Whitehorse, Canada's wilderness walking trail city

WhitehorseWalks works to make walking more attractive, more intriguing, to get more people out on the trails. The Hepburn Tramway is a recent whitehorseWalks project (Small addendum page).

Another ongoing project is Loop walking trails, over 80 circular walks, almost 600 km of walks to tempt both tourists and locals.

Yukon Walking Strategy looks at walking for recreation, health, tourism, education.... and Ideas to improve walking is a list of opportunities for better walking here, and walking ideas for active elders


December 25, 2016. Here's an trail idea: Mt. Sumanik Ridge, a 30-km loop walk that we could work towards building. See also Viewing Whitehorse from above, A guide to Haeckel Hill • Thay T'äw, 2002, YUKON ENERGY

December 24, 2016. Very good look at smartphones and GPS: How to use your Smartphone as the Best Backpacking GPS Best Backpacking GPS: Large screen smartphones (iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy s6/s7) out-perform conventional GPS units in almost every way. This post contains tons of tips/instructions on how to best use your smartphone as a backpacking GPS, including up to 10 days of battery life in the field without re-charging.

December 11, 2016. Working on a nice new loop Above Hidden Lakes. Still a draft but very scenic and while lots of hills, most are not the steep slippery type. Spring will tell is this is really true! It took about 1:45 today, -25°C, and bright sun, blue sky.

December 6, 2016. Is it a good thing to have a Yukon River Trail? Why living near water is good for your mind: Putting down roots near a shoreline could help combat depression.

December 5, 2016. Take a mindful hike: Physical activity. Beautiful scenery. Who doesn't like the occasional hike in the great outdoors? And when you add a little extra awareness to the experience, your outing can benefit both your body and your mind.

Ice Lake Road – Ice Lake, 5.1 km, a draft of a new loop for active elder walks; next Tuesday's walk if things work out.

December 4, 2016. Project for Public Spaces. Yikes! Where do you start?

December 3, 2016. A pedestrian bridge from near Main Street to the Hospital. This page is being updated to reflect better mapping and to deal with the loss of a lot of parking that meant walks could start near the Hospital.

November 30, 2016. Our most detailed view of Earth across space and time Go to the engine site and look at the Yukon, whitehorse, your neighbourhood. Who says we're not growing! For instance, here's Whitehorse south

November 27, 2016. Slippery boots: Most winter footwear fails test of walking on ice Of 98 models tested in Toronto lab, only 9 had enough grip for icy conditions. Wynne and I use Lee Valley Ice grips; Pacerpoles + gloves.

November 26, 2016. Porcupine Ridge North soon to be all-season free! This will make walking the Arkell wetlands loop possible all year round.

November 21, 2016. A good wander unveils the wonder of a city: readers on urban walking

November 17, 2016. I'm looking at Neighbourhood Trail Task Force progress. I sit on these to represent the point of view of walking. Crazily enough, I feel I need to point out the value of walking to a healthy cammunity. Interesting. So I often try to find places which summarize the value of walking. Here's a good one: Harvard Medical School. Walking: Your steps to health

Walking the walk: Walking has it all. Simple and natural, it doesn't require any instruction or skill. It can be a very modest form of exercise or it can demand enough skill and intensity to be an Olympic sport. You can walk alone for solitude or with friends for companionship. You can walk indoors on a treadmill or outside in the city or country, at home or away. You can get all the benefits of moderate exercise with a very low risk of injury. And to boot, walking is inexpensive. All things considered, Charles Dickens got it right: "Walk to be healthy, walk to be happy."

November 9, 2016. A collection of walking ideas for active elders in Whitehorse.

November 4, 2016. Drivers need to take responsibility for safer streets Recent emphasis on pedestrian 'self-defense' measures are absurd.

Every tree in New York City, mapped. With a super-detailed guide to its latest tree census, the Parks Department wants to give more citizens green thumbs.

October 29, 2016. Updated Hepburn Tramway upstream. It's two-sided and can be folded into 3 panels for easy carrying when hiking.

October 23, 2016. In praise of walking as (affordable) self-care Take a walk. It's free.

