These trails are happy indeed.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance has created a website for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
“Our goal has been to get folks to turn off their cars and get on their feet,” said Phil McIntyre-Paul, alliance project manager.
Some of the trails have been well known to local residents but others are more obscure, he said Wednesday.
Some have been maintained, some have signs, but a lot did not when the project to map and publicize the trails began, he said.
The alliance, which includes First Nations, regional district representatives, B.C. Parks and locals, began forming about eight years ago.
McIntyre-Paul said the group has pooled its resources and put up nearly 200 trail signs throughout the region.
Now it wants to make sure people find them.
Trail maps have been available at Shuswap Tourism and tourist information centres in the area for a few years. But now people can go online and get an idea of where there might be new trails, or even old ones they didn’t know about.
“People need to know they’re there,” he said.
The website includes maps to the trailheads, ratings (easy to most difficult), cautions (cliffs, wildlife, etc.) and length of the trail as well as estimated time to complete it.
“Some are more rustic, so we tried to grade them so people know what they’re getting into. And there are caution notes, especially for the alpine trails,” said McIntyre-Paul.
“We also want people to send in feedback.”
Comments, information on maintenance needed, and especially photos from the trails, are invited.
The trail mapping is still a work in progress, but the website is giving it a good push forward, he said.
And while the web site indicates land trails, or greenways, he’d like it to eventually include blueways — recommended trails for canoeing and kayaking.
The website is at www.shuswaptrails.com.