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  • Thompson Rotary Trail | Creston Community Forest, BC

    THOMPSON ROTARY TRAIL The Thompson Rotary Trail is a short, yet scenic trail that was developed by the Creston Rotary Club in 2012. The trail was located and laid out by Bob Griffith with the whole club involved in the building of the trail over weekend work bees throughout the summer of 2012. Another Rotarian, Werner Allmeritter built the beach that is anchored to solid rock at a major view point. This trail takes you through beautiful Douglas Fir–Ponderosa Pine forests with several viewpoints overlooking the Creston Valley. Red-tailed hawks, Arrow-leaved Balsalm Root and many other features are present that make this trail a great afternoon hike. The bench and best viewpoint is .5 km from the upper trailhead off of the Mt Thompson FSR or .8 km from the lower trailhead off of the Pack Trail. ​ Access: From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook. At roughly 5.8 km, turn right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto Whimster Road after about 1 km. Follow Whimster Road until it’s end – keep left to continue onto Mount Thompson FSR. ​ For access to the lower trailhead, park at 1.7 km on the Thompson FSR at the access point for the Sullivan Creek Trail. Go right or uphill on the Pack Trail immediately in front of the kiosk. Continue on the Pack Trail to about 2.5 km (or about 1 km from the kiosk) to the intersection with the Rotary Trail. ​ For access to the upper trail head, follow the Thompson FSR to the large parking area at about 3.5 km marked with a large sign “Thompson Rotary”. ​ Trailhead access from town: 20-30 minutes Hiking Time (Return): 1.5 hours Elevation Gain: 310 meters Distance (Return): 2.6 km Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Get Involved | Creston Community Forest, BC

    Get Involved Explore Nearby Trails Explore the scenic trails of the Creston Community Forest and immerse yourself in nature's beauty! We proudly manage and maintain a variety of trails in the Creston area, including Lady Slipper, Thompson Rim Trail, Thompson Rotary Trail, Thompson Pack Trail, Big Bear Viewpoint, Billy Goat Bluffs, Gliders’ Point and the West Ridge Trail. Out There: The Creston Community Forest Trails ‘Many of the local trails pass through varying terrain including forest cover, below cliffs and scree slopes, and through other natural landscapes and terrain.’ By Ed McMackin, a biologist by training and a naturalist by nature In its initial years, the Creston Community Forest was committed to several goals, among which was to return into the community a major part of its profits. That was a difficult goal to meet in its beginning years, but now the tables have turned, as the Creston Community Forest has grown and been allotted more timberland, profits have increased, and now recreational aspects of the Kootenay Lake and Creston area are benefiting from a fresh supply of support and funding. Not only have existing trails been improved and new trails opened up, but there are enhancements including kiosks with descriptive maps, benches, picnic tables, and sturdy bridges. Signs along the trails also display information on the natural history of the area. Trails are alsocleared each spring, maintained, and regularly checked on as quickly as possible after storms. Many of the local trails pass through... (full article here ) STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter Join us on a Field Trip Are you ready for an immersive adventure that will take you deep into the heart of our Community Forest? Our field trips offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about local ecosystems, and witness the awe-inspiring wonders that surround us. Whether you're a seasoned nature enthusiast or a curious beginner, come join us on a journey of discovery and unlock a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty in our very own backyard. For more information on forest education, email Daniel Gratton at: dgratton@crestoncommunityforest.com or call 250.402.0070 Volunteer with Us Volunteer on Work Bees: Are you ready to roll up your sleeves, grab a shovel, and make a tangible difference in our Community Forest? Our work bees offer an exciting opportunity to actively participate in the creation and maintenance of hiking trails. As a work bee volunteer, you will: Get hands-on experience in trail building and maintenance. Join our team of volunteers during scheduled work bees. Contribute to the development of hiking trails in our Community Forest. Learn practical skills related to trail construction, such as trail design, clearing vegetation, and installing trail markers. Enjoy the satisfaction of creating recreational opportunities for our community while preserving the natural beauty of the forest. ​ Events While there may not be any current events or opportunities, we are continuously working on new initiatives and projects in our Community Forest. We value your interest in getting involved and appreciate your patience as we strive to create meaningful ways for you to contribute to our conservation efforts.

