Hiking and Biking Trails expand at Mount Washington Resort

The trails are made for walking at Mount Washington this summer. The Alpine Resort has been busy putting in a one-kilometre bark mulch trail from Raven Lodge to the trailhead into Strathcona Park's Paradise Meadows.

"We want people to be able to access (the trailhead) without necessarily walking on the road," says Mountain Management. The trail connecting the Nordic Lodge to the trailhead is just one phase of Mount Washington's walking trail system, Sharpe explains. "We have identified a walking trail from the top of the mountain, two different routes to take you from the top of the Eagle Express all the way back down," they said.

One trail is more difficult and goes 1,700 feet almost straight down the mountainside. The other is more leisurely and meanders along the downhill slope for 2.5 kilometres.

Another walking trail that many people aren't aware of is Discovery Road, which is better known as a bike trail. The three-kilometre-long loop is accessed from the Alpine Lodge; it traverses through the O-Zone tubing park and keeps going west for 1.5 kms, then returns 1.5 kms.

Next year a two kilometre long trail connecting the Alpine Lodge to the Raven Lodge will be laid.

Part of the balancing act in developing such a trail is the fact that the new Hawk Chairlift is being constructed right in the middle of where the trail would go.

The new trail will connect the Alpine Lodge to the bottom of the Hawk, then continue on to the Raven.

Mount Washington has also upgraded another trail close to the main lodge. It's a simple, one-kilometre loop that anyone can walk. The trail is wooded and comes out on a couple of view points. Formerly called Penny Lane, this revamped trail has been given a new name: Memory Lane. The new moniker is quite appropriate. The short hiking trail has been renamed in honor of those who truly loved Mount Washington. "We have had a lot of people who wanted to do something (to remember) those who truly loved coming to the mountain. "The beauty and tranquility of this special trail lends itself to remembering those no longer with us, but instead live on in our memories," he said.

Someday the resort hopes to have a bench program in place where family and friends can donate a bench, with a memorial plaque honoring a loved one who has passed away.

The mountain has spent more time concentrating on walking trails this year because staff has noticed a trend towards walking in their summer guests. People are looking to just get outside. They want to get outside and enjoy.

Most telling in Mount Washington's commitment to the walkers who enjoy the Alpine Resort in the summer is the creation of a full trail crew. The crew is three strong and is responsible for maintaining and developing the bike trails as well as maintaining the walking trails. They're called the 'trail crew' and that's all they do.

A new map is available showing the biking and hiking trails at Mount Washington (see page 3). Either lodge has copies.

Biking Craze Grows

The mountain biking craze continues to grow at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, and the resort is heeding the calls for more trails.

A short trail built last year called Hidden Alley has been tripled in size. Hidden Alley continues through the trees, as its name suggests.

The Resort's new, dedicated trail crew has been working on a single track, cross-country trail which is something that's been desperately needed. The single track trail will be completed and ready for riders by mid-summer.