Home > Advocacy

‘Take a rake’ to clear leaves for other riders

B.C. program encourages trail users to help keep conditions safe

Photo by: Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society

Across Canada, it’s leaf season. No, not the Toronto hockey team. Trails are covered in fallen leaves, which can create sometimes dangerous situations. Wet leaves can be slippery, but more importantly, they obscure roots and holes.

The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society is borrowing a concept launched by One-Up Components and the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association and introducing “Take-a-Rake” at Tzouhalem.

Photo: Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society

It’s a simple concept for riders to keep trails clean. If someone sees one of the bright orange painted rakes, they are asked to spend ten minutes clearing the leaves, debris and marbles off of the next section of trail. Then, they can leave the rake trailside for the next person. The result? Fresh tracks.

Riders are encouraged to move the rakes around to other trouble spots as well so all spots are debris free.
Using rakes as opposed to leaf-blowers is also far more environmentally friendly. Plus there are studies which say that leaf-blowing can create toxic dust. By using a rake, as the trail group says, you can gently clear loose matter off of the riding tread. The result is less break-away under the tires of riders and leads to less skidding and abrasion. Furthermore, Raking is easy exercise and absolutely anyone able to get to the trail can be involved.