  • What We Do | Creston Community Forest, BC

    What We Do We are a not-for-profit forest company who log to mitigate fires and contribute funds back into the community of Creston. Forest Operations We are deeply rooted in the values of our community. Silviculture, Harvesting and Fire Mitigation are sustainable treatment methods we practice to match with the community’s values. Read More Forest Education At the Creston Community Forest Corporation, we foster hands-on learning within our community. Learn more, about our exciting educational opportunities for secondary and post-secondary student. Read More Forest Recreation We are proud to build a network of scenic hiking trails in the Creston Valley area. We encourage people to enjoy each trail as part of their well-being and enjoyment. Read more for a full list of our six trails. Read More Billy Goat Bluffs Trail silviculture and summer students Birch Creek road Creston Community Forest_edited Billy Goat Bluffs Trail 1/14 STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Forest Operations | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BACK Forest Operations We prioritize the values of our community in all our operations. Our goal is to manage our community forest now for future generations. By supporting local contractors and reinvesting revenue in the local economy, we create employment opportunities and contribute to regional growth. With an ecosystem-based approach, we ensure the long-term health of our forests. We implement site-specific practices to protect water quality, wildlife habitats, visual aesthetics, and recreational areas. Our focus on sustainability extends to selling over 90% of our logs locally or regionally, with high-value logs offered to local manufacturers first. Experience the positive impact of our operations in Creston and join us in promoting sustainable forest management. Explore our work and discover how we balance economic prosperity with environmental stewardship. Harvesting Harvesting Silviculture Silviculture Fuel Mitigation Fuel Mitigation STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • About Us | Creston Community Forest, BC

    Who We Are The Creston Community Forest envisions healthy forests with social, ecological, and economic benefits. We prioritize non-timber resources and local community input in our harvesting plans to make this vision a reality. Our community forest allows the Creston Valley to guide land-use decisions, respecting local interest and ecological integrity. Our guiding principles outline our long-term goals: Manage forest resources for long-term community benefit. Operate the community forest as a viable forestry enterprise. Educate the public on the community forest and Creston's forest management. Enhance partnerships with local First Nations. Develop a timber harvesting schedule for the next 5–10 years. These goals guide our planning and decision-making, ensuring we prioritize actions based on community needs and reflect local values and concerns. Resources / Links Guiding Principles Management Plan Forest Stewardship Plan Firewood Permit Policy Manual History Creston Community Forest’s history can be traced back to January of 1996, when the B.C. government announced the availability of a Forest Licence to harvest 15,000 cubic metres annually in areas near Creston, including the Arrow Creek watershed. Concerns about water quality led five Creston organizations to apply for the licence. They were granted a 15-year forest licence, forming the Creston Valley Forest Corporation. ​ In October 2008, the Creston Valley Forest Corporation received a Probationary Community Forest Agreement, which later became a 25-year community forest agreement, leading to the formation of the Creston Community Forest. In 2016, the community forest expanded its area and saw an increase in the Allowable Annual Cut, which now stands at 25,000 cubic metres annually. This rich history showcases the power of community collaboration and the dedication of those who strive to balance environmental stewardship with sustainable economic practices. Meet the Team To ensure smooth operations, the community forest has three permanent employees: a Forest Manager, a Planning and Development Supervisor, and an Office Administrator. All other operational work, including logging and tree planting, is contracted to local contractors based in the area. This approach supports local businesses and fosters community involvement in the forest management process. Forest Manager Daniel Gratton, RPF Planning and Development Supervisor Angela French, RFT Office Administrator & Safety Coordinator Kris VanderWeyde Communications / Marketing Sharlyn Carter The Creston Community Forest is governed by a ten-member Board of Directors. The board consists of five members from the community and one representative from each shareholder. Our shareholders include: Town of Creston Regional District of Central Kootenay Wildsight E rickson Community Association Trails for Creston Valley Society SHAREHOLDER DIRECTORS Gitte Grover Wildsight JOHN CHIS AM ORE SECRETARY Regional District of Central Kootenay KEITH BALDWIN VICE-CHAIR Town of C reston VACANT Trails for Creston Valle y Societ y BRAD RAE Erickson Community Association COMMUNITY DIRECTORS AT LARGE TOM OLENCZUK CHAIR ANN DEATHERAGE ROBYN USHER JIM ELFORD WAYNE HARRIS Board meetings are held on the last Thursday of every month. Decision-making is determined by consensus (60 per cent) and all communication is recorded in Board Meeting Minutes. STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Forest Education | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BACK Forest Education Join us for exciting educational opportunities! We offer engaging field trips for school groups, including primary and high school students. Don't miss our annual trips: World Environment Day and National Forest Week. Field Trips On World Environment Day (June 5th), we explore climate change and ways to reduce our impact on the planet. Activities like nature scavenger hunts, tree planting, and weaving skills make each trip unique. During National Forest Week in September, Grade 5 students embark on a forest ecology adventure. They learn about biodiversity, wildfire protection, and compassing, and take part in wood cookie painting and tree identification. It's a fun-filled day with approximately 80–150 students attending. Summer Students We hire two summer students each year for hands-on fieldwork. They gain valuable experience in forest technician work, including silviculture surveys, block layout, timber cruising, and trail building. For more information on forest education, email Daniel Gratton at dgratton@crestoncf.com or call 250.402.0070 . Join us in exploring and learning about your local community forest! STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Gliders' Point | Creston Community Forest, BC

