Trail tragedy at Ripple Rock serves as stark reminder: nature is full of hazards

Death raises questions about trail maintenance

After the tragic death of a woman hiking the popular Ripple Rock Trail this week from a falling tree, questions have arisen about how and when trails are inspected for safety.

The Ministry of Forests says the Ripple Rock was inspected in March and was found to be safe. They also say that they went back out after this week’s fatality and re-confirmed that.

But that begs the question: how can “safe” even be determined?

While the investigation continues into what caused the tree to fall, what can’t be disputed is that anytime we go out into nature, there are significant risks.

The people in charge of mitigating those risks can do their best, but the fact of the matter is that there are too few resources to go around in order to quash them altogether.

Nor would we want them to. Can you imagine if every hiking trail in the province was surrounded by some kind of protective covering so that nothing could fall on it and nothing else could access the area and cause dangerous human/wildlife interraction?

In any case, this week’s tragedy on the Ripple Rock is exactly that. A tragedy.

And our condolences go out to everyone affected.