A portion of the Bear Mountain Trail Society’s proposed route and its potential views. Mount Cheam is the peak to the right. It’s a prominent landmark that can be seen (on a clear day) from the Salish Sea, 90 miles away.

We’ve once again added another new member to our growing roster: The Bear Mountain Trail Society. This passionate group became our 41st member club last December and we couldn’t be more pleased to have them on board.

At 1,028 metres (3373 ft.) above sea level, Bear Mountain is the highest point in the District of Kent. It’s nestled in the middle of Harrison Hot Springs, Agassiz, and Seabird Island First Nation and boasts diverse beauty and spectacular views. It’s also the ideal setting for a network of trails that would connect these three communities.

Harrison Hot Springs viewpoint

The District of Kent community plan does mention establishing a non-motorized hiking trail on Bear Mountain, but not for 45 years. A group of locals recognized that if they wanted to see it happen in their lifetime, they would need to get organized.

This is where the Bear Mountain Trail Society comes in.

Founding members Lauren van Vliet, John Coles, Stephen Mullock, Todd Kabaluk and Debbie Hansen incorporated the Bear Mountain Trail Society under the Society Act on September 24, 2016. They started with a simple idea: to establish a non-motorized hiking trail that will connect Harrison Hot Springs, Agassiz, and Seabird Island First Nation.

Turns out, it takes more than a village to build a trail these days.

In order to get the project off the ground, they had to take a collaborative approach. In addition to working alongside the local municipalities, they also looked for participation and support from the Federal Government, Agriculture Canada, the BC Ministry of Forests, the Regional District of the Fraser Valley, First Nations, logging interests, and hiking groups and organizations, including the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC.

It’s a difficult process, but the Bear Mountain Trail Society is taking it one step at a time. They’re continuously honing their skills and are looking forward to having the satisfaction of knowing they helped create a great trail for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

Want to know more about the Bear Mountain Trail Society and its vision and purpose? Interested in helping them establish this trail network? Head over to their website to read more about what they’re currently up to, to learn about their members, and get in touch with them.