    GLIDERS’ POINT The Creston Community Forest has completed the extension to the West Ridge Trail that was built in 2019. This new trail provides a more direct and scenic hike to Gliders’ Point (the old hang gliding site). The West Ridge Trail now starts at km 1.5 on the Sullivan Creek Trail (look for post sign). The Sullivan Creek Trail starts at km 1.7 on the Mt Thompson Forest Service Road. Total distance to Gliders’ Point is 3.3 km (1.5 km on the Sullivan Creek Trail and 1.8 km on the West Ridge Trail). For more adventurous hikers, the West Ridge Trail continues to the top of Mt Thompson and the Rim Trail (total one way distance of 6 km). Enjoy the new trail and the picnic site at Gliders’ Point. Use the trail with care. ​ In May of 2020, a picnic table, fire ring and bench were flown via helicopter to the old hang gliding site now known as Gliders’ Point. The site provides a beautiful view of the valley. It is often frequented by wildlife and is a habitat for Mountain Goats. The historic hang gliding ramps were built from wood in the early 1980’s as a launching site from Mount Thompson. Tricky winds posed a problem for many of the hang gliders and therefore this site was not frequently used. ​ Do not litter; pack out all garbage Do not cut live trees or dead snags Do not gather downed woody debris Build fires only in fire ring with provided firewood or bring your own Make sure campfire is out before leaving Practice bear avoidance (hike in groups, make noise) and carry bear spray Do not disturb the wood from the old hang gliding ramps Be aware of steep drop offs at view points and picnic site Please note there is no washroom at Gliders’ Point or on the trail If any issues or concerns with Gilders’ Point, please call the Community Forest at 250.402.0070 . Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Home | Creston Community Forest, BC

    Managing Our Community Forest for Fut ure Generations ​ Nestled between the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains, w e are a not-for-profit forest corporation managing the Creston Community Forest. Our focus is forest management, education, recreation and community resiliency for future generations. Sign Up for Monthly Newsletter What is a Community Forest? A Community Forest is an area-based forest tenure awarded by government to communities to enhance their local control over forest management. Community forests create local jobs and keep profits within the community. We manage over 21,000 hectares of land with primary objectives to promote a healthy, sustainable community forest ecosystem, while fostering a thriving timber industry that benefits the entire Creston Community. ​ Creating local jobs, supporting industries, and generating revenue that directly benefits our community, our goal is to create a resilient, sustainable forest for our community to enjoy and engage the next generation of stewards who will shape the future of our forests. FOREST MANAGEMENT ​ Committed to managing our community forest for future generations : innovative and sustainable logging, preserving healthy forests, continuous recreational and employment benefits, wildlife habitat enhancement, and wildfire risk reduction. More Info EDUCATION Dedicated to expanding the concepts of a healthy forest: benefits of a healthy ecosystem, innovative techniques used in forestry, biodiversity, wildlife and watersheds, and our need to sustain healthy practices in the forest. More Info RECREATION Creating safe spaces to enhance your hiking experience: bridge development, trailhead kiosk with maps, developed trails, lookout points, maintenance on existing trails, over 35 kilometres of trails and planning for future trails. ​ More Info Sign Up for Monthly Newsletter Latest News The 'Community' in Our Community Forest: Join us at our Open House Creston Community Forest Trail Etiquette More News & Stories Click HERE How to Get Involved Forest Stewardship Plan

  • Silviculture | Creston Community Forest, BC

    FOREST OPERATIONS Silviculture We focus on creating resilient forests that can thrive in changing conditions driven by climate change. Our silviculture practices prioritize ecosystem-based management, ensuring that future stands are well-suited to their growing conditions and highly resilient. To enhance the forest's resilience, we incorporate a diverse range of tree species that are naturally adapted to each site's specific conditions. This includes both commercially viable and non-commercially viable species, resulting in a higher species diversity and a forest that goes beyond pure production goals. We also consider the site's natural disturbance regime when developing silvicultural prescriptions. By mimicking natural disturbances like an occasional windfall, we apply selective harvesting systems that the forest is best adapted to. This approach promotes the growth of diverse tree species and age classes, ensuring the long-term health of our timber resources for future generations. Through our silviculture practices, we not only care for the timber resources in our operational area but also create forests that are resilient and well-prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Thompson Pack Trail | Creston Community Forest, BC

    THOMPSON PACK TRAIL The Thompson Pack Trail is a 4.5 km (one-way) trail that parallels and meanders along Sullivan Creek. This trail takes you through beautiful cedar-hemlock forests that boast an abundant and diverse population of fungi. This mainly shaded trail provides users relief from the hot sun, making it a wonderful summer destination. This trail was originally built in the 1930’s to transport supply up to the Thompson Forestry Lookout Tower; the tower was used seasonally as a fire lookout. The close proximity to town of this single track trail provides a great opportunity for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. ​ The Pack Trail was upgraded in 2019 including a new 16 m foot bridge across Sullivan Creek. Other work included repairs to a washout at km 1, a new split log foot bridge over a washout at about km 3.3 and the construction of a short (60 m) spur trail to the base of the Sullivan Creek Cascades at km 3.1. ​ Access Point 1: From the Creston Valley Visitor Centre, take Highway 3 toward Cranbrook for approximately 5.8 km and turn right on to Canyon-Lister Road. Continue approximately 1.5 km to 51st Street and turn left. 51st Street turns onto Vance Road. Continue to the end of Vance Road and park. Make sure to park so that others can. This location is the official trailhead and there is also a kiosk with a visitor log. Please Note: The start of the Pack Trail off of Vance Road is bordered on both sides of the trail by private land. Please respect the rights of private land owners by staying on the trail. ​ Access Point 2: From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, take Highway 3 toward Cranbrook for approximately 5.8 km and turn right on to Canyon-Lister Road. Continue 1.1 km and turn left onto Whimster Road, following the road to its end. The Mount Thompson FSR begins at that point. The road is rough and a four wheel drive is recommended. Continue up this service road until arriving at the Sullivan Creek Trailhead kiosk and park. Make sure to park so others can. From this location there are loops that can be hiked that involve the Pack Trail, the Sullivan Creek Trail, the West Ridge Trail and overlooks like Gliders Point. Trailhead access from town: 20-30 minutes Hiking Time (Return): 3-4 hours Distance (Return): ~9 km from the Vance Road trailhead; ~6 km from the Sullivan Creek trailhead Elevation Gain: ~710 m (from Vance Road trailhead) Neighbouring Trails: Sullivan Creek Trail (10.7 km one way)—This trail continues to the top of Mt. Thompson from the Sullivan Creek trailhead kiosk. Moderate hike. ​ West Ridge Trail (4.5 km one way)—This trail also continues up to the top of Mt. Thompson from several marked junctions on the Sullivan Creek trail and leads to the Thompson Rim Trail. Moderate to hard hike with some scrambling. Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

  • Billy Goat Bluffs | Creston Community Forest, BC

    BILLY GOAT BLUFFS The Billy Goat Bluffs trail was developed in June 2018 by the generous and hard-working volunteers through the Creston Community Forest as well as the Trails for Creston Valley Society. This 2.7 km (one-way) trail takes you up to a rocky outcrop overlooking the Creston Valley. This trail provides hikers with easy-access hiking right outside of town. On the way up the trail passes through an old apple orchard, a fuel mitigation area completed by the Town of Creston in 2012, several rocky viewpoints and several large, old Ponderosa pine trees, some with bear claw marks. At the top of the bluffs, hikers can enjoy the scenery by sitting at the beautiful picnic table crafted by woodshop students from Prince Charles Secondary School. A short trail to the north from the picnic tables leads to a bench with a great view of Duck Lake and the lower end of Kootenay Lake. ​ Access: From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head north on Highway 3 towards Wynndel. After 2.6 km, turn right onto Helen Street (at the Tim Hortons). Continue on Helen Street for roughly 350 meters – the trail head will be located on the left, next to an information board about the trail. A small parking area may be found on the right hand side of the road. Trailhead Access from town: 5-10 minutes Hiking time (return): ~3 hours Elevation gain: 369 meters Distance: 5.4 km (return) Trails Lady Slipper Trail Thompson Rotary Trail West Ridge Trail Thompson Rim Trail Thompson Pack Trail Billy Goat Bluffs Big Bear Viewpoint Gliders’ Point STAY IN THE LOOP! Sign up for our newsletter below to stay updated on upcoming trail work, events, and more. Don't miss out on the latest news, opportunities to get involved and join our online community to be the first to know. Creston Community Forest Newsletter sign up link: Yes, I want the Newsletter

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