October 16, 2016. See how an insane 7-circle roundabout actually works Your first thought upon seeing Swindon's 'magic roundabout' might be: man, the Brits have really lost the plot lately. But this thing—which is actually seven roundabouts in one—has been working for 60 years. Crazy, but use the intersection of the Alaska Highway/Hamilton Boulevard/South Aceess and think about how unsafe it is. I suggested a roundabout for this location before they even built the new extension but heard the people didn't like to use roundabouts.

October 1, 2016. NOTICE OF OPEN HOUSE. Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 7-9 pm Golden Horn Elementary School library

The City of Whitehorse is in the early stages of developing a Whitehorse South Plan with the help of a Trails Task Force comprised of neighbourhood representatives and trail user groups.

Hepburn Tramway, Yukon River Trail, neighbourhood trails, public right-of-ways are among the many topics of great interest to walkers. Neighbourhoods in the area include Squatter's Row, Canyon Crescent, Whitehorse Copper, MacCrae, Pineridge, Wolf Creek, Mary Lake, Spruce Hill, Cowley Creek, and Golden Horn. Questions? Please contact Parks and Community Development at 668-8325.

Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks It's a traditional complaint about urban life: there's never anywhere to park. But in the 21st century, do cities actually need less parking space, not more?

"As parking regulations were put into zoning codes, most of the downtowns in many cities were just completely decimated,"..... "What the cities got, in effect, was great parking. But nobody goes to a city because it has great parking."

September 29, 2016. I'm going to update the loop walking trails as I get time. Here's a first Draft of 2 Towers loop walk.

September 26, 2016. Mapping the spread of obesity A look at the rise for each state over three decades, for men and women

September 20, 2016. Where could we put one of these? Clever Swiss direction sign doubles as viewfinder for nearby mountains.

September 16, 2016. Where to find the world's longest recreational trail It's in Canada, where the 14,864-mile path will be fully completed in 2017. "Some sections of the network, like the Kawartha trail through Ontario, run along abandoned Canada Pacific and Canadian National rail lines. Mimicking the Rails to Trails movement in the U.S., the Canadian rail organization donated unused tracks to the provinces for conversion into pedestrian pathways." Hmmmmmmm. Do we have any unused railway?

In advance of the 2017 goal for the project's completion, the Government of Canada is matching 50 cents to every dollar donated to the project.

September 13, 2016. Parking reform cartoon scores most Canadian victory ever "This wasn't really about parking," says Ottawa planner. "This was about the kind of city people want to see."

Downtown Retail and Entertainment Strategy 2016-2025 Do we put too much faith in Parking as a solution to all problems? Have to read this from a walking point a view— as a local, as a downtown resident and as a walking tourist.

September 6, 2016. The Miles Canyon Suspension Bridge will be closed from September 12 to October 31 for repairs.

September 2, 2016. Do you love walking? ElderActive Recreation Association(ERA) is starting its own walking group! We will meet weekly on different trails in and around Whitehorse to get some exercise & fresh air. If you are interested and for more information, please contact Jennifer at programs@elderactive.ca

August 30, 2016. Behold a glorious vintage map of Yosemite National Park Can you find your favorite spots in this 85-year-old artistic map? Anyone out there up to making some neighbourhood maps like this?

August 26, 2016. Her autistic son built fairy homes in the forest, which inspired the community.

What it's like to adopt a dog, as told through a 14-part comic

August 22, 2016. Seeking answers to Edmonton's crumbling trail system.

August 11, 2016. Daily walking is the best anti-aging prescription.

July 24, 2016. Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other. Go walk Miles Canyon Lower Loop. Someone described it as "mossy mossy area of great silence."

July 20, 2016. The Hepburn Tramway is ready to read. Let me know what you think. Tell me who you've talked to. At this stage we need to lobby people. The PDF is large with many photos so I suggest you download it as a separate file. Enjoy.

July 8, 2016. Dawson City walking items: Trails Management Plan: Draft Plan, Proposed Network Map, Implementation Map, Explantory Notes

July 7, 2016. Getting back on track with exercise. Story about getting back to walking. I'm guessing if you're reading this page you already walk, but it's a good story none-the-less.

June 23, 2016. History hunting on the Hepburn Trail Slowly I'm trying to build a case for a historical walking trail (Whitehorse's first?). Sadly it involves the motorized use to stop using the area. I'm hoping the dirt bike riders see the value in making this a destination area to walk. Walk the Miles Canyon Figure 8 6.4 km on the loop walking trail page to see what I mean. Walk the Miles Canyon Lower Loop 2.7 km for why I think that river trails are special and need special consideration.

June 20, 2016. Miles Canyon Figure 8 - 6.4 km, Miles Canyon Lower Loop - 2.7 km added. This is a neat area of the city. Try the Figure 8 loop and tell me if you think this could be an official historical walk. Still to come is an illustrated story of the Hepburn Tramway thru time.

June 16, 2016. The online survey for Porter Creek and surrounding neighbourhoods is available at www.whitehorse.ca/trails until June 30th. The City wants to get feedback from the public about things like:

June 15, 2015. Experiencing an ancient forest in BC very cool!

June 11, 2016. Backcountry backlash: Public access to B.C.'s wilderness runs into roadblocks

June 7, 2016. Porter Creek/Range Point/Whistle Bend/Takhini Draft Trail Plan Open House. An Open House has been scheduled for Thursday, June 9th from 7-9 pm at the Takhini Elementary School library. An online survey will go live the following day (June 10th) and run until Thursday, June 30th and can be found at www.whitehorse.ca/trails.

June 3, 2016. Anyone used this? Hike it Baby; don't forget that June 4 is International Trails Day

May 26, 2016. Lines of Communication, 5.1 km and Miles Canyon Views, 3.6 km.

May 25, 2016. Yukon River Trail West, south end discussion, updated (trail shown below.) Here's a page of the whole Yukon River Trail idea. Also coming is a look at the Hepburn Tramway.

Create Routes or Search for a route from millions at MapMyWalk

May 21, 2016. Neighborhood parks are barely reaching their audience potential parks are the domain of the very young. As a new study points out, that's a problem.

May 20, 2016. Yukon River Trail West, south end updated. Coming soon, a picture of the whole Yukon River South trail idea.

May 15, 2016. Draft of a new loop walking trail: Lines of Communication, 5.1 km, and a draft of a Yukon River West, south end trail.

May 5, 2016. Jane Jacobs and the Power of Women Planners In a field dominated by men, Jacobs broke through with groundbreaking, decidedly female ideas about how cities should work

May 4, 2016. COW Trails and Greenways committee: minutes, March 17. Trail Etiquette - ...development of common sense rules or philosophies. Eg. Users with lower momentum yield to user who travel faster. My thoughts are trail safety is broader: what bylaws apply?; trail construction, trail surfaces and switchbacks; common sense; trail signage such as marking spots where a mountain bike might be doing a high speed jump, reminding people the trail is only one way for a bicycle and people may well be on the trail ahead of them; code of ethics; courtesy...

The Jane Jacobs Century On the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday, a look back at just how and why Jacobs' insights on cities have proved so enduring. "One thing is certain: If you do it for the local, the visitor will come; if you do it for the visitor, you will lose the local and, eventually, the visitor because it is the local who gives a place character. Read Jacobs to fully understand."

April 26, 2016. Support letter to Parks' Yukon - Canada150 application to update Wolf Creek and Pine Lake campgrounds for Canada's 150th birthday.

April 21, 2016. Striding towards freedom

Introduction to walking meditation

Jane's walks: Citizen-led walking tours towards community-based city building Join the next global festival on May 6th, 7th and 8th, 2016

April 17, 2016. Scottish government should redirect funding from roads to walking and cycling.

April 15, 2015. Miles Canyon Suspension Bridge reopened for the summer

April 9, 2016. Mayor Dan Curtis and City Council will host the fourth town Hall Meeting: Whitehorse North, Thursday, April 14, 2016 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Location: Porter Creek Secondary School Cafeteria

April 3, 2016. Warning over rising number of deaths among Lake District walkers Cumbria mountain rescue and police say ramblers may push themselves too hard, as incidents on the fells increase... fascinating comments!

March 31, 2016. Make Bennett great again! "I would suggest a mountain bike and hiking trail from Log Cabin to Bennett, roughly in parallel with the tracks but not so close your wilderness idyll is shattered by passing trains." MAP

March 28, 2016. Mayor Dan Curtis and City Council will host the third Town Hall Meeting of 2016 on Thursday, March 31. The Downtown and Marwell Town Hall Meeting will be held at Shipyards Park in the Frank Slim Building from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

I am out of town for this meeting but as a walker who plans to live downtown one day, I see a lot of room for walking improvements, especially for recreational walkers. On the Loop walking Trails of my website I have a pdf called: Whitehorse, the wilderness city. A collection of walking ideas which looks at Whitehorse and in particular, downtown, with a walking vision.

I'd be happy if people could raise some of the walking opportunities in the above PDF with mayor and council.

March 20, 2016. Why Boston's late-night service cuts could be a civil rights violation. The complicated transit controversy asks whether changes disproportionately affect poor and minority riders.

Still, it is vital to remember that the people who benefit the most from off-peak, world-class transit systems are often those who have the quietest voices in political conversations. "I'm probably going to have to take cabs or change my schedule at work," a young Bostonian—a late-night grocery shift worker—told The New York Times this week. She said cab fare would cut into her $11 hourly wage.

The role of highways in American poverty. They seemed like such a good idea in the 1950s.

Sometimes those barriers are highways. Sometimes they're something else entirely. Tearing down a highway isn't the only way to make a city healthy again. But building a new one—or expanding an existing one—seems a surefire way to make a city sick.

March 19, 2016. No music needs to accompany this amazing mountain biking video

Parks and Public Open Space Bylaw 2015-20:

4. Persons using any park equipment or public open spaces do so at their own risk and the City does not warrant such areas to be safe for use at all times.
19. Every City trail user shall:
   (1) exercise due care and attention to avoid colliding with any other user;
   (2) when entering or crossing a City trail, yield to users on the City trail;
   (3) take all necessary precautions to enter the City trail safely; and
   (4) yield to slower traveling City trail users, pedestrians, and wheeled conveyances.
20. No person shall perform or engage in any stunt, trick, reckless or unsafe activity on or in any public open space, unless authorized by the City for that purpose.

The City's Trails and Greenways Committeee says in the 2015 year-end report:

3: Trail Etiquette - review existing rules, regulations and accepted practices and come up with an agreed upon City endorsed set of rules & regulations with respect for the environment. [ Hopefully also these will deal with best practices for safety of trail users]

March 10, 2016. The Rails-to-Trails movement reaches the Balkans. An old train route connecting Croatia and Bosnia will become a 124-mile bike track. White Pass and Yukon Route?

These early sprin-like days of mild daytimes and freezing nights makes very slippery trails. Ice grips are essential for safe walking! If you're a serious trail walker, look at Pacerpoles.

March 9, 2016. Just because ...The young women who hunt South Africa's poachers—unarmed

Who cares about urban trees? Tree identification classes aim to cultivate amateur arborists with an eye for stewardship. Anybody want to work on a tree identification booklet for Whitehorse? I've got lots of pictures as a starting point.

March 6, 2016. Commuters don't stop driving to work unless you take away free parking Offering equal benefits to transit riders has little-to-no effect on travel choices.

February 22, 2016. Town Hall meetings: City Council wants to hear about neighbourhood issues directly from residents: Riverdale and Long Lake, Wednesday, March 2 from 6:30 to 8 pm Vanier School Library 16 Duke Road

February 15, 2016. Officials keep trying, and failing, to outlaw distracted walking A proposed bill in Hawaii is the latest in a doomed line of legislative attempts to deal with pedestrians on their cell phones.

February 12, 2016. How to survive falling through the ice

February 11, 2016. Let's encourage kids' love affair with Mother Earth "Education writer David Sobel said: "If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it." We need to increase students' energy literacy, sure; but we need to advance environmental literacy in lockstep. This means more than just science. By all means, let's teach kids how the planet works, but let's also give them a chance to explore how the planet — and nature, and the shape of clouds, and the feel of the breeze on their face — makes them feel."

