We have a world-class trail system in Powell River. However, when navigating through clouds of choking dust or over stretches of non-gravelled mud with ever-present, bone-jarring potholes, the access road to the Duck Lake/Mud Lake area just does not measure up.
I decided to make enquiries and was advised that this road from the south end of Haslam Lake to the junction at the 11-kilometre sign just past Mud Lake is just another forest service road. This basically means such a road is there for logging industry access.
Although this particular road is not restricted, public use is not really welcome.
I was told many small vehicles are the main cause of the potholes and not the larger log-hauling trucks. I was also told maintenance (grading) of the road, for the most part, falls to any logging company using the road for moving equipment or for log extraction. In other words, it is the logging company’s decision whether to grade the road or not.
I stopped in at the local Ministry of Forests office to enquire further and was told the forestry branch will grade and gravel forest service roads from time to time, but its budget for that is very small and Duck Lake Road is no more of a priority than any other forest service road.
Although everyone I talked to was in agreement that the road was in rough shape and somewhat sympathetic, no solutions were forthcoming.
Recognizing the thousands of hours of volunteer labour spent every year, not only to build but to maintain these trails with no taxpayer money spent, and the simple fact that these trails offer a world-class experience to local users and visitors to the area, there has to be better quality road access, just as there would be to any such facility anywhere.
Jerry Eskes is a Cranberry resident.