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Posted: December 27, 2021

Improving accessibility and safety on the trails

In the last year, community groups across the Columbia Basin undertook 25 new projects to rehabilitate, enhance or develop recreational trails.

The Basin is renowned for its network of hiking, biking, horseback riding and Nordic ski trails. With more people staying local and exploring their surroundings, many of the projects supported by the Trust’s Trail Enhancement Grants aim to get residents into nature to support community well-being—a priority of the Trust.

In addition to creating new trails, these projects focus on activities like repairing damaged trails, increasing accessibility for a variety of users, addressing environmental issues, incorporating Indigenous cultural or heritage values, and repairing or adding trail infrastructure and amenities.

Since 2019, the Sparwood Trails Alliance Association has been improving and expanding a network of trails near the town called the Lunch Loop.

Located close to the downtown core, schools and businesses, the trails offer options for all ages and skill levels. With a new access point and the additions of the Lunch Money and Smoko trails, the network offers convenient and accessible options for a walk, hike, ride, snowshoe or ski—right in town.

The Lettrari Loop is a well-known and popular trail located near Kaslo.

In 2020, the Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trails Society, Kaslo Mountain Bike Club, Village of Kaslo and Kaslo & District Community Forest Society oversaw a reroute to a portion of the loop, including building a new bridge, to bypass industrial traffic in the area. Other Kaslo-area trail work in 2020 included upgrades and additions to the No Brakes trail and completion of the Songbird Loop trail.

Thirty-five kilometres west of Creston, on Kootenay Pass, is the 1.7-kilometre Ka Papa Cedars trail—Ka Papa in Ktunaxa means “my grandfather.”

Built and maintained by the Trails for Creston Valley Society, with the first section completed in 2018, Ka Papa Cedars now also has nine new interpretive signs that guide you through towering old-growth cedars and a rich forest floor, providing historical, environmental and cultural education to enhance your experience.

The Trust’s Trail Enhancement Grants support projects that rehabilitate, enhance or develop recreational trails to provide greater and safer access to recreational opportunities. In 2020/21, community groups across the Basin undertook 25 new projects, supported by nearly $500,000 from the Trust.

This story initially appeared in the 2021 edition of Our Trust magazine.

Lead image: Kaslo residents, Marie-Ange Fournier-Beck, Carl Hall and Glen McRae ride on the new bridge constructed on the Lettrari Loop Trail near Kaslo. Photos by Louis Bockner. Photos submitted by Columbia Basin Trust

Columbia Basin Trust

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