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You Can Get A Whopping $10K Fine & Jail Time For Creating Your Own Trail In BC

Illegal Trails

It might not seem like a big deal to hikers, but creating illegal trails can land you a serious penalty in BC.

Recently, the Government of British Columbia announced that people who build their own trials without government approval could land fines up to $10,000. Further, perpetrators may even face jail time of up to 6 months.

In the Sea to Sky Recreation District, mountain biking has grown in popularity. In fact, the area is well-known as a prime mountain biking destination in all of Canada.

Over the last two years, government staff noticed an increase in unauthorized trail building in the Sea to Sky Recreation District. And, the construction of these trails has numerous ramifications.


Unauthorized trail construction can result in:

  • soil erosion or soil compaction
  • negative effects on water quality or water flow
  • slope stability concerns
  • negative impacts for other resource users
  • safety and liability concerns, due to improperly built or maintained trails and structures
  • the spread of invasive plants
  • disruption of wildlife habitat or sensitive plant ecosystems

Illegal Trails in BC

Individuals or groups wishing to build or maintain a trail or other outdoor recreational facility must prepare a written proposal. From there, they must obtain provincial approval, before starting any such work.

Failure to comply with legislation related to trail construction could result in a penalty of up to $10,000, a remediation order to return the area to its original condition, and/or a jail term of up to six months.

Members of the public are encouraged to report illegal trails or suspicious activity by calling call 1 877-952-7277, toll-free (or #7277 on a cellphone). They can also submit a report about a suspected natural resource violation online: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/nrv/report.htm


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