The Nakusp and Area Bike Society (NABS) has successfully raised more than $500,000 to continue work on the trail system being built about eight kilometres north of the village.
The funding, from sources ranging from BC Rural Dividends to the Columbia Basin Trust, will allow NABS to hire dozens of people to continue work on the ambitious project.
The multi-year project, started in 2017, will eventually see 50 kilometres of trails built through the forest from the top of Mount Abriel to the lakeshore. The network will be attractive and accessible to beginners, families, people with diverse abilities, and expert mountain bikers.
It is planned to be a world-class destination, that’s been the desire and intent from the start, to be an attraction for the area that will help support the local economy. The trail network will also complement other trail projects in the region bringing the Kootenays to the forefront of mountain bike tourism.
Last year’s start saw the initial six kilometers of trails being built on the lower part of the mountain next to Arrow Lakes, great for cross-country mountain biking and trail running. Among the projects planned for this year are extending the cross-country trails, start on the downhill specific trails, building a 30-site campground, and completing an ‘Adaptive Mountain Biking’ trail.
An Adaptive Mountain Bike or an MTB is a specialized off-road 3-wheel hand cycle that is designed for individuals with diverse abilities and can handle a variety of terrain. At the Abriel network, a five-kilometre loop is being built to MTB specifications that include a low grade, minimal camber and a minimum width of six feet. It will follow the lakeshore, with beautiful views, and a raised boardwalk. And another great thing about building to a MTB standards is it creates a really great beginner’s trail that anyone can use, including kids on run bikes.
The next two years will see a large part of the project built, the idea is to complete as much of the project as possible.
The objective is to get 14.6 kilometres done in the next two years, but NABS is aiming for more like 20, which will be approximately the half way point. It is unknown as to whether the society will be able to attain more funding, so the goal is to complete as much as possible with what they have received.
The end product of the Abriel project is to make Nakusp a must-ride destination for those who come to this country. When they hear about B.C. and the Kootenays, they’ll hear ‘Hey, you have to get to the Mount Abriel trail system, it is unreal’.