Submitted by Doug Zorn December 2023

Description

Grand Forks ATV (GFATV) has had a Partnership Agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) since 2013 and is in the process of renewing this agreement, extending it until 2032. This agreement is for the maintenance of nine recreation sites from May to October of each year. Six of the sites are located in the North Fork area, approximately 60 km (about 37.28 mi) north of Grand Forks. Two are located east of Grand Forks, and the last is our new Franklin Heritage Trail (FHT) which allowed us to proceed with this project.

The Franklin Heritage Trail is located in the North Fork area within 1 km of the Bluejoint recreation site. GFATV has recognized the importance of this historic 123-year-old wagon road for many years and feel it will be a great asset for the Region. Once completed the refurbished trail, with its unique characteristics, will enhance the trail experience for all recreationalists.

History of the Trail

  • 2019, started working with our local RDKB Area D rep to declare this trail a heritage
  • 2021, the trail was declared a heritage trail by RDKB and proceeded to be registered with the appropriate Government
  • 2022, GFATV secured funding with many partners and used this funding to make trail improvements along approximately half of the 20 km (about 12.43 mi)

Work Report

Work started early with a crew trying to gain access in early May to Franklin Camp (see included map). We had cleared a considerable pile of woody debris in 2022 and were anxious to burn it as early as possible. GF ATV vice-president transported his tractor to the site and had to clear snow from the trail, in a shaded gully area. With the tractor clearing the way the crew managed to gain access to Franklin Camp and get a good start on the burning. It took several work parties to finally clear up the pile.

May 2023

  • GFATV crew installed two large kiosks on the FHT, the first kiosk is at the head of the
  • Unloaded the trailer that had the two kiosks on
  • Placed the kiosk onto the buried
  • Loaded the second kiosk onto the pickup for the 10 Km drive into Franklin
  • Arrived at Franklin Camp and installed the second kiosk
  • Both kiosks were drilled, and we used Redi-rod to secure the kiosk to the buried
  • Cleared the trail where
  • Engaged a local artisan to develop and printing company to produce signage June 2023
  • The GF Woodworkers Guild had made a cement bench dedicated to Ron
  • GF ATV transported the cement bench to a pre-determined location and with approval from the Walker family installed the bench on the
    • The heavy bench and cement were transported to the site
    • Area was prepared, forms were built, bench assembled and positioned
    • Cement was mixed and placed around the bench
    • The area was cleaned and back filled
  • RDS Contracting completed the installation of the

July – August 2023

  • Fire danger was high, so no work was done on the
  • During this time GF ATV continued to work with historical researchers and sign designers developing historical content for signs and having signs

September 2023

  • GFATV found out the Franklin Heritage Trail was to be
  • GFATV met with MOF and
  • GFATV had a few further concerns and has reached out for clarification from the Minister of Forests.

October 2023

  • GFATV contracted RDS Excavating to:
    • Clear the remaining 9 km of trail to Union Mine FSR,
    • Clear access to historic sights,
    • Supply access to the bottom of the hand stacked rock wall,
  • Clear rockslides and reinforce those areas,
  • Installed support posts for the historic points of interest being developed along the FHT,
  • Install a small kiosk at the north end of trail junction of Burell and Gloucester FSR,
  • Install the kiosk support located near Union Mine,
  • Installed water control where needed along the
  • GFATV members volunteered their time to complete the following:
    • Transported items to site,
    • Travelled several times to ensure the work was in line with our expectations,
    • Installed and finished off the first kiosk site,
      • leveling the site,
      • installing pressure treated 6 x 6 beams to contain the road mulch supplied by Granby
      • Safety and historical signage were installed at this time. Signage developed by Vicom and printed by Alpine
    • Boundary Electric supplied point of interest sign
    • Several more signs have been installed this fall with the warmer weather and lack of snow
    • A brochure is being developed for publication, showing all partners involved with the project. This publication will increase all tourists’
    • Final signs will be installed in spring of
  • GFATV would like to continue to make improvements to the Franklin Heritage Trail:
    • There are remnants of a log structure that may have been a blacksmith shop, if it was recreated it would add to the historic value of the
    • There are several mine sites in the area that could increase historic value if research was completed, and points of interest locations were
    • All to create a safe and responsible trail with accessibility for all

Project Images

Hand Stacked Rock Wall & Remains of Old Blacksmith Shop

Spring Burning

Bench Install

Sign Panels

Trail Rehabilitation

Sign Installation

Kiosk Installation at Trailhead – Franklin Heritage Trail