During the late hours of June 18 or the early hours of June 19, the Magic Dragon stretch of the Mountain Shadows trail network in Golden, B.C. was vandalized, leaving several of its features in ruins.
In all, six structures were destroyed and left in pieces, the Golden Star reported. They were key parts of the trail network, connecting its various points, and served as embellishing features that made the ride more thrilling for cyclists. With the trails themselves cleared and built by volunteers, the materials used for those structures, too, were donated — leaving the Golden Cycling Club in something of a bind as it attempts to rebuild. In response, with limited means, the club finds itself grappling with the question of how to prevent future offenses.
“We’re not really aware of what exactly happened and why,” said Golden Cycling Club president Jeremy Harris, “but we’re definitely looking into it.” The local RCMP detachment was closed at the time of the vandalism’s discovery, reports say, leaving club officials to work with the B.C. Ministry of Forests in sussing out what happened and why. Police will become involved if the Ministry so advises, though.
To allay the risk of future vandalism, a number of options are on the table, Harris said — including the use of trail cameras. “It’s an unfortunate thing to have to think about doing, but that might be one suggestion that we’d have to look into,” he explained. For safety reasons, with the trail bridges shattered, cyclists will be required to dismount and walk through the affected areas. Until those features are repaired, the prospect of the trail network itself being closed remains a possibility, too.
“We’re definitely not pointing the finger,” Harris told the Golden Star, explaining the idea of both cameras and closed trails as options in addressing the situation. “We’re just going to get to the bottom of it, figure out what we can do, and try and rebuild it as soon as possible.”
Harris believes that reconstruction will take a few weeks, and will come at a significant cost in both materials and volunteer time.