(Registration for Saturday’s enduro skills clinic starts at 8:30 AM. I have to drive an hour and a half to get to Riverglade Motocross Park; I get there 15 minutes early, but several keeners beat me to the punch. The parking lot is filled with pickups unloading dirt bikes. I walk over to the registration table where Megan Griffiths is working alone. During sign-in, riders want selfies with the day’s instructor. That’s something I’ve never seen at any riding course before).
The best-known Canadian off-road rider right now isn’t a motocrosser, or an enduro racer, or a Dakar rider. It’s Megan Griffiths, from British Columbia. She’s raced in the past, but now, she’s far better known for her YouTube and Instagram channels, where she posts content under the name @megs_braap. In fact, she might be the best-known Canadian motorcyclist, period.
Griffiths started uploading just-for-fun videos around 2012, but around 2015, she changed her focus towards rider education. Now, the channel has a mix of instructional videos, and first-person riding footage. When she isn’t making those videos, Griffiths is teaching in-person riding clinics, or just out riding for fun.
Increase seen in trash, dogs off leash, feeding wildlife
CBC News · Posted: Sep 02, 2020 11:37 AM NT | Last Updated: 5 hours ago
As Gros Morne National Park has seen an increase in local visitors this summer, staff have also seen some unwelcome sights: more litter on trails, dogs off-leash, people feeding wildlife and even toilet paper scattered in the wilderness.
Rob Hingston, Parks Canada’s acting visitor experience manager at Gros Morne, said while they see some of that every year, “this year it seems to be a little bit more obvious.”
“I think what we have is, we have a lot of people that may not be familiar with national parks and what’s expected behaviours with regard to looking after their own safety, and with regard to how they should keep the park unimpaired and protected,” said Rob Hingston, Parks Canada’s acting visitor experience manager at Gros Morne.
Victoria police are asking the public to be mindful of their surroundings while walking or cycling in the Vic West and Burnside areas of the city, after trip wire was discovered in multiple locations over the past week.
On Aug. 20, police discovered semi-transparent fishing line set across a staircase in Cecilia Ravine Park near the Galloping Goose trail, hanging about a foot from the ground. Last Wednesday, police received another report of fishing line set two inches off the ground deliberately tied across a dock ramp at Regatta Landing.
Conservation officers will try to trap the bear on the Coquitlam Crunch
Chad Pawson · CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 11:30 AM PT
Conservation officers say they will try to trap a black bear that was filmed on Saturday tapping a runner with its paw on a popular trail in Coquitlam, B.C.
The encounter, which happened just after 11 a.m. on Saturday, was filmed by Sam Abdullah, who climbs the popular Coquitlam Crunch up to four times a week. The trail is a steep 2.2-kilometre climb located in a green corridor of the city.
Abdullah said he was nearing the top on Saturday when a woman descending in front of him froze as a black bear emerged from the bushes.
He began filming the encounter on his cellphone, and the video shows the bear getting closer to the woman and eventually extending a paw to her leg before jumping back.
“I think she was in shock and she just froze there, you know,” said Abdullah, who carries bear spray when he climbs the trail.
WATCH | Bear taps at woman on Coquitlam Crunch trail:
Bear taps at woman on Coquitlam Crunch trail
2 days ago
The encounter, which happened just after 11 a.m. on Saturday, was filmed by Sam Abdullah, who climbs the popular Coquitlam Crunch up to four times a week. 0:51
Eventually the woman was able to get past the bear, and she can be seen running past Abdullah and looking at the camera.
Plan calls for reducing unofficial trail network, conserving sensitive habitats, ecosystems
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 12:00 PM ET
The National Capital Commission’s (NCC) newly released draft master plan for Gatineau Park emphasizes conservation, while at the same time encouraging park users to engage in outdoor activities that are environmentally friendly.
The plan, released Friday, calls for reducing the number of unofficial hiking trails and limiting development to protect sensitive habitats and ecosystems.
It also outlines a strategy to expand the park’s boundaries by integrating adjacent NCC-owned land into its territory.
