Credit: Ryan Flett/Tourism Rossland

Kootenay Columbia Trails Society reveals groundbreaking project

About 19 km of new trail will connect Seven Summits trail head to Centennial trail in Rossland

Kootenay Columbia Trails Society (KCTS) is planning a ground-breaking year.

KCTS just received a $25,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust to upgrade the Aqueduct Trail, and with more than $230,000 in funding will embark on an ambitious new two-year project.

“With news of our latest and most significant funding success, over the next two years the KCTS is going to be able to realize our long-term vision and complete a 19-km trail connection between the Seven Summits trail-head at Strawberry Pass and the Centennial trail-head in Rossland,” read the society’s newsletter.

“We don’t yet have a final name for the new trail, but are in discussions with the Sinixt First Nation about options.”

The exciting project will include 1.2 km of new trail constructed as part of the Larch Ridge trail network in 2020, and 4.5 km of new trail connecting the Larch Ridge trail network to the Aqueduct (Blackjack) trail.

In addition, 1.5 km of the existing Aqueduct trail is to be upgraded to a standard suitable for safe summer trail use in 2021.

The final leg of the project will undergo construction in 2022 and will add 7.6 km of new trail from Strawberry Pass to Biathlon.

“When completed, different sections of the trail will be used in different ways by different users. We expect that a significant portion of users will be mountain bikers, shuttled to either the Biathlon or Seven Summits trailheads and that the long, moderate, flowy, mostly descending trail ride back to Rossland, and will provide a unique and appealing experience which will attract significant use by both locals and visitors.”

In addition to the CBT trails grant, the society received $172,800 from the BC COVID emergency relief program, $73,000 from the BC Rural Community Development Program, $30,000 from Rossland’s Resort Municipality Initiative Fund, and $6,250 from donations and community trail users.

The user friendly trail will be available for mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers. Hard core users will be able to ride, run or hike the whole trail through Larch Ridge and up to Seven Summits trail to the top and back, or can be shuttled to the top and enjoy a monumental ride/run/hike down.

“The trail will be designed and built to prioritize a flowing descending mountain biking experience, but to also enable climbing. There will not be jumps, but there will be endless dips and rolls that skilled riders can play on.”

The trail will be built wider, approximately 3-feet, than standard single-track, said the newsletter, with long sightlines to facilitate passing.

Last season the KCTS crew worked on nine new trails, breaking 11.4 km of ground, while clearing trees and debris from multiple windstorms.

Read: Trails society acquires grant to upgrade Rossland trail

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