It took some back-straining work, a lot of sweat equity and sheer determination. And it all culminated on Sunday when the Kamloops Thompson Trails Alliance proudly announced the opening of a new 2.3-kilometre section of the Dewdrop Trail.
A crew of volunteers from the Kamloops Outdoor Club and the Kamloops Hiking Club worked for three days on the lower part of the trail to complete the first of several trail construction projects.
The Dewdrop Trail had originally been developed by the B.C. Forest Service and is now part of Lac du Bois grasslands protected area.
Just past the two-kilometre mark, a short 200 metre spur trail to a viewpoint is now cleared.
The parking area at the trailhead also has been cleaned of broken glass and nails.
Al Michel led the work crew up the trail with hand tools. Fallen trees were cleared and the perfect piece of timber was fashioned into a rough bench with an open view of the Dewdrop Range below.
"The hard part was moving that 150-kilogram log 150 metres out to the viewpoint. With a crew of three, we lifted and toppled the log two metres at a time. That was hard work," said Michel.
The trail starts at a parking area on the north side of the Frederick Road in the Dewdrop Range and climbs to the top of Red Plateau.
A new trail sign marks the junction, which leads people through captivating rock features, depressions, ridges, vistas and wildlife.
The Trails Alliance worked with B.C. Parks to get approvals for the volunteer work and with some core funding for tools.
"We hike all the trails in the area," said Doug Smith, Kamloops Hiking Club president. "But it was sure nice to contribute something back. We are looking forward to working on more trails."
The Kamloops Thompson Trails Alliance was formed in the spring of 2012 to develop and maintain non-motorized trails in the area.
The five founding clubs of the alliance are the Kamloops Outdoors Club, the Kamloops Hiking Club, the Kamloops Naturalists Club and the Kamloops Bicycle Riders Association.
"We envision an adopt-a-trail program for local businesses too," said Richard Doucette, Kamloops Thompson Trails Alliance president. "These kinds of programs are in many communities around the province - 2012 is just the start for us."
For more information or to volunteer, go to www.kamloopsthompsontrailsalliance.com.