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Kevin Pattison dropped in the other day to check on the trails he worked on at R.J. Haney Heritage Village. Kevin’s enthusiasm for Helenita and Mary Lou nature trails is infectious. When I asked him to tell me what he liked most about the trails, Kevin grinned and started talking. Very soon I was seeing the trails from a whole new perspective.

“The Helenita and Mary Lou Trails at R.J. Haney Heritage Village are a delight to walk,” Kevin started.

“The reason the system is such a delight is because the trails meander through the natural landscape and have many, different, tiny pocket points where people can stop. Visitors can’t see where the trail is going and then, all of a sudden, they see a bridge. It is a place of discovery,” Kevin said.

 He went on to say that the trails are raw and refreshing.

“I feel a great peace when I am walking them. They are so natural. I think all users feel one with nature when strolling the paths, like they are deep in the woods, but there are also peek-a-boo spots where they can see the town site. Beautiful Douglas firs, a mature forest bottom, the little picnic table and the park bench, invite walkers to sit down and breathe in the natural surroundings. There are lots of little critters scurrying around. Even when the snow is deep, there are all sorts of animal tracks out there.”

The trails appeal to young and old.

“For little kids the trail is an adventure because the trail meanders and ebbs and flows. Kiddies can run along the paths, go up a little, down a little, there’s a stream to see…”

Kevin went on to share the way he and his Shuswap Trail Alliance crew laid out the trails in 2011.

Trails 047.jpg“When we were first designing the trails at the Village, I walked the site with Museum staff Ted McTaggart. I was trying to get a sense of who the future guests would be and what they would experience. The trail should seem seamless as people move through them and they do! The trails are also technically sound from the standpoint of sustainability.”

“I so look forward to bringing my grandkids for a visit,” Kevin concluded.

I was hooked right then and there. I know I need more trail time. I look forward to walking the trails on my lunch break this summer.