Cody Caves Interpretive Trail

In 2013, Cody Cave Tours operator Lee Hollis approached BC Parks about the possibility of enhancing the park by adding on a loop to the existing trail that goes from the parking lot to the cave entrance. With assistance from John Pollack and Robin Beech a trail was laid out and BC Parks approved the trail addition in 2015. After a crash course in trail building from Fred Thiessen, John and Lee organized several work parties to construct the trail bed and during the course of construction, it was suggested that the Friends of West Kootenay Parks might be able to help with volunteers and fundraising. In the fall of 2016, John and Lee joined forces with the Friends.

During the fall of 2016, it came to our attention that a cutting permit was under consideration for an area south of the park that was part of the Goal 2 reserve that had been established in the 1990's . This reserve had been established over the surface area under which the cave system extended. After prolonged negotiations during the winter and spring of 2016/2017 between Porcupine Forest Products, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations, and BC Parks, Porcupine Forest Products agreed to forgo logging on the most critical areas on the surface. The mapping of the cave system done in the 1990s by John Pollack and local cavers was instrumental in locating the final extent of the area under consideration.

By the end of the summer of 2017, the final work on the 1.4 km trail had been completed and the final danger trees near the trail were fallen during the spring of 2018. The final tally of volunteer time from the local community was 117 days.

Over the course of work, the original intent of the trail gradually expanded to include interpretation. In the winter/spring of 2017/2018, John went to work on the interpretive signage that was to be installed. Experts from all over North America contributed to the content of the signs which not only highlighted the subsurface cave features but featured interpretation of the local forest ecology. At the same time, fundraising was ongoing to pay for the signs. By the spring of 2018, sign construction was underway in John's workshop and the fundraising had been mostly completed. During the early summer, work parties poured concrete footings and installed the sign posts and on the last day of August, the signs themselves were installed.

The project was truly cooperative and involved the Friends of West Kootenay Parks Society, BC Parks, Cody Cave Tours and local citizens. We would like to thank the following individuals and businesses who have contributed financially to the project including: