Nanaimo woman wants continued access to trail in her brother’s memory


For Karen Baker, one trail on the Department of National Defense lands, near Nanaimo, holds a special place in her heart.

“It means the world to me having lost my brother just over a year ago,” said Baker.

“Mount Benson was his passion and so being here and knowing how much he loved being here means a lot.”

After Karl Baker’s sudden death from a snowmobiling accident friends built a trail called Baker Street in his memory.

The trail is one of many enjoyed by mountain biker’s and hikers alike but recently the DND said it didn’t want anyone trespassing on its lands.

“I would say my first thought was I wouldn’t get to ride my brother’s memorial trail,” said Baker.

“I’ve always said since I started riding this trail since it was dedicated to him I’ve left many teardrops on this trail every time I ride it so that was kind of my first thought.”

We couldn’t reach anyone from the department today but in mid-May, their main concern was safety near their rifle range.

“The danger here, of course, is people accidentally getting injured by a stray round, ricochets or anything of the sort,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Alex Nethercott of CFB Esquimalt.

The rifle range is in a relatively small section of the nearly 870-acre property.

Some concerned residents seeking continued access gave Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s MP a petition this weekend to take to Ottawa.

Considering Nanaimo’s growth the MP believes it might be time for the rifle range to find a new home.

“Maybe up behind some private forest land that they make a deal with the forest companies where there’s a steep mountain in the background and it isn’t an area people are interested in hiking in,” said Green MP Paul Manly.

“I think that might be a better option.”

Paul Manly says he’s requested a meeting with Canada’s defence minister.

Back on the trail Karen Baker just hopes a solution will be found so her’s brother’s memory will be able to live on through the use of Baker Street.


Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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