Hello back-country users, I would like to share with you a unique project taking place in the southern portion of Kananaskis Country.
Last year the heavy rains and flooding that destroyed so much in towns and cities of southern Alberta also did a lot of damage in the high country. I had the opportunity to see some of the destruction last year with Dewey Mathews of Anchor D Guiding and Outfitting, and it was suggested that is difficult to repair trails and follow the rules of No motorized vehicles.
Trail Rangers – Rebuilding Kananaskis Trails
As a partner in Alberta Carriage Supply, I am always looking for ways to help people put their horses to work. This seemed like a perfect opportunity rather than an obstacle. I proposed repairing the trails with draft horses.
This may seem like a good idea, but is it possible? I called Bill Graham of the Road Builders and Heavy Construction Historical Society of Canada. I know Bill and the RHHS from their participation in Draft Horse Town at the Calgary Stampede. Bill has been involved in heavy construction for most of his life (among many other ventures) and has a penchant for collecting old motorized and horse drawn pieces of construction equipment. He also likes to see it work and get dirty. Bill liked the idea.
Dewey, Bill and I had a meeting to discuss the project. As we talked about the project, the excitement grew as we realized it was possible. Our planned 1 hour meeting turned into 3.
As a partner in the venture, Anchor D will obtain the necessary permits, provide meals, accommodation, and back country knowledge. RHHS will provide horse drawn construction equipment and road building expertise. Alberta Carriage Supply is charged with finding teams, teamsters, labourers, training and co-ordination of the project.
The damage to trails is extensive. In some areas, bridges and crossings were washed away, some trails had water cuts in them 3 feet deep and some parts of trails sloughed away. Debris of deadfall, rock and silt has changed the look forever.
Our goal is not to put things back as they were, but to make the trails safe for all back country users.
To accomplish this we will be using road plows, dump wagons, graders, fresnos, wheelers, and even a horse bull dozer. The equipment is all close to 100 years old, so does not have any safety guards and is inherently dangerous to man and beast. To ensure we have a productive experience, we require that all participants attend a 2 day clinic at Alberta Carriage Supply to learn how to safely operate the horse drawn equipment.
So who can be a part of this? Anyone with a smile and a love of the back country! We need help, teams, teamsters and labour to make this a successful operation!
Trail Rangers Details:
Working Days: September 8 -11 in Kananaskis Country
Training Dates: August 17 & 18 (Alberta Carriage Supply)
Cost: $250.00 per person includes 3 good meals per day, tent, cot & foamy, & training
$75.00 per horse for feed.
To sign up, or for more information, please contact Dale at: