CARP – It’s been a busy summer for the Friends of the Carp Hills (FCH) keeping current trails safe and sound and adding 500 metres of new trail in the popular hiking spot.

FCH volunteers doing trail work.
An FCH volunteer does trail work on the Crazy Horse Trail in Carp. Courtest the FCH

“We’ve developed a new side trail that can be accessed on the south side of the beaver pond loop,” FCH trails coordinator Bernard Proulx released in a statement today (Nov. 5).  

The 500 meter out-and-back trail leads to a lookout over the marsh.  

“An updated Trail Guide, Interpretive Guides, and Map are available on our website,” Proulx said.  

While not trail breaking, FCH volunteers have been trail monitoring and upkeeping.

“We can definitely say that 2020 has not been a typical year,” Proulx said. “The pandemic has certainly put our lives on hold, limiting our activities and connections with friends and family. We were forced indoors in the spring, July was extremely hot and August, just when we thought that we were going in the right direction, we were told to brace for more restrictions in the coming fall.”

But the Carp Hills trails are designed to help with the stress of every day life.

“Despite the craziness of the past few months, the Crazy Horse Trail has been a therapeutic and peaceful escape for many,” Proulx said. “From the comments left on Facebook and the number of new followers we can definitely say that the Crazy Horse Trail is increasing in popularity. That is positive news.”

This year much of the scheduled work planned for the spring was postponed until later. 

“Finally, in July we were able to do some maintenance and clean-up; overgrown bushes and grasses were trimmed and fallen trees were removed,” Proulx said.

Repairs to the main boardwalk were carried out following damage from a large fallen tree. New orange trail markers were installed in certain areas in order to make it easier to follow the trail.

“Recently we have started to notice a significant increase in trail erosion and widening,” Proulx said. “We recognize this to be an issue and are currently working to find solutions. In order to prevent further erosion and widening of the trail we ask that you to stay on the designated marked trail. By doing so you will help the fragile environment and FCH in keeping the Crazy Horse Trail as pristine as possible.”

Fall and spring are the wettest seasons so the FCH advises users wear proper footwear such as waterproof hiking boots or rubber boots and expect to get a bit muddy.