The draft plan was developed after a three-year consultation process where the NCC sought feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including the park’s users, representatives from local Indigenous communities, elected officials and special interest groups.
If the plan is approved by the commission’s board, it will guide the long-term planning, use, and management of the sprawling green space for at least the next decade.
A previous version of this story misstated the number of kilometres of unofficial trails in Gatineau Park. There are approximately 330 km of unofficial trails in Gatineau Park.Aug 31, 2020 5:12 PM ET
Jackson Morton’s paddle travelled hundreds of kilometres before washing up onshore
CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2020 5:00 AM ET
Jackson Morton loves taking long canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness, but it turns out his favourite paddle has an even bigger appetite for adventure.
The outdoor education major at Queen’s University was working for Camp Hurontario and leading a canoe trip on the Moisie River in Quebec last year when the paddle got away from him during a stretch of rough water.
He “ended up tipping over into a rapid,” he told Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.
“When we popped up the paddle was gone.”
‘I sort of expected it was gone’
A lengthy search failed to turn it up, and as the weeks and months went by, Morton lost hope that anyone would find it.
“Once tripping season was over I sort of expected it was gone,” he said.
It was made in the style of legendary Ontario paddle-maker Ray Kettlewell, with the “perfect balance between the blade and the shaft.” That made it special, Morton said.
But while he mourned the loss, the paddle was on the move, travelling down the Moisie and into the St. Lawrence River.
One year later, Parks Canada employee Kent Baylis was on vacation with his family about 30 kilometres east of Baie Comeau, Quebec.
His girlfriend came back from a walk with some news: she had found a paddle that had washed up on the beach.
That Baylis and his family were the ones who found the paddle is a special stroke of luck, Morton explained to Alfa.
Though he lives in Quebec, Baylis grew up in Ontario, and is “one of the few people who would have recognized what it was,” he said.
Baylis saw Morton’s name and the Fishell Paddles mark, and contacted the company, who posted it on Instagram.
Morton had just popped out of the water after a swim when friends alerted him to post, and “within five minutes I was on the phone with Kent.”
While the paddle remains in Quebec, Baylis hopes to hand-deliver it to Morton the next time he visits family in southern Ontario, and Morton says he’ll be happy to have it back.
The enduring mystery? Where the paddle went during its year away.
“It must have come out of the mouth of the Moisie somewhere near Sept-Iles. Then it would have had to survive the winter,” said Baylis.
“Then it made its way about 150 kilometres further west along the coastline [of the St. Lawrence],” he added.
“It’s pretty rugged terrain… I’m quite surprised it ended up where it did.”
For avid Calgary-based hiker Sarah Kuindersma, the tempest began with a coffee cup.
In June, she set out for the Devil’s Thumb, a protuberance of rock that looms above the iconic blue waters of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Kuindersma had heard that people were flocking to the Rocky Mountains, so she brought extra garbage bags in anticipation she’d find litter.
She was stunned by what she saw: granola bars and wrappers, masks and single-use water bottles dotted the dirt trail. She stuffed four grocery bags as she made her way up the path.
Construction has started on a new residents’ amenities building in the community of Harmony, the first lake community in Springbank, just west of Calgary.
The South Beach Building will be located at the east entrance to the South Beach in the community and will be home to change rooms, washrooms, outdoor showers, guest entry kiosk and bike racks.
“The South Beach Building is the first Owners’ Association facility to be constructed in Harmony,” says Vanessa Jollimore, administrator for the Owners’ Association of Harmony. “It will be an amazing addition to the beach experience for residents and their guests next summer.”
Also under construction is Harmony’s Adventure Park, which will complement the future Beach Club and will be constructed over three years. Phase one of the park is expected to be ready for the residents to use this winter.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says there has been a sharp increase in calls to its Report All Poachers and Polluters line compared to this time last year, likely because of more people heading outdoors during the pandemic.
Chris Doyle, the deputy chief in charge of provincial operations for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says, since April 1, there have been about 4,500 calls to the RAPP line, compared to about 3,000-3,500 calls in past years.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in activity particularly in some parts of the province,” Doyle said. “There’s definitely a lot of people out there recreating.