etiquette, Signing of the new trails, Safety, Camping, Fires & rules for Group Gatherings.

Fall 2008 - An Educational Brochure has been created that provides Bear Creek OHV users with information on some of the details that are needed to make Bear Creek a sustainable and enjoyable riding area and to protect its future. Please take a moment to read through the brochure!

June 8, 2008 -
Read the article in the Westside Weekly describing the changes taking place at Bear Creek.

June 7, 2008 - We now have a crew dedicated to posting our new Required to Ride signage and after the Sweco training they will be rehabbing blown out trails and constructing new ones. Terry Burke and Mike Billany have been putting in full days working at Bear Creek using the Yanmar and Dick and Joani Dufourd have been doing recon to link trails, close unsustainable ones and creating difficulty levels along with some ATV trails.
Last week we were able to put a halt to a grad party scheduled for the upper pit area. We had more support for RCMP to show their presence than ever before.

Our rider education is what we are focusing on at this time and it has been very well received by the enthusiasts. We have also been doing complimentary sound testing underscoring that we are only in the education phase, not the enforcement phase. Our primary message is to reduce sound – stay away from the gravel pit and slow down in the staging area along with supporting the efforts of OTRA and joining a club.

We have some barrier design work done, are trying to get MTSA to order trail markers and additional signs. MTSA was at the bridge crossing with their engineer last week and reviewed and surveyed the site.

We put out a press release that sparked an interview with the Westbank Weekly. The article should have been in the Sunday paper along with pictures of the work being done at Bear Creek.

Joani Dufourd
RecConnect

   

May 1, 2008 - This year the OTRA has purchased some heavy equipment to start the trail regeneration and maintenance. Our goal is to modify the trails so they are properly engineered to have the minimum impact on the environment while still making them fun and challenging. With 35,000 hectares, we can do it!

In the past, Bear Creek has been a party place and a dumping ground. It is now our responsibility to manage it for our use and our children's use.

Here are the first three pieces of equipment that the OTRA has purchased for the job:

This is the same model of SWECO that the OTRA purchased, but this picture was taken in the USA. Note the small size, rugged design and fully adjustable blade.

Shown below is the OTRA equipment trailer with the brand new Yanmar Excavator and the used Yanmar Carrier. Those trails will be rebuilt like we have never seen with proper drainage and long term planning!


 

 

Other Links:

Bear Creek
Educational Brochure

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts

Ministry of Forests and Range

 

 

 
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