Hikers on the Hoodoos in Fairmont Hot Springs may notice a few changes to the popular trail.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) conducted a project in the Hoodoos to upgrade the site. They formed an official loop trail, placed gravel on the path, installed drains, and added fencing alongside the main trail, “both for safety and erosion control,” eplains Chad Townsend, Canadian Rockies program director at NCC.
NCC staff noticed as the trail has grown in popularity, there has been need for more clear pathways. Multiple trails can cause further erosion in this sensitive area. Mr. Townsend says with rising number of hikers over the years, it was important to the NCC to “formalize” the trails.
“We created a lop trail that goes around,” shares Mr. Townsend, to allow visitors to walk on a marked path while learning about the hoodoos through a series of interpretive signs, to be installed within the next few weeks.
The interpretive panels will include a welcome sign and orientation map, information bout wildlife, birds, geology and landmarks as seen from the viewpoint.
The NCC planned the project and fundraised throughout the last winter. Support for the project came from The Columbia Basin Trust, the Panorama Foundation and the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund.
The property was donated to the Nature Conservancy of Canada around 2005. While anecdotally, the NCC knows visitor numbers have risen significantly in that time, they do not have a formal idea of numbers.
“Part of this project was putting in a visitor counter, so we will have more information next year on peaks and daily usage,” shares Mr. Townsend.