A group of outdoor enthusiasts in St. John's are working to formalize and refine the White Hills Trail Network in the city's east end.
The wooded area behind DFO and the RCMP headquarters has become a popular destination for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners and dog walkers.
The president of the Avalon Mountain Bike Association, Lachlan Roe-Bose, says the network's popularity stems from its close proximity to the city and its nicely sheltered trails that tend to protect users from the elements.
"It's a really good escape for people to get away," he said.
"People are realizing it's great to get out in nature — it really refreshes the mind."
Sprucing things up
The abundance of traffic has added to the amount of erosion on the trails, so Roe-Bose and a small group of volunteers have started maintenance work on the trails.
"We are replacing bridges that are up there … we are doing water control, filling holes with rock and easy draining materials, and then covering over with soil," he said.
All that work comes with a price tag. Initially, Roe-Bose had set a fundraising goal of $3,000 to get the maintenance work going.
Within a few days they'd raised nearly twice that through an online GoFundMe campaign.
"It really shows that we have a passionate user community who are generous and who recognize the value of the trail system we have in place," he said.
Roe-Bose hopes the upgrades will help to bring even more users to the area.