Big Weary Ridge
Through the 1990’s most of the Upper Elk Valley was closed to motorized use through creation of Upper Elk Lakes and Height of the Rockies Provincial Parks, the Upper Elk Valley Access Management Area (AMA), and other AMAs in Weigert Creek, Fording River and Grave Lake areas further reduced riding opportunity.
In 2001 through 2003 the Southern Rocky Mountains Management Plan expanded closures to include Boivin Creek and Brule Creek, and numerous closures in the Flathead and Wigwam drainages south of Hwy 3.
In 2003 our MLA Bill Bennett came to Elkford to meet with citizens and the District of Elkford with then minister of Sustainable Resource Management Stan Hagen. They listened to our concerns and agreed that some accomodation should be made to allow riders to legally access some of the land.
Wildsight, Hornaday Wilderness Society, and the Guide Outfitter vehemently opposed such a relaxation but the Elkford ATV club circulated a petition and obtained more than 800 signatures in just two weeks. In 2005 Minister of Environment Barry Penner directed staff to work with us to open Big Weary Ridge and the Weigert Creek Lookout roads, both of which are hard-surface trails with desirable lookouts and little opportunity for abuse.
A field trip was conducted on June 3 of 2005 with three biologists, and two members of the Elkford ATV Club. Photos from that trip are posted below. Photos and maps from the subsequent helicopter trip with Environment Minister Barry Penner and MLA Bill Bennett are also posted below.
Please Ride Responsibly
The 5 km track in red below was the one we were given access to in 2006. The trail was officially opened for ATV use for the months of July and August, with the condition that the trail and surrounding areas would be closely monitored for abuse or non-compliance. If we are successful, we may in-future be able to similarly gain access to other areas.
Elkford ATV and the District installed a 15ft ATV bridge at the base of the trail about 75m from the trail-head. The initial burm at the trail-head is to be left intact, any brushing or clearing should be limited to ATV-width (approx 4ft). The trail is in good condition otherwise with some light brush at the meadow, and slightly heavier brush about .5km south of the rock cairn.
Please keep ATVs on the designated trail to minimize damage to sensitive ecosystems. Thank you for your cooperation in maintaining the ecological integrity of this high quality wildlife area.