Note the 2-week review period for submitting to the Feb 3 Chadburn Lake Management Plan 'Ideas Fair'.

February 10, 2016. Leading Quality Trails This site has lots of inspirational material. If Whitehorse wants to become a walking place that people come to we could look ideas like this. They also have General principles for signing and marking footpaths; a more detailed European overview. And a fun story.

February 7, 2016. I was looking at the heritage document on the Chadburn Lake Park management plan page. Wandering walkers will also enjoy looking at the Handbook for the identification of heritage sites and features.

February 5, 2016. Waymarking public rights of way "The term waymarking means marking objects along a public right of way. It complements signposting, which ... indicates its initial direction. Waymarking enables users to follow a path accurately and confidently at points where they might otherwise have difficulty."

As an example of need for waymarking, Look at the 2 Towers loop shown on Loop walking Trails. There are 4 fingerpost-style signs along the loop, 2 with maps, 2 without. Across the open field at the start would be a good place for wands to highlight the packed trail under the drifting snow; likewise on parts of the open trail at the top of large slopes where drifting snow can hide the route. Where the trail winds through young, thick forest, small medallion-type markers with arrows showing the trail could be used; very useful if no one has walked parts of the trail at times.

The 2 Towers route could be a great community all-season route with a bit a work, such as small switchbacks in a few places. The views here are easily worth the effort. Walk it and see. What do you think? To be truly all season, more people need to walk it so the narrow trail gets well packed down. Remember, tourists spending time in the outdoors will happily spend money in town, but we don't want them to get lost! We also want to be able to explore trails and we shouldn't rely on electronic devices that can quickly fail in the cold.

February 2, 2016. Walking challenge. Walk the Yukon Quest Trail

January 30, 2016. The educational strategy that's turning students into unimaginative robots. ... also teaches a course called "Thinking in Art and Science," specifically designed to tie art and science together. The course focuses on using scientific knowledge to create art and applying artistic processes such as drawing to scientific research, all in an attempt to round out our future scientists. This is what my Yukon Walking Strategy alludes to!

January 27, 2016. Is it better to run outside or on a treadmill? Walking on trails really is quite different than floors, sidewalks and other artificial surfaces. As one friend says "minute for minute, calorie for calorie, being active outdoors gets you more, precisely because of the psychological benefits of interacting with and in nature."

They are accepting proposals for Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference to be held in Vancouver, BC, September 12-15, 2016. Moving Towards a Healthier World is the conference theme and proposals are sought for four focus areas: Mobility, Governance, Health, and Resilience. The call for proposals closes Friday, January 29, 2016 at 8pm Eastern. The premier conference in North America for walking and bicycling professionals from the public and private sectors.

January 16-26, 2014.Whitehorse, the wilderness city. A collection of walking ideas is about making Whitehorse a great walking city. As you read it, think of the effects of the following processes and how a vision of a walkable community fits in each. Included are over 75 circular walks, almost 600 km of walks to tempt both tourists and locals. It's a large document (27mb) to allow zooming in on maps to see more detail. Check often as updates happen frequently. Individual base maps without annotations can be viewed on this page.

Walking-related processes (in no particular order, and likely not anywhere complete):

January 19, 2016. How Edmonton made winter great again. This very northern city found love in a freezing place.

A tale of two trails Thanks George Stewart for making this walk around the end of the airport feel less like crossing Siberia!

January 16, 2016. A case study on how not to do a transportation project: The lesson of Philadelphia's South Street Bridge is that community feedback isn't a one-and-done process.

NIMBY. There's also BANANA: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone. In Philadelphia, where she served as transportation chief from 2008 to 2015, she learned two more: CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) and NOPE (Not on Planet Earth).

January 7, 2016. Take a hike: Why I'm swapping working for walking and we should all go free range: I'm now realising that walking is the closest thing to doing nothing in this world; and doing nothing is the nearest thing to being present; so that makes walking the nearest thing to being present.

January 1, 2016. Landspeak "The same year I first saw the Peat Glossary, a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary was published. A sharp-eyed reader noticed that there had been a culling of words concerning nature. Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture, and willow. The words introduced to the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player, and voice-mail."

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