Last trail day of the summer in Chilliwack hillsides set for Sunday

'You don't need any previous trail building experience. We've found it empowering to volunteer as a family this way,' says Roxanna Froese.

The trail head in the Community Forest Park can be found going from the parking lot on Allan Road

The trail head in the Community Forest Park can be found going from the parking lot on Allan Road

The last trail building session of the summer by Chilliwack Parks Society volunteers is set for Sunday afternoon.

Volunteer Roxanna Froese has been pitching in with her family on the Community Forest project in the Eastern Hillsides.

“Building these trails gives you a chance to be part of something bigger than yourself,” she said.

They’ve been clearing and roughing in a 2-km loop for beginners and a 7-km trail that’s more challenging with steeper grades, from the trailhead at Allan Road.

“The trail days have been fun and relaxed. You don’t need any previous trail building experience. We have found it empowering to volunteer as a family this way.

“You get a sense of purpose, and trail building also encourages everyone to get out there and get fit, which ultimately builds a healthier community,” said Froese.

She and husband, Ryan Froese, and their kids, Lincoln, Seph, Jake and Ruby go hiking regularly.

“My youngest daughter can do a couple of kilometres already. She can frequently be found grabbing my hiking poles and running out the front door with them,” she laughed.

Members of the Fraser Valley Mountain Biking Association have been helping out big time by sharing their trail building expertise, and they filmed the attached video to share.

“They’ve taught us a lot already,” said Froese.

Froese assisted with some trail building and sat in on planning meetings with city reps, and other agencies.

“I got involved soon after they formed the parks society because I think this work represents the future of Chilliwack and hiking,” she said. “It’s part of my children’s future. The potential is great.

“To put a shovel in the ground and know the result is going to be around for 100 years, it exciting.”

People of all ages and all walks of life have been trail building in the older growth forest where the trees are very large. It’s cool, and sheltered from the hot sun.

“There are some pretty magical areas up there, draped with moss and light coming through.”

The trail head can be found from the parking lot on Allan Road, and the last trail building session of summer 2015 is on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 1 p.m.

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