|The Start of SWATT|
South Western All Terrain Trails, (S.W.A.T.T.) is an organization committed to the enhancement of trail riding opportunities. It is comprised of representatives from 4 local ATV clubs, the Lower Mainland ATV, the Explorers, the Valley Trail Riders, and the Right Nuts ATV Club, with support from A.T.V.B.C. and the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, Recreation Sites and Trails.
Its roots began in 2008, fulfilling a need to have a unified voice to work with the Provincial Government to meet the varied needs of ATV riders. In looking at these needs , it was recognized that in the traditional riding areas, there was inadequate parking, limited areas for off-loading, and the limited trails were becoming far too congested , thus creating conflicts between the various trail users. Furthermore, there was not enough suitable wilderness camping areas for the larger rigs.
S.W.A.T.T. began to work with the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations and the Chehalis First Nations to locate and design a 700 unit ORV campground in the West Harrison area. S.W.A.T.T. worked through the planning process and completed campground designs, that were suitable for large rigs, smaller units and group/club event camping. This was put on hold, as Hemlock Valley was tabling a master plan for this area. S.W.A.T.T. is currently working on a replacement location for this campground.
S.W.A.T.T. then proceeded to develop a ORV staging area at Grace Lake. This took the better part of a year, but is now complete with plenty of parking, outhouses, unloading mounds, picnic tables, fire pits and an information kiosk. This has become so successful, that there are plans to expand this facility.
In addition to this facility, S.W.A.T.T. was able to construct an overflow staging area at 3.3km on the West Harrison Forest Service Road.