BC Parks contract crews made extensive improvements to the Sharp Creek Trail near Slocan last month.
The nine-kilometre trail is only accessible by boat or kayak and takes hikers from the base of Slocan Lake to the New Denver glacier area.
BC Parks Arrow area supervisor Dave Heagy said most of the improvements were made around the middle of the trail.
“One section of the trail went right through a slide path and was problematic because it would become overgrown and would be very difficult to maintain. It also had very steep sections that were unfavourable to the average hiker.” said Heagy.
“Crews ended up rerouting the trail up through the forest and across to the original trail higher up. The trail was also built to a higher standard so it would be easier to maintain.”
The new rerouted part of the trail is approximately one-kilometre long, according to Heagy.
Crews also cleared the entire trail of deadfall and brushing was done to get rid of excess vegetation.
An iconic viewpoint located halfway up the trail is also more accessible to hikers now.
“Another feature of the trail is that there is a waterfall at about the 3.7-kilometres mark. It is often people’s destination because the top half of the trail is pretty challenging.”
“Crews added a trail to the waterfall so that people could easily see it.”
A new sign has also been installed to let hikers know where to turnoff to the waterfall.
Every experienced hiker should do the trail at some point, according to Heagy.
“There are excellent views across the entire valley and Slocan Lake. You can also see all of the prominent mountains behind New Denver and around the Idaho Peak area,” Heagy.
“The waterfall is another awesome feature and you have really good views of the New Denver glacier area. “
Heagy notes the entire trail should only be done by experienced hikers as it gains around 2200 metres in elevation. The trail doesn’t lead right up to the glacier and route finding skills are needed if you want to access it.
Five crew members helped to complete the work between July 14 and 21.
Boaters are being asked not to use Slocan Lake at this time with water bombers using the lake to fight numerous fires in the area.
You can find up-to-date conditions on the trail on the BC Park’s website.