Enhanced Trails coming soon to Columbia Basin
Recreational trails in the Columbia Basin are cherished by users year-round.
To ensure they’re in top shape and an enjoyable experience, groups throughout the region are undertaking projects with support from Columbia Basin Trust.
Currently, 23 projects in 18 communities are focusing on improving trails, while 16 organizations in 14 communities are adding 42 trail crew jobs.
“These programs offer a two-pronged approach to growing and upkeeping the trails that are so important to residents, visitors and community well-being,” said Justine Cohen, Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust.
“Organizations can tackle their priorities when it comes to making their trail systems the best they can be. Many are also adding to their workforce to accomplish their tasks.”
Projects include activities like building connector trails, enhancing existing trails or adding infrastructure like washrooms or signage. The Trust is also providing wage subsidies so organizations can hire trail workers, enabling unemployed and underemployed Basin residents to gain work experience and advance their skills while enhancing trails.
Here are a few examples:
Nelson Aims High
Accessibility and the environment are top-of-mind for the Nelson Cycling Club as it rehabilitates half a kilometre of the Lefty and Rhythm and Blues trails.
It is also creating three trail crew jobs.
“Inclusive shared spaces are essential to all communities,” said Wendy Lewis, Program Manager.
“The Nelson Cycling Club aims to continue breaking down barriers for mountain bikers and increasing the diversity of trail experiences. The completion of a high-quality, adaptive-friendly mountain bike loop fills an important gap in our trail system.”
New Connections for Nakusp
Crossing streams and climbing steep mountainsides on trails near Nakusp isn’t always easy.
To improve the experience for hikers and other users, the Nakusp and Area Community Trails Society is replacing a footbridge on the Hot Springs trail and installing switchback steps on the Lower Kuskanax trail.
“The Nakusp Hot Springs and Kuskanax Mountain trails are popular with local and visiting hikers and trail runners,” said Robert Toews, President.
“Keeping these trails in good repair and condition encourages outdoor activity and wellness, and enhances the local tourism economy.”
A Boost to the Fun in Fernie
Trail Dogs in Fernie is described as a “super fun flow trail with jumps, berms, rollers and more.” Now, the Fernie Trails Alliance Association is extending it by two kilometres and installing signage. The group is also creating three trail crew jobs.
“This will allow us to attract new visitors to our community to ride this type of trail,” said Melanie Wrigglesworth, Executive Director.
“It will allow our local community an opportunity to have this type of trail in their backyard.”
In-depth Improvements in Golden
The list of enhancements being taken on by the Golden Cycling Club is long.
For example, it is connecting the CBT and Arrowhead trails to a parking lot, rerouting the Klahowya trail and installing boardwalks and picnic tables.
It is also creating two trail crew jobs.
“Mountain biking has become one of Golden’s favourite activities and the development of our trail network has increased the number of people being physically active,” said Ryan Harvey, Operations Manager.
“All members of the club, as well as thousands of visitors and other trail users, will benefit from these projects.”
A Dedicated Kimberley Crew
The Kimberley Nordic Club is purchasing a wood-chipper to create mulch for its ski trails — but even more essential is the fact that it is creating three trail crew jobs to use the chipper and do other essential maintenance and trail-safety tasks.
“Exceptional, quality trails are what bring people to the Kimberley Nordic Club,” said Daniel Childress, General Manager.
“A paid trail crew will alleviate the pressure on our local volunteers and allow us to complete a wide variety of summer trail-maintenance tasks, and the crew will gain meaningful experience as skilled labourers.”
Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin.
To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org.