There appears to be an end and a beginning in sight for the NorthStar Trail, aka Rails to Trails project connecting Cranbrook and Kimberley.
Thanks to a joint effort by the City of Cranbrook, BC Hydro, Wildstone Golf Course and nearby property owners, there will be an easier entry point (start or finish) to the popular trail.
The trail currently terminates/begins near Aasland Museum of Taxidermy but thanks to property agreements from Wildstone and a $4,000 BC Hydro Community Investment and Outreach program grant to the City of Cranbrook, an extension of the NorthStar Trail will carry users to an access point off McPhee Road, opposite Home Depot.
“I want to thank BC Hydro for their generous contribution towards this important step forward for the NorthStar Trail,” said City of Cranbrook Mayor Scott Manjak. “BC Hydro continues to be a wonderful corporate partner and their most recent contribution will go a long way in helping us improve both trail access and safety to our residents and visitors alike.”
“BC Hydro is pleased to be able to assist the City of Cranbrook with the extension of the NorthStar Trail into the City,” stated Diane Tammen, BC Hydro’s community relations manager. “The NorthStar Trail not only provides riding commuters with a safe passage into the city, it supports the city’s efforts in promoting sustainable practices and reducing the carbon footprint by creating an alternative transportation solution for residents in the area.”
Ian Kozicky, BC Hydro’s local transmission field manager, said the continuation of the trail hit a “block” because of the power line, train tracks and new golf course.
“We all worked together and we made it work,” he said of the two kilometre extension, which will bring the length of the NorthStar Trail to 28 km.
Mike Baden, Wildstone’s facilities manager, told e-KNOW he is glad that something was worked out to facilitate the trail extension, explaining the golf course devised a right-of-way for the trail between private properties and the course.
“Wildstone’s part in this is the trail has to go through the property so this can happen,” Baden said.
The trail extension will enhance safety along the trail, said Manjak, noting it will allow for safer and more convenient trail access. Before the extension users had to travel along Highway 95a or along the rail line to get into the city.
The City of Cranbrook continues to work with other groups including the Rotary Club of Cranbrook and some property owners to develop opportunities for the extension, with hopes of a connection to Rotary Way.
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