Picture beautifully groomed single track trails leading down to stunning lake views that expand as far as the eye can see. Summer evening rides where the weather stays warm and the light stays long enough that you can ride well into the night. Trails, that take you on a different adventure every turn you take. That is the 3 Blind Mice – the network of trails that lie just a short 10 minute drive from Penticton. They are epic and if you don’t believe me – just look at these pictures.
The Penticton Area Cycling Association is on a mission to expand the Naramata 3 Blind Mice Network. Presently PACA is looking to fund a 3 year Trail Network improvement and expansion plan within the South Okanagan.
In 2015 after 3 years of hard work, PACA secured an agreement with the Provincial government to use, maintain and build trails within the 3 Blind Mice Area. The organization is now looking to raise funds and go after grants that require funds matching. They were inspired after getting word that other municipalities were receiving grants to go towards their trails, and decided it was time they jumped into the pool of organizations that could be eligible to receive such grants. PACA has already seen success having received $34,750 matched funds from the Canada 150 Western Canada Economic Diversity fund in 2015.
With the help of three passionate community members; Drew Barnes, Matt Kenyon and Nick Hill and all of PACA’s board and volunteers PACA has embarked on a goal to raise $30,000 each year for 3 years. Already in the first month of fundraising, the campaign is off to a great start having raised $21,600.
When asked why the Trails Fundraiser is personally important Drew Barnes with Redbarne Developments says, “I grew up here. I want to make Penticton a desirable place to live. ” Drew started mountain biking when he moved back to Penticton after finishing his post secondary education at BCIT and was immediately hooked. “The commute to the trail head is minimal, so much so that you can even get a ride in before you start work. We are very lucky to have that kind of access. Penticton is the perfect city to live in, if you’re looking for a healthy work life balance and I believe that creating these trails will attract people to want to visit and to live here.”
The big picture here is to provide the community with even greater use of the outdoor space. This makes for a happy and healthy population and a stronger cycling community. Taking the trail network to a new level will put Penticton on the map for a renowned destination for Mountain Bikers and could draw in more sport tourism, giving Penticton an economic boost.
The trails will be made to accommodate all skill levels and include features such as flow trails, berms and jumps for more advanced riders, and wide flowy hills and turns for beginner riders. The trail design and build is expensive because it requires the work of professionals. The fundraising project is broken up into stages. To view more details on the plan and stages, visit: http://www.bikepenticton.com/trail-fundraising/
Swagman is pleased to support PACA and the trails fundraiser because we feel the value of the mountain biking trail network will be enjoyed by generations of people who live in the Okanagan. We are fortunate to live in a place where adventure lies right outside our doorstep. PACA has done a fantastic job at developing access to great trails and growing the cycling community in Penticton. Expanding the network of trails will encourage more participation in the sport as well as attract mountain biking enthusiasts from around the world. In many ways the success of the bike industry relies on the success of organizations like PACA.
If you are interested in donating to help PACA reach it’s goal please contact them via their website www.bikepenticton.com As well, PACA is always looking for volunteers to help out with trail days, planning, advocacy and feedback.
A big thank you to Drew Barnes & PACA President Laura Harp for keeping us in the loop.
See you all out